The High Desert Food & Farm Alliance works to connect farmers and consumers. Its mission is to support a community based food system in Central Oregon to increase access to fresh healthy food, support sustainable farmland use, and foster relationships among farmers and consumers in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties. "The overall goal is to create a more vibrant food economy in Central Oregon," says Jess Weiland, Food and Farm Director for HDFFA.
Chef Ingrid Rohrer at Broken Top Bottle Shop carefully checks the available local produce from the Alliance's Food & Farm Directory. She is planning a special Farm to Table dinner with the Alliance on Aug. 24. She circles Central Oregon Ostrich in Redmond, describing the red meat as very similar to beef, but with 50 percent less fat.
"What I like about farm to table is that it makes me more creative as I have to work within the parameters of local seasonality," says Rohrer. In the winter, she says root vegetables are more readily available—adding that patrons never know what may turn up in a taco each Thursday.
"You may get a turnip taco or a parsnip taco and it works out pretty well—they're pretty tasty," she says. Rohrer says she constantly thinks about unique creations—even dreams about them at night calling them "cookmares."
Weiland says Rohrer's locally grown creations are not only good, but creative. "The first time I came in I had Indian-style nachos. I like the way she thinks about food. I would never have expected that."
Chef Rohrer says she's been a fan of the farm to table movement since the 1970s. "It circulates money into the region's economy. It's good for the economy and it keeps our local consumers well fed," she says.