The Boulevard Senior Living Celebrates Earth Month with Farm to Table Dining

The last week of April is a special time for the culinary department at The Boulevard Senior Living St. Charles, MO. In honor of Earth Month, we will be celebrating and embracing the Farm to Table concept. While the terminology is often overused, the idea is a basic one that stems from the days when the food you ate came from the farm you lived on or nearby. Practices may have changed but utilizing the produce and livestock from local farms and growers has many benefits. For example, did you know most produce loses nutrients within 24 hours of harvesting? Have you ever noticed how fresh meat is moister and more flavorful?

Farm to Table also helps strengthen the local economy by providing jobs and keeping money in the hands of businesses run by our neighbors and friends. It helps to build relationships between the farmer or rancher and the customer. Both sides benefit greatly from sourcing local items. If an item becomes scarce, or pricing becomes high, this valued relationship can be instrumental in helping us to continue to provide the exceptional food our residents have come to expect from us with minimal interruption.

The dish I’m making is a braised pork belly appetizer utilizing these locally sourced items: pork, mushrooms, cheeses, cured meats, honey, and eggs. A variety of businesses will be providing these ingredients Wenneman Meat Company, Volpi Foods, Buzy Beez Honey, Mushrooms Naturally, Marcoot Creamery, and Becker Brothers Eggs.

To me pork is an ingredient that is often wrongfully cooked which gives it a bad reputation. I love to show people a product that is cooked properly and how amazing it truly is. I based my dish off the local meat company Wenneman, I’ve been using their pork belly for ten plus years. It is a great product from a family-owned business.

I have always been one growing up to run out to my family garden and eat vegetables straight from the vines, eating tomatoes as if they were apples and appreciating the sweetness of sun ripened bell peppers. When you eat like that the natural flavor of items speaks for themselves. My family owned a farm and when it was time to have beef butchered it was then split between my family. I look at it as though I was spoiled being brought up with such amazingly fresh products. My family looked at it as such a cost saver, not having to buy meat from the grocery store and not knowing what that animal ate daily or what the quality of that meat was like.

Marcoot Jersey Creamery