West Slope Supper Club hosts pop-up party with Field to Fork CSA on Oct. 19
West Slope Supper Club — created by Bin 707 Foodbar’s Josh and Jodi Niernberg, along with Robin Brown of West Slope Events — began as a dream between friends: Pop-up, food-focused parties to raise awareness and money for local produce and causes. Its concept is a melding of goals, too — food, fundraising and fun for Grand Valley residents and visitors alike.
And on Sunday, Oct. 19, West Slope Supper Club will host its third event — a “hoedown” themed harvest celebration at the Field to Fork CSA farm in Palisade (3526 Front St.). It’s not a sit-down dinner; rather it’s described as casual, and attendees are encouraged to wear their best farmers’ attire.
Tickets for the party cost $25 per person or $5 for children under 10. The dinner party is scheduled from 3:30-8 p.m., and it will include live music by a local band — We Speak Imaginese. Two gardening classes — the first at 10-11 a.m. and the next from 11 a.m. to noon — will be hosted on site before the party. Topics discussed will include water conservation and drop-tape irrigation, crop rotation and more.
“The whole idea of West Slope Supper Club is to promote the Grand Valley as a food destination,” said Brown, who manages a variety of events in the area, including the Grand Junction Farmers Market and downtown’s Art + Music Festival. “We’d like folks from the Front Range to come here. By hosting events — all different, small and big, and at different price points — we hope to create education and awareness.”
“We’re building relationships around food,” Jodi Niernberg added. “That’s the event concept as a whole, especially this one.”
The party is also a partnership with both Jessica and Scott Washkowiak, owner/operator of Field to Fork (an organic-produce grower), and Libby Collins of Mesa Land Trust to educate attendees about local conservation efforts.
“For over 30 years Mesa Land Trust has worked to conserve [Palisade’s] precious landscape, protecting more than 47 family farms and over 750 acres of prime fruit growing land,” Collins said. “In 2009, the Land Trust launched the Fruitlands Forever Initiative. This ambitious effort aims to conserve an additional 500 acres of prime farmland over five years.”
Funds raised at the party will not only support Mesa Land Trust’s conservation efforts regarding farmland; it will also “help kickstart a young farmers group locally,” Washkowiak confirmed. “It’s a welcoming event for our new farm, too. We’ve just been leasing farm land up until now, and we had the opportunity to purchase the neighbor farm,” which is a seven-acre orchard.
ABOUT THE FOOD
According to Josh Niernberg, executive chef of Grand Junction’s Bin 707, he will be setting up a mobile kitchen outside at Field to Fork’s farm. There he will be roasting three Colorado-sourced pigs, as well as creating food items from produce harvested from the farm during the party.
“We’re putting together the menu as we go, as the produce becomes available,” he explained, with a focus on seasonal flavors and calabicitas (made from squash).
Other members of Grand Valley’s culinary culture who will be helping out at the event include Nick Santos of Cafe Sol, plus Chris and Lisa Boyd of No Coast Sushi. Still others from 626 on Rood and Western Colorado Culinary College are expected to assist as well.
“There will be many vegetable options, including gluten free and vegetarian options, and it’s all based off tacos,” Josh Niernberg noted.
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