Published Feb 16, 2012

Farmer’s Table

By Tomoko Ogawa

PFI staff were invited to a wonderful meal at our member farmer Gary Guthrie’s home in Nevada on Monday. Last year, Gary initiated a generous new tradition to treat us to lunch after Cooperators’ Meeting.

He prepared the following grand menu, and all the food except for a few items (such as sugar, flour, salt, Parmesan cheese, Picket Fence cream…) came from his farm.

–  French bread (made from scratch!)
–  Gary’s signature Bolero carrot sticks
–  Pesto with basil, garlic, walnuts and Parmesan cheese
–  Peperonata (stewed peppers) with Carmen sweet peppers
–  Roasted leg of lam
–  Black Aztec corn polenta (with some sweet corn)
–  Rhubarb, strawberry and blueberry pie with Picket Fence whipped cream

There is always magic in Gary’s cooking. If you eat at his table, you’ll learn something. But there is no definite or authoritative teaching involved (what “good” food should be, what nutritional values we need to consider, etc.). Rather, because the food is so delicious and it is obvious a lot of thoughts and care were put into each dish, it inspires you to think and imagine. I remember one lunch that I had at Gary’s two summers ago. I was not doing very well that summer to the extent I didn’t have a good appetite (if you know how I’m almost always ready to eat, you know how serious it was). But after eating lunch at Gary’s house, which menu I still remember precisely, I felt a lot healthier physically and mentally. That meal reminded me of the saying that I think all the Japanese people know, “ishoku dogen,” which literally means food and medicine are of the same source.

Where did my mind travel this time after having this great lunch? I remembered how I started to be interested in agriculture because of my love for food and eating. While there are many reasons to work for better agriculture and food system, I think simple pleasure of eating can also play a powerful role. Lunch that Gary prepared for us reminded me once again that food can indeed speak to us.


Hearty lunch plate


“Guthrie portion”


PFI staff with Gary (How can you not smile when your stomach is filled with delicious food?)