Healthy Hut builds community with “Farm to Table”

Photo courtesy of Facebook group alumni 

By Luke Williamson
Staff Writer

Just as the sky began to darken on Friday, September 29, students, faculty, and the Sewanee community members gathered behind the Healthy Hut for its “Farm to Table” event. The Healthy Hut spearheaded the event, along with the help of other organizations. The night was dedicated to celebrating locally sourced food, striving for health, and enjoying the sense of community which the event elicited.

Putting the event together took a lot of initiative and effort on behalf of the Healthy Hut. Co-directors of the theme house Bess Pearson (C’18) and Sophia Borne (C’18) organized regularly scheduled meetings to plan the event and reached out to other organizations and theme houses on campus.

“This was actually the first year where we’ve outsourced dishes,” said Borne. “We had this after-party following Farm to Table; we thought this was a good way to get everyone involved and feel like they are a part of the event.”

Even with other organizations helping out, it was still quite the project. Borne said that “it was all hands on deck the day of.”

Thanks to the collective efforts of the organization, the event was not only successful in terms of how many people came, but also in the diverse demographics it catered to. With a green juice for the more adventurous and entrees made specifically for vegans, this event sought to provide food for everyone.

This was ultimately the goal of Farm to Table: to build community open to everyone. The multitude of organizations which helped put on the event epitomized this, including the University Farm, GSD House, Farm Club, Music House, Green House, and the Community Engagement House.

For Borne, the first Farm to Table event she went to at Sewanee was a memorable experience, and one she hoped to replicate for others this year. “There was faculty there, freshmen … all these other organizations making it possible and bringing everyone to one pace to listen to music and just be together and to promote wellness,” concluded Borne.

Other students, too, noticed the community building aspect of the event. “I think [locally sourced food] is wonderful and I think it does a lot for the community that we’re a part of, especially being at a small school,” said Sophia Henderson (C’19).

Similarly, one of the reasons that Katherine LeClaire (C’21) felt motivated to come to the event was the food’s naturally sourced nature. “It’s just hard to know where your food comes from, even if it is something as simple as fruit.” She also expressed wanting to support local farmers and the local economy, and said this was yet another reason for her to support locally sourced food.

There was an unexpected hiccup at the beginning of the night, when the live music started a bit later than many students expected. Borne attributed this to “a little miscommunication.” A few people left prematurely, like LeClaire, but she came back once she learned that the band The Thumping Richards had started. “When I came back, when they were rockin’ and rollin’, it was a good time. I was like, screaming lyrics and jumping around. I was totally busting moves,” said LeClaire.

Ultimately, LeClaire echoed the sentiment of many students who went: she explained that it was a refreshing change of pace from regular evening events and parties on campus. “It was a different experience from being at a Greek life party,” she said. “I think this one was a lot more laid back.” LeClaire, like many students, are glad they went and look forward to the upcoming spring Farm to Table event.