Common Ground Dinner

Last week I was invited to a women’s event to showcase a new organization in the food world called Common Ground. The goal of Common Ground is to connect people who provide food to those who purchase food. The target audience is women.

From the website:

Consumers aren’t getting the real story about American agriculture. We’re a group of farm women and we plan to change that by doing something extraordinary. Our program is called CommonGround and it’s all about starting a conversation between women who grow food, and the women who buy it. This is our chance to set the record straight and to help get you the facts about farming and your food. We hope you’ll join in the conversation.

The event was the first one for Columbus to introduce the local chapter of Common Ground and kick off discussions between farmers and consumers.

The event also put us in contact with people from The Soybean Council and Corn Growers of America.  The idea was to gather together over a meal and talk about the food industry and where our food comes from.

The dinner was held at Amelita Mirolo Barn in the Sunny 95 Park located in Upper Arlington.  The barn is one of the oldest buildings in the area that was taken over and repurposed to use as an event space.

The original beams and wood from the barn were used in recreating the new space and this space just finished construction recently.  It officially opened it’s doors in July.  It was a spectacular place for an event.

There was a small cocktail reception to welcome everyone and give everybody a chance to mingle and introduce themselves.

There were some Ohio cheeses and crackers to nibble on, along with a chilled cucumber soup that was garnished with roasted corn kernels.  And later they brought out what seemed to be beef in a puff pastry.  The appetizers were great! However everyone was scrambling around for napkins, those somehow got overlooked!

It was nice to see some familiar faces at this event and I also got an opportunity to meet some new people.

Hello to all!

We got called to dinner and sat down for an evening of conversation and family style dining.  They had us seated at a long table with the best centerpieces.

How perfect! A huge glass vase full of all kinds of vegetables.  Another woman sitting close to me mentioned how much she wanted to take one home. I agreed! I would gladly take those veggies off your hands.

We started off with a mixed green salad in a parmasen crisp.  The salad was very refreshing though the parmasen crisp was a little challenging to eat.  I ended up having to abandon it much to my dismay.  That much crispy cheese needed to be eaten!

The dinner had rice, veggie mix, and a chicken saltimbocca that was drizzled with a cream sauce.  There was also lamb chops served as well but I’m not a huge fan of lamb so I passed on that.  For those that are vegetarians, there was a vegetarian dish available which I believe contained portabella mushrooms.

Dessert was an apple handpie with fresh vanilla ice cream.  The dough for the handpie was fluffy and delish.  It reminded me of a fluffy donut.  The ice cream was also delicious.

There were a lot of women there each representing different aspects of the agricultural community.  Three ladies were there who were farmers, one raised hogs, one raised sheep, and the other was a seed farmer.

There were members there from Common Ground itself along with various folks from the Soybean Council.

It was an interesting event to chat with these ladies who are working and living the Ag business.

As the evening wrapped up, the ladies informed us that they had some goodies for us to take home.

They really went all out and provided us with some Ohio based food items.

  • Goat Cheese
  • Peaches
  • Honey
  • Quick Bread
  • Bottle of Rose

I thank the folks of The Soybean Council and Common Ground for inviting me to the dinner and providing me with a chance to meet and chat with everyone.

Check out Common Ground for more information and to find a local chapter in your area.

12 thoughts on “Common Ground Dinner

  1. Sounds very interesting, especially if most of the attendee farmers were of the small, family-type farm operation. Far too many people have absolutely no idea where their food comes from or what is involved in getting it from the ground/barn to their table. industry representatives at the dinners also sound great as long as they are present to be a useful resource for actual information rather than being a professional apologist who’s main goal is to provide propaganda for the industry/product they represent.

  2. What nice goodies they gave you! Thanks for mentioning vegetarians, I’m glad they had something there for those folks. I’m never sure about attending food events around here because it’s almost always the case that they only serve non-vegetarian dishes. But perhaps I just haven’t found the right one yet ;-)

    • Sarah, I’ve been seeing more and more veg options pop up at events which is nice because I would much rather have that myself. Unless I can find out where the meat came from, I won’t eat it.

  3. Sounds like a really interesting and informative event. Anything that gets people connected to where their food comes from is a good idea in my books. And the fact that they served you such awesome dishes helps as well :)

  4. I am excited to get connected with your blog Andrea. My name is Kristin and I am one of the farmer volunteers for Commonground in Ohio. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Andrea at dinner. Commonground is a true grass roots effort. This effort has just reached Ohio and the website is in the process of having Ohio added. The new site will come up in October so keep checking back to see more information. I would invite you all to follow Commonground on Facebook. You can also follow my blog which may or may not interest you.http://mattand kristinreese.blogspot.com. As I am sure you can tell by my blog address I am not as professional as Andrea but I have fun. The Ohio volunteer farmers such as myself are made up of all family farms large and small. Each are family owned and contribute to agriculture and our Ohio economy in different ways. The USDA sites that 99% of farms in the US are owned and operated by families not large corporations. I hope that this program will open the lines of communication between the farmers like me who grow the food and the people like you who eat it. I welcome any of your questions and I a excited to join your blogging community.

  5. It was a pleasure to meet you as well. If there is ever anything I can do to help you out in the Ag area let me know. Your face scrub sounds interesting I think I will have to try it out.

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