First there was DÄ‚Â®ner en Blanc in Edmonton, a secret all-white elegant outdoor picnic at Emily Murphy Park that attracted hundreds.
Now the Morinville Centennial Community Gardens Society is organizing an old-fashioned outdoor banquet for 200 people on Saturday, Aug. 23.
Organizers are planning to resurrect a table groaning with dishes that chefs prepare from fresh, locally grown farm and garden products.
President Valerie Loseth explains that the community dinner is a fundraiser to help expand the third phase of the society’s gardens across from the Sturgeon County School Division.
Society gardeners are planning to install an inlaid labyrinth so people with wheelchairs and walkers can use the trails lined with perennials.
The cost is estimated to run at about $25,000 to $30,000.
“Whatever is wheelchair accessible needs a hard pack, but because we lease the land we can’t put something permanent like cement there. So it’s a catch-22 putting down something hard, but not permanent,” Loseth said.
Local producers have already donated various products such as lamb, duck, bison, pork and beef. Loseth explains that while beef will be served as the main protein, there will be samplings of the other meats.
Local chefs will be cooking up a feast of main courses while the society will pitch in brewing up salads using freshly picked veggies from the community gardens.
“The only specification for the meal is you have to have as many local ingredients as possible. It will be a market-style meal with the chef’s imprint on it.”
Six Morinville establishments and chefs have already committed their expertise: Bistro d Madre Piccolo, Green Bean Coffee House, Phil Hughes Premium Food Services, Sal’s Famous and Joe McCauley, a veteran of northern Alberta camp services.
For instance, Kelly’s Bakery will bake fresh baguettes for bruschetta and different flavoured scones to be served with herb butter.
“We’ll have one long table for 200 people. People will be sitting on hay bales and benches. We hope to have some fun decorating with sunflowers and wheat and we hope to find an old truck.”
If a rainout occurs, the dinner will be moved to the Ray MacDonald Sports Centre.
Tickets are adults $25, seniors and youth $15, and children under seven attend free. Tickets purchased before Thursday, July 31 will be entered into an early bird draw. They are available at various Morinville locations: Vintage Petals, Turner Goldsmiths, Sobey’s, Servus Credit Union and Shell Station.
For more information visit morinvillecommunitygardens.com or call Loseth at 780-939-3892.