We are excited not only to open the ‘Fork, but also to start this blog. This blog is all about food, beer, wine, Chef Hennington, our kitchen – and the experience of eating and being a part of our food community and promoting a local economy.
Let’s get started with the ideas of a ‘food community’ and ‘buying local.’
First, a food community is one where we know and understand the people who make our food. We can’t produce or make all our food – and the opportunity for excellence and enjoyment in food creates places like the ‘Fork.
While we have dependencies on each other for food, we can know where our food comes from, who produced it, who transformed it, and who prepared it. Part of this blog is not just to let you know Chef Hannington’s back ground, it provides a unique opportunity for us to form a food community.
Each month Chef will make posts here about all we are doing – about the farmers we are working with, about our local farmer’s market, about Norfork Beer, which we serve at the ‘Fork, about our wines. The choices we make are not just about amazing tastes. We make choices about community – and where we can – we buy local. Some things have to come from a distributor, and use the commercial food channels, and even there we seek to use local distributors, people in our community.
Why buy local? Well, when we buy $100 of product from a local business, and then again that business buys $100 locally, and then that business does the same, the economic value to the local economy is $300. If, instead, we buy our products from a major out of state company, the economic value to our community is just $100. There’s a tax on each sale. The local government, which builds our roads and sewer lines, and maintains our parks, is supported by that tax. Since more sales are occurring locally, the local government is getting more tax revenue – which means it can afford to provide the services necessary for our modern lives (clean water, sanitation), while keeping the tax rate down. If we can magnify this idea – and if everyone buys locally as much as possible -we can magnify the economic wealth of our community. And, we an even reduce our tax rate, and all pay less in taxes, while making more for ourselves.
Food community you say? Yep. While it starts with our farmer’s market, its so much more. It is about the local feed store. Its about the local hardware store. Its about the folks that grow mushrooms and corn and lettuce – all locally. Its about health. While there is a national trend towards organic, the reality is that locally we know who grows food using the safest methods and no or the fewest chemicals. We want the food on your plate to be health – and that’s what we’re about – health local food. Food from people you know.
When you visit the ‘Fork, ask your server about our farmers. Our dishes may have products from out of state (there is very little Tuna grown in Arkansas), but we also have an abundance of local products. We want you to not just enjoy the food because it is delicious – we want you to love to eat with us because the food is better for your health.