- Fruits: melons
- Vegetables: beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), onions, peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips
- Additional Plants: herbs
- Education and Training: demonstration, display
The increased desire to eat naturally grown, healthful foods has provided the impetus for many people to join CSA's or buy locally grown fresh produce. Buying fresh vegetables is only the first step towards healthful eating. They much be prepared or cooked to be enjoyed. In today's world of fast food and frozen dinners, few people possess the skills necessary to prepare simple, healthful meals using fresh produce. In an effort to increase appreciation and demand for locally grown produce, we propose to hold a festival where local chefs will prepare dishes highlighting our vegetables. We plan to have five local chefs demonstrate the preparation of simple dishes, from washing and cutting vegetables to the final cooking and serving. The festival will be free and open to the public. We will specifically invite all members of local CSA's and we will publicize the event at area farmer/growner markets. Participants in the festival will be able to taste dishes and they will receive a booklet with all of the day's recipes, as well as information about basic preparation and storage. The concept of a vegetable festival is modeled on a local restaurant festival in nearby West Chester, Pennsylvania. This event, a weekend gala comprised of chefs from area eating places, has enabled numerous restaurants in West Chester to gain market exposure helping to stimulate a restaurant renaissance. The lesson learned from the restaurant festival is that an entertaining annual event promoting local business substantially assists those businesses in gaining market acceptance.