Eileen Litwin of Litchfield and Zay Foster at the Farmer’s Table dinner at the White Barn in East Morris on Saturday. Below, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Jamie Fellner. ~ BZ photos

Nearly 200 local residents and farmers and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal gathered at the White Barn at South Farms in East Morris on Saturday for the fifth annual Farmer’s Table dinner.
The event was hosted by the event venue’s owners, Ben and Stephanie Paletsky, who converted the former dairy barn over the past year.
Dinner was made using ingredients grown or raised by Litchfield County farmers. The cooking was done by five volunteer local chefs, all fans of food sourced from local farms.
The Farmer’s Table dinner was launched in 2011 by a small group of advocates of Litchfield County farms. The original mission of the dinner was to showcase what is available at area farms and to provide an opportunity for conversation among farmers and the community that supports them.
This year, the mission expanded to raising funds to help those who plant, grow and harvest in our area revitalize farming as an important economic driver in Litchfield County.
Towards that end, the dinner has become part of the Litchfield-based 501-C-3 Partners for Sustainable Healthy Communities. In January, the Farmer’s Table board members sat down with 20 farmers from southern Litchfield County to learn how they thought revenue from the event could best support area farming.
Key priorities included expanding marketing channels, improving access to healthy, locally-grown food for consumers at all economic levels, and organizing winter workshops for area farmers on such critical skills as specialized farming accounting and leveraging websites and social media in marketing locally grown food.
Volunteering as chefs were Riad Aamar of Oliva on Main in Bethlehem, Samantha Tilley of Bantam’s Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar, plus Jon Gyles, Patty Laure and Brendan Martin, all based in Litchfield.
Farms and local purveyors who participated included Arethusa Farm, Bantam Bread, Beaver Meadow Farm, Beltane Farm, Kent Falls Brewery, Litchfield Distillery, Main Street Blooms, March Farm, Newgate Farm, the Olive Oil Factory, Ox Hollow Farm, Percy Thomson Meadow Farm, Ponds Poultry, Something to Crow About, South Farms, Starberry Farm, Sun One Organic, Wave Hill, Walker Road Winery and Wild Carrot Farm.
Sponsors were Chapman Lumber, the Connecticut Community Foundation, Ericson Insurance, Farm Family Casualty Insurance (S. Kenneston and Associates, Inc.), Litchfield Distillery, Michael and Sunny Halperin, New Morning Market, True Value of Litchfield and Union Savings Bank.
Joan Spear of Bantam.
Cindy Iffland, left, and Christine Rindos, both of Litchfield.
Bill Burgess of Litchfield.
Mark Palladino and Joanie Guglielmo of Wild Carrot Farm in Litchfield.