Last week’s "Sustainable Fare for Sustainable Jersey" farm-to-table event raised about $12,000 for Sustainable Jersey, the statewide program that encourages municipalities to “go green” by adopting environmentally-friendly practices.
The event, which took place at in Lawrence Township, was the brainchild of Pam Mount, the former township councilwoman and mayor who owns the farm with her husband.
Mount, who serves as the current chair of Sustainable Jersey’s board of trustees, said she wanted to raise money for Sustainable Jersey in a way that, itself, was sustainable.
"I decided to have a dinner party. I approached Chris [Albrecht] at because they are very well-known for supporting Terhune Orchards."
Albrecht immediately agreed to the idea and enlisted the help of six other area chefs to create a meal that "celebrates foods produced on farms around here, and pairing them with wines from our vineyard," Mount explained.
The other chefs involved preparing the five-course meal that was served on Aug. 9 were Jim Weaver from Tre Piani, Scott Anderson from , Tim Amoroso from , Javier Zabaleta from , Crawford Koeniger from Terra Momo and Eno Terra, and Gabrielle Carbone from .
Though the hot summer night began with a torrential downpour, it ended with a stunning rainbow and a humidity-free cool evening. In addition to great food, guests also enjoyed music by Riverside Bluegrass Band, a Princeton group known for their connections to local agriculture.
In keeping with the sustainable theme of the evening, the plates on which the food was served were made out of palm leaves and composted after the party. Although they looked brand new, the napkins that were used were originally made in Guatemala for the wedding of one of Pam and Gary Mount's daughters and have been reused many times over the years.
There were very few expenses for the evening, as Terhune Orchards donated the wine and most of the food served that night; provided the lamb; the chefs donated their time and expertise; and volunteers served the meals.
The goal, Mount said, was to be as "sustainable as possible." She said she hopes to make it an annual event.
Afterward, one of the fundraiser's attendees had nothing but praise to offer.
"Congratulations on a great celebration of an amazing organization!" Karen Pinzolo said. "The flavor of the event was just right for Sustainable Jersey: elegant, simple, genuine, different and better - a creative innovation for benefits! I had such a good time that I asked Pam if she could do it once a month. Her eyes rolled!
"I’m sure it was exhausting, but a good time was had by all," Pinzolo continued. "I hope it raised lots of money along with much good will!"
Tickets for the event cost $150 each and included a $100 tax-deductible donation to Sustainable Jersey.