Normal West FCCLA and FCS class members visited the Epiphany Farm and restaurant Friday afternoon to learn about the farm to fork mission the local eatery promotes. Students learned about the importance of growing, serving, and eating clean, home-grown food, while also being reminded about the benefits sitting down and having a meal with friends and family can provide.
Epiphany Farms has been growing and serving food in Bloomington-Normal since 2009 at their local farm and two restaurants. The farm’s website describes their goal by saying, “By harnessing techniques such as permaculture and intensive pasture rotation, we reconnect our neighbors to their foods’ source and nurture a better understanding of food, health, and wellbeing.”
The main focus for Epiphany Farm is to grow and raise all of the food they serve. West students visiting the farm got a chance to see all types of vegetables and fruits being naturally grown. The Epiphany farm is also the home to many animals which included: goats, chickens, cows and pigs. “I was excited to see the the animals and plants because I don’t always get to see how the things I’m eating get to my plate,” said Melody Holland (10)
Once the tour of the farm was over, students went to one of the two restaurants owned by Epiphany Farms. At the restaurant named after Epiphany Farm, the menu includes only food produced from their local farm. This is the idea behind the farm to fork mission promoted by the farm. Farm to fork reflects both the farmer raising the crops and the family sitting down to share a meal.
FCCLA is promoting the farm to fork mission and wants to encourage students to eat dinners at home with their families. The group would also like to teach students etiquette. Prior to the field trip, students learned the proper silverware to use for each food and how to sit while eating. Students were also reminded to put their phones down and start conversations with the people at the table.
“My family and I are really close. We eat dinner together multiple times a week and sometimes we even cook together,” said Kendall Cox (12). According to the Scramble website for ways to promote healthy lifestyles, families that sit down and have meals together are less likely to be overweight or turn to bad behavior while also being more likely to have a balanced diet, perform better at school and maintain healthy relationships.
Epiphany Farms showed students that it is not only important to know where food comes from but also how it is important to share a meal with someone to promote a healthy lifestyle. Students now can go home and practice the new skills while eating a meal with family or friends.