Earthly Pleasures: Sustainable Dinners on New Jersey Farms

Take a break from that Green IT For Dummies book and learn about organic farming in person and in style. Sustenance on the Farm, started by Margaret Noon, president of Slow Food Northern NJ, is hosting some delectable fundraising feasts throughout the summer months to both educate and tantalize their guests. The mission of Sustenance is to host events that will spread an awareness of earth stewardship and “Redefine a Garden State of Mind” while supporting local farms that practice sustainable techniques.

In the midst of a farm or an orchard, you sit with 100 under a giant white tent eating the freshest gourmet food cultivated from this very site. There is an educational tour of the property lead by one of the farmers, and throughout the dinner you will hear from the owner, chef, winemaker and other culinary artists involved in the sustainable components of your meal. At least 10% of the profits are donated to local efforts in sustainability, notably children’s educational programs, making each bite of food even that much more satisfying. Sustenance’s two inaugural dinners in 2009 alone raised $3000 for Slow Food Northern NJ School Garden Programs, and five new garden grants have been allotted for this fall.

The next upcoming dinner will be held this Sunday, July 18th at Plaid Piper Farm in Branchville, NJ, and tickets must be purchased by tomorrow, Friday July 16, by 9pm. The following feast will be hosted by Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morristown, NJ on August 22nd. The $155 ticket includes a multi-course gourmet meal, an eye-opening culinary experience, good company, and even some live music.

Biodynamic or organic wines also accompany each course, so only guests over 21 years of age may attend. In addition to the summer dinners, Sustenance also hosts cooking classes in any home in NY or NJ (additional charges for further travel), and help plan private events with the smallest carbon footprint. To learn more about the dinners and to purchase tickets, visit

How to get there: Check out’s guide to renting Hybrids in NYC for the dinner at Plaid Piper Farm in Branchville, NJ this Sunday. For the meal at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm on August 22 in Morristown, go to Penn Station and take New Jersey Transit to the Morristown station, tickets are $13. From there, choose between taking a seven-minute taxi or a less than 20 minute bike ride to the farm. Bon Appetit!