Table to farm

  @FortuneMagazine May 23, 2013: 6:53 AM ET
PUR10 table to farm

Outstanding in the Field stages movable feasts at farms and fields across the globe. Here, a group dines at North Arm Farm in Pemberton, British Columbia.


Fighting through Friday rush-hour traffic on the outskirts of Boston, my husband, Ben, and I utter endless variations on "Can this possibly be worthwhile?" But a mere 34 miles from our Cambridge home, we are suddenly transported, winding down a bucolic main street in a town that looks as if it were airlifted from Vermont. As we turn in to our destination, an herb farm that serves weekend dinners in a converted barn, the city feels very, very far away.

It's been nearly a decade since Blue Hill at Stone Barns first motivated jaded Manhattanites to wangle reservations for "Farmer's Feasts" in its elegant rural dining room in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. -- and more than 40 years since Alice Waters popularized locally grown cuisine at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. In the time since, "farm to table" restaurants have exploded; airlines, chain restaurants, and even vending machines now boast locally sourced ingredients. But while it may come from a farm, you're usually still eating at a restaurant in town. Now, a growing number of farms are welcoming diners willing to take things one step further and make a pilgrimage back to the land to sample the harvest in its native habitat -- often with service that rivals four-star restaurants. Farm to table, meet table to farm.

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