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Wednesday, 24 September 2014 00:00

TasteBuds Tour Teaches Chattanooga Farm-to-Table

The TasteBuds Farm TourTasteBuds Tour Teaches Chattanooga Farm-to-Table

We were pleased to sponsor the 2nd Annual TasteBuds Farm Tour along with Lupi's and Community Pie. We really think it's important for people, especially kids, to learn more about how and where our food is grown locally. Farm-to-table matters because fresh food tastes better and is better for you.

On some of the farms, the kids got to see cows, goats, rabbits, and bees up close, doing their part to sustain the food supply. Farmers offered up samples of their products and encouraged folks to bring coolers so they could take home artisanal honey, organic produce and meat, ornamental wildflowers, herbs, fruits, and more. There was something for everyone, from vegetarians to wine connoisseurs. Some picked a bouquet of flowers and sampled chestnuts.

The farms taking part were Appalachian Bee in Ocoee, Brady's Farm Direct Meat in Dayton, CoLyCo Farm in Chickamauga, Crabtree Farms in Chattanooga, Dazi Acres in Pikeville, Erma's Bees in Chattanooga, Farms of Avalon Rabbitry in Georgetown, Gifford Farms in Dunlap, The Healthy Kitchen in Dunlap, Lamon Farm in Cleveland, Lavender 'N' Rust Herb Farm in Rock Springs, Ga., Merryfield's Farm in Whitwell, Morris Vineyard and Winery in Charleston, Tenn., The Organic Man in Menlo, Ga., Pickett's Trout Ranch in Whitwell, Red Apple Barn in Ellijay, Ga., Red Clay Farm in Cleveland, Tant Hill Farm in LaFayette, Ga., Wheeler's Orchard & Vineyard in Dunlap, and Wildwood Harvest in Wildwood, Ga.

Several of the farmers chatted about sustainable growing methods and the challenges of keeping their family farms profitable within our country's ag system. They educated folks about soil management, pollination, and the importance of local growers to restaurants, food banks, grocery stores, corporate cafeterias, and school lunchrooms. Without their hard work, we'd be in a real pickle... without pickles!

Kids picking chestnuts on CoLyCo FarmWhat you find on these farms varies by the season as they work year-round to grow what we eat. Now that it's officially fall, they're working on their kale, lettuce, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, turnip greens, field peas, and more. Several of the farms work together to make it happen.

People on the tour were surprised to learn just how many varieties of their favorite items are produced on farms, as well as the techniques farmers use to efficiently grow and collect different products so they can affordably end up in the grocery store, at the farmer's market or on your plate here at Public House.

The TasteBuds in the name of the farm tour refers to the local food guide that's published twice a year and is considered the definitive guide to eating local in Chattanooga. It is available here at Public House and highlights the restaurants, food artisans, and farmers markets that source local ingredients. It's a quick reference for downtown eaters. Download a PDF version at http://growchattanooga.org/docs/Tastebuds_FALL2014_FINAL_lowres.pdf

We hope everyone who took the tour enjoyed it and learned something about local farms and the farm-to-table philosophy that Public House brings to Chattanooga dining.

For more information, visit http://growchattanooga.org/foodguide

Public House is a great destination to meet a friend for lunch while shopping at Warehouse Row or meeting them after work for a drink at The Social, but we bring the same quality food and friendly service to private events that we host and now Chattanooga event catering as well.

public house chattanooga cateringJust imagine it: Having your wedding reception or corporate gathering in the heart of downtown Chattanooga, just a short distance from hotels where your guests might be staying and there are a lot of fun things to do. Best of all, you can incorporate the food and drinks you love from Public House and The Social.

We can host up to 50 guests in our Polo Room – 75 people if they aren't seated. The Polo Room, named for the previous tenant, is completely separate visually and acoustically from the remainder of the restaurant. It adjoins the main dining room of the restaurant and The Social.

The room can also be divided in half with floor to ceiling curtains for smaller groups of up to 20 people.

It can be a great place for a private party, wedding rehearsal dinner, business luncheon, and other events. Audio/Visual equipment is available for use at a minimal charge, and a private bar can be set up in the Polo Room for a setup fee. Charges are based on food and beverage minimums, and a 20% gratuity is included added. See http://www.publichousechattanooga.com/private-party-venue-chattanooga for more information.

Public House offers a good variety of premium food products served in a comfortable setting, along with fun snacks and small plates that pair well with cocktails, beer and wine. We've recently added gluten free items to our lunch and dinner menus while pointing out which menu items can be made gluten free by omitting one or two ingredients.

At private events held in the Polo room, hors d'oeuvres can be served. Some choices include house smoked salmon, "hot fish" tacos, Carolina-style Quail breast, and angel biscuits with friend chicken. Public House gives you two possible seated dinner menus that include soup and salad, your choice of main course items (salmon, steak, pork, beef filet, Jonah crab cake, chicken, or veggies are a few of the options), and two dessert choices.

To see the private dining menu: http://www.publichousechattanooga.com/images/PrivateDiningSpring2014.pdf

For private dining information, to book an event or to schedule a tour and meeting, call (423) 266-3366 or email [email protected].

Enjoy Public House food without ever having to leave your office building! The details on catering an outside event need to be worked out on a case-by-case basis by emailing [email protected] to schedule an appointment to discuss your needs.

Written by Meghan O'Dea

farm-to-table-restaurants-chattanoogaSpotlight on Our Farm To Table Suppliers

When you bite into our sliced tomatoes, a little green salad or a Public House burger, you're supporting not only our farm to table downtown Chattanooga restaurant but a host of people behind the scenes growing crops and livestock to supply us with ingredients.

Southland Farms in Morrison, Tennessee and Barton Creek Farms in Rock Island, Tennessee are just two of our suppliers.

Southland grows heirloom tomatoes, squash, sweet bell peppers, eggplant, sweet corn, cucumbers, sweet onions, kale, purple potatoes, green beans, okra, cabbage, cauliflower and more for us. The farm delivers food to Chattanooga three times a week, which makes all of the difference.

"Freshness is key," said Chris Irons from Southland Farms. "You know you're being served something that was picked off the vine that morning instead of two weeks ago and gassed to stay preserved while it's being shipped in from someplace faraway. With fresh fruits and vegetables, you know you're getting all of the nutrients. Plus, you're helping the local economy when you buy from within the area."

Southland, which specializes in the heirloom tomatoes, participates in the Chattanooga Market at the First Tennessee Pavilion from 4-7 pm on Wednesdays and Sundays from 11 am-4 pm from April to November. If you go to the market, you'll likely also see Danny Roller from Barton Creek Farms, which supplies Public House with beef and pork for burgers, steaks, meatloaf, pot roast, and beef carpaccio.

Danny has lived on the farm since 1966 and takes pride in the way his cattle are born and bred there. "The cattle have access to grass, grain and hay to eat," he said. "They grow faster and better when they have a variety of things to eat. I don't add any hormones or antibiotics. The best test is to taste it."

The result is USDA-inspected all natural meat that is rich in nutrients.

Food grown closer to home and served fresh means a huge difference in taste, plus it benefits the region. When we buy food grown and crafted within a hundred miles of Chattanooga, we are saying that a sense of place, community, health, and taste matter.

"When you buy local, it is source verified," Danny said. "Our business relationship with Public House is a really good one," Danny said. "It's a symbiotic relationship. They get what they want, packaged the way they want it. This beef has great flavor and the marbling is wonderful."

Chris Irons at Southland said local crop farmers dealt with too much rain in the late spring, but the weather has pretty much evened out. Like any small farm operation, it takes constant hard work to be successful.

"I've been in farming pretty much my whole life, but I started the retail end of it about 8 years ago," Chris said. "I am truly humbled to be where I am today. Only in America can you take a dream, work hard and make your dream become a reality. It truly has been and will continue to be a pleasure to provide my customers with the best vegetables around! Thanks to Michael and Nathan at Public House for your support."

To learn more about Southland Farms, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Southland-Farms/204922429523969

To learn more about Barton Creek Farms, visit http://growchattanooga.org/food-guide-farms/barton-creek-farms

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