Tasty Inspiration at Sustainable Settings Fall Harvest Festival
Some traveled statewide, others traveled from just down the street – they all came together in a celebration of gratitude at the base of Mt. Sopris this fall.
Sustainable Settings Founders, Brook and Rose LeVan, along with dedicated staff and volunteers, prepare a harvest benefit dinner and dance every year at the working & educational ranch, Sustainable Settings, in Carbondale.
Every year this Harvest Festival comes with new surprises, new faces, and healthy delectable treats while still holding onto a solid theme you will see in each year past, and each year to come…strengthening the community by healing the land. Each harvest festival aims to inspire the unearthing of solutions that will help us move towards a responsible and regenerative future… one that promotes healthy local economies, local renewable energy, healthy safe food, designing and building green buildings, and building an interdependent and resilient community.
One of the most effective ways to inspire and educate is hand on engagement. So for this event Sustainable Settings turns from a working ranch into a maze of inviting surprises. Mouthwatering eats, tasty drinks, demonstrations, workshops, guest speakers, music, and best of all, smiling faces.
During the day there were tasting stations positioned at different locations on the farm. They featured themes of dairy, pork, chicken, and garden…each station was paired with drinks from Roaring Fork Brewery, Aspen Brewery, Marble Distillery, and Peak Spirits.
Talks ranging from sustainable agriculture, biodynamic farming, food business, to holistic veterinary practices kept those craving intellectual stimulation satisfied. The guest speakers were Richard Manning, Will Winter, Jim Fullmer, and Woody Tash. There were also local talks from Betsy Eberle Fifield, Haley Thompson, Tomas Zuccareno, and Brook LeVan. Musicians set up across the farm throughout the sunny day and cool evening, and a photo booth with farm props added a fun flare to the event.
Once the sun started making it’s way back behind the mountains, Brook LeVan gave a heartfelt speech that expressed the essence of Sustainable Settings, captivated the audience, and prepared all for the feast to come…a delicious meal prepared by the head chefs from Town, Phat Tai, The Pullman, Eight K, Cache Cache, Allegria, and Field to Fork.
All of the chefs donated their time and expertise for this event to create a diverse tastings and dinner menu including, but not limited to: fire-pit marinated lamb, Catalonian stew, smoked trout, pickled pork trotters, szegediner gulyas, gipsy roasted lamb, radish with pork liver pate, deviled egg custards in the shell, chorizo potato salad, charred carrots and beets with chevre, and porchetta with rhubarb kimchee.
Chefs helped on-site butcher and used the Demeter Certified produce and meat of Sustainable Settings to complete their masterpieces. To be Demeter Certified is to maintain biodynamic standards for farming and processing foodstuffs. Biodynamic agriculture is very similar to organic farming, yet with the philosophical principle of viewing the ranch as a whole organism…respecting the interconnections of all life, from the soil organisms, to the crops, to the livestock, to the people.
At the Harvest Festival, everyone became part of this organism for the day…the sponsors, the speakers, the volunteers, the farm hands, the chefs, the guests… we ate, we learned, we danced, we laughed, and all contributed in building a healthy, interconnected, and resilient community.
** Photos by Kathryn Finnigan and Beth Provo Hanlen