Eating in the streets of downtown Somerset is starting to become a real thing, thanks to events like Foodstock and Streets and Eats.
But SomerHarvest did it first.
Now, SomerHarvest is preparing for its third year of farm-to-table goodness on Thursday, September 5, and after last year's weather forced the festivities indoors, organizers are ready to break out the table and run it right down the middle of East Mt. Vernon Street again this time.
"As of right now, the forecast is looking very favorable for a nice evening," said Wynona Padgett of the Somerset Junior Woman's Club (SJWC), which is presenting the event.
The idea is simple: Get ingredients from all-local producers -- veggies, meats, and everything else. Set up a long table outside on the street and host a meal that the whole community can take part in together.
"We are always excited about this event," said Padgett. "It helps support the farming community, which we're all very proud of, and it brings lot of people in the community together to sit down and bake bread together downtown. It's so beautiful."
This year's meal will be prepared by Jamie Lowery and Lisa Vanover, both graduates of Somerset Community College's Culinary Arts Program. Considering that money raised from the event goes to benefit the SJWC's Sheila Goodwin Scholarship fund, which provides money for a female students to attend SCC, Padgett sees the chefs' background as bringing things "full circle" this year.
Also, "they're women," said Padgett. "It seems that very often it's male chefs that you hear about and not as many female chefs, so it's exciting to have female chefs this year."
The plan is to start with appetizers at 6:30 p.m. when people start arriving. Attendees need to have their ticket to check in at the ticket table, noted Padgett. Appetizers will be provided by Darlene Newell of The Cellar and Diamondz and Divaz, Serendipity at the Orange Door, the Mole Hole and Somerset Sweeterie.
Dinner will begin at 7 p.m., with the first course of rustic cucumber and tomato salad. The main course is herb-crusted pork loin with a bourbon peach glaze and sauteed chicken with a white wine sauce, along with a roasted vegetable medley and buttered corn on the cob. For dessert, guests will enjoy apple pandowdy with honey Chantilly cream. There will also be rolls, tea, lemonade and water.
"Everything our chefs are using comes from a Kentucky Proud farm, mostly right here in Pulaski County," said Padgett, referring to the "Kentucky Proud" label showing that that an item has been made right here in the Commonwealth. "We want this to be as Kentucky Proud as possible."
The tomatoes, cucumbers, and vegetables are coming from Burnett Farms in Pulaski County, said Padgett; the buttered corn is being donated from Lowery's parents' farm. Summit Meats is providing the pork and chicken, the apples are from Haney's Appledale Farm, the Chantilly cream as well as lemonade and tea is from Prairie Farms and rolls will come from Amon's. Wine will likely come from one of the local vineyards, said Padgett.
Most of the ingredients will be donated or provided at a discount to help the non-profit SJWC with their cause.
The food is not all there is to the event, however. Future Farmers of America of Pulaski County High School is helping with set-up again this year -- "We couldn't have gotten everything set up last year without their help," said Padgett -- while Girl Scout Troop 1776 worked with the Shine House to make wooden cookie ornaments that everyone will be able to take home as a favor.
The event is designed to be "as sustainable as possible," said Padgett, and so they'll use cloth napkins and tablecloth and real China for the plates.
"It was so neat last year to see all the different types of plates on the table -- some China, some stoneware, some more feminine-looking, some more masculine," said Padgett. "If it looks even half as good on the street as it did in (the Hal Rogers Fire Training Center last year), it will be amazing.
Fall decor will spruce up the tables coming from the Greenhouse Mum and Pumpkin Patch, and "a couple of our members will be out scrounging around ponds to get cattails for the flower arrangements, and we'll use some local flower arrangements from some of the area (florists)," said Padgett.
Pleasant Company returns to provide easy music to listen to during the meal -- "They have such nice instrumental music, with a lot of Celtic influence, which we love," said Padgett -- and attendees can also browse tractors on display and Don Franklin trucks.
There will also be artists' booths set up, including participation from Fishing Creek Jewelry, the Shine House, Cara Willis, Alice Muse, and Stacy Sizemore, and the artist area will be arranged so that anyone can browse there, even if they aren't eating. Jarfly Brewing Co. will also be on hand with some of their products.
For the event, East Mt. Vernon Street will be blocked off from Central Avenue west to the Fountain Square. In case of bad weather, the dinner will again be moved to the Hal Rogers Fire Training Center on Oak Leaf Lane.
Proceeds will be used for the scholarship well as other SJWC community projects.
SomerHarvest: a Farm to Table Celebration 2019 is sponsored by the Don Franklin Family of Dealerships Somerset.
Tickets are selling through today, said Padgett, but some extra may be able to be purchased in the following days. Tickets are $25 a person, and can be purchased by calling Padgett at 606-383-0367 or by visiting "SomerHarvest: a Farm to Table Celebration 2019" on Facebook or Eventbrite online.