The Nation Ford High School Future Farmers of America chapter is cooking up a special appetizer leading to its annual Farm to Fork dinner.
A monthly series of free programs designed to connect people with their food source begins Aug. 25 and concludes April 26 – two weeks before the Farm to Fork dinner. Described by Nation Ford FFA adviser Lee Petitgout as an informal drop-in program, the series will include food tastings, presentations by farmers, discussions and the opportunity to ask questions about agriculture and food production.
Petitgout, a farmer herself and an agriculture instructor as Nation Ford, said everyone is invited to stop in any time during the programs, which will begin at 7 p.m. and last about an hour. She’s still finalizing the roster of presenters but so far, Peach Stand store manager Sherri McMurray and Springs Farm manger Ron Edwards are locked in, Petitgout said.
Other presenters Petitgout hopes to line up will talk about topics such as mushrooms, micro greens, home garden tips and fermenting beer and wine.
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“It will be an open discussion, not really a formal presentation,” Petitgout said. “It’s meant to be very casual and laid back.”
Meeting food producers, Petitgout said, might help participants “develop an appreciation for what these people do every for us to be able to pop into the store and get a gallon of milk,” she said.
There’s no registration or cost involved to participate.
“(Participants) don’t have to do a thing but show up,” Petitgout said.
Agriculture has been a popular subject at Nation Ford, where the FFA this past year won the national Model of Innovation Award for students’ work training piglets to run in Fort Mill’s annual S.C. Strawberry Festival. The piglet races are one of the festival’s most popular events. Students have a major role in running this new series and Petitgout said she hopes they get the credit they deserve.
“This is pretty innovative as well,” she said.
Want to go?
Nation Ford High FFA Farm to Fork programs will be held in the school’s agriculture classroom. The programs are free and open to the public. Nation Ford is at 1400 A.O. Jones Blvd., Fort Mill. There will be signs directing participants to the room.
All programs begin at 7 p.m. and last about an hour. the first one is Aug. 25. The others will be held Sept. 22, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, Jan. 26, Feb. 23, March 22 and April 26.
The series will conclude with the annual Farm to Fork Dinner May 10. Tickets are required for the dinner.
For more information, contact Lee Petitgout, agriculture instructor and FFA adviser, at call 803-835-0126 or 803-374-6177 or Petitgoutl@fortmillschools.org