A Tasteful Cause

Participants in The Farmer & The Chef hope to raise $85,000 this year

The Farmer & The Chef, an annual fundraiser for March of Dimes, pairs local farmers with local chefs for a classic cook-off, boasting the culinary skill and output of some of northern Delaware’s best restaurants and farms.

In this artisan-style tasting event, farmers provide their product to chefs, and chefs create tasting samples to event-goers, who will vote on their favorites.

This seventh annual fundraiser once again will take place on the Riverfront at the Chase Center in Wilmington on Thursday, Sept. 18.

The March of Dimes and The Delaware Department of Agriculture have teamed up to present it, with proceeds going directly to the nonprofit. The goal for 2014 is $85,000.
“It is wonderful to know that we have access to these great local ingredients and the amazing things that can be done with them,” says Aleks Casper, state director of the March of Dimes. “And everyone who attends always says how much fun they had.”

The event combines more than 30 farms, including Woodside Farms Creamery, Fifer Orchards, Bayberry Farms, and more than 30 chefs, like Paul Egnor of Pizza by Elizabeths, Wyatt Cresswell of Stewart’s Brewing Company, and Robbie Jester of 16 Mile Taphouse.
Area band Fat Daddy Has Been will perform.

Chef Eric Aber from Home Grown Café won last year’s event, teaming with Powers Farm and Filasky’s Produce.

Since the fundraiser began in 2007, $490,000 has been generated for the March of Dimes, which aims to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The organization focuses on advancing research on maternal and health issues, and helping moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies, while supporting families.

For more information, visit www.thefarmerandthechef.com.

Fresh from the Farm

You can purchase food or handpick produce yourself at several area locations

For quick access to fresh, healthy produce, meats and dairy, look no further than area farms.

Below are a few on-site farm markets, stands and CSA (community supported agriculture) opportunities at local farms. At some locations, you can roll up your sleeves and pick the produce yourself.

Visit www.localharvest.org for more options. Happy picking, browsing, and feasting!

SIW (Stepped in What) Vegetables
4317 S. Creek Rd.
Chadds Ford, Pa.
SIW grows vegetables, fruits and flowers on the family farm in the Brandywine River Valley. The farm stand, open through Halloween from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, is also a CSA.

Thornbury Farm CSA
1256 Thornbury Rd.
West Chester, Pa.
The farm offers a CSA and farm stand/market Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free-range eggs, local milk and cheese are available. CSA members get a discount on extra produce and farming classes.

Highland Orchards
1000 Marshallton-Thorndale Rd.
West Chester, Pa.
There’s always something going on at the farm at Highland Orchards, with more than 200 acres of crops. Customers can buy already-picked produce at the farm market, or they can opt to pick their own. Fresh produce from neighbor farms in Chester and Lancaster counties is also available. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday and the PYO field is open until 5 p.m.

Whimsical Farms
3315 Steele Rd.
The 15-acre, family-owned Whimsical Farms raises pastured pigs, sheep for wool and meat, free-range chickens (primarily for eggs), and cows and turkeys. The farm is currently taking orders for turkeys, whole chickens, and fruit-fed, pastured pigs.

Fifer Orchards
1919 Allabands Mill Rd.
Along with a farm market, Fifer Orchards offers “U-pick” crops – just check in with a staff member for containers and instructions before proceeding to the fields or orchards.

Fair Weather Farm at Fair Hill
5727 Telegraph Road
Elkton, Md.
Fair Weather Farm’s CSA fall harvest runs from Sept. 15 through Dec. 15, and includes greens, squash, root crops and discounts on pumpkins.

Meadowset Farm & Apiary
210 North Creek Rd.
Landenberg, Pa.
The farm’s new store is open from 4-6 p.m. Monday to Friday, Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. to noon. Aged sheep cheese, honey, and fresh, grass-fed lamb are available.

Eat Pancakes, Fight Parkinson’s

The Pettinaro family’s griddle team assemble at last year’s Pancakes for Parkinson’s event. From left to right: Tracy Pettinaro Crowley, Greg Pettinaro, Verino Pettinaro, Vicky Pettinaro Martelli and Cindy Wilkinson, the event’s co-founder. (Photo by Team Fox Delaware)

Annual event, set for Sept. 20 at Sanford, aims to raise $100,000 – and awareness

Last year, 5,000 pancakes were made by volunteer “griddle teams” and served to 750 guests at Pancakes for Parkinson’s, an annual event that raises funds and, more important, awareness about Parkinson’s disease.

This year, co-founder Cindy Wilkinson has a goal of $100,000 for the event, set for Saturday, Sept. 20, at Sanford School in Hockessin. From 8 a.m. to noon, a dozen griddle teams will serve pancakes. Guests can donate to the teams ahead of time or give a $10 entrance fee.

The fundraiser, now in its sixth year, has raised $400,000 for research. It is organized by Team Fox Delaware, a branch of the national nonprofit Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. There are about 500 branches throughout the country, started by individuals determined to raise awareness and push for more research on the disease.
Twelve years ago, Wilkinson, a Delaware native, learned that her father, Verino Pettinaro, had Parkinson’s. When Wilkinson, her mother, sisters Vicky and Tracy and brother Greg researched the disease, they had to do in-depth digging just to find basic information.
“That’s why we were like, ‘We need to raise awareness,’” says Wilkinson.

So she, along with Debi Brooks, formed Team Fox Delaware. Brooks, also from Delaware, is co-founder and executive vice chairman of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Team Fox Delaware members wanted a way to bring families together but they didn’t want to host a traditional gala or walk fundraiser. Then the idea came to them: pancakes.

“I thought a pancake breakfast would be fun,” says Wilkinson. “But I didn’t think it would be this big.”

To Wilkinson, the best part of the fundraiser is getting people together who have or had Parkinson’s and giving them a platform to discuss it and support one another, gaining comfort and awareness. The event “means that we can get people to stop whispering, ‘Oh, he has Parkinson’s,’” she says about her father. “When someone tells us that someone has Parkinson’s, we’re able to lead them to the right doctors, the right treatment. We have helped people move quicker at the beginning of the disease for treatment.”

Pettinaro, 74, has 12 grandchildren, and they all assist with the events. “That’s what brings it all again to family, being supportive, and working to the same goals. It brings families close, doing something for the same end result,” says Wilkinson.

You can get involved by creating or joining a griddle team or by donating to support a griddle team.

On Saturday, Oct. 18, Partners in Parkinson’s, a day-long education event, will take place in Philadelphia. This symposium helps PD patients and caregivers navigate resources and engage for better outcomes as they live with the disease.

Visit www.partnersinparkinsons.org.

Call Wilkinson at 218-4411 or email her at cpw35@hotmail.com for more information.