BERLIN- Local officials approved plans for Habitat for Humanity of Worcester County to kick off a fundraising campaign with a farm to table dinner on Jefferson Street.
The Berlin Town Council on Monday approved a request from Habitat for Humanity to host a farm to table dinner June 3. The event will take place on the street adjacent to Habitat for Humanity’s new property at 21 Jefferson St.
“It’s essentially a kickoff to the fundraising for this project,” said Andrea Bowland, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Worcester County.
Bowland said that for the event, her organization planned to set up a long table in the street. Guests at the private, ticketed event would be seated and then treated to various courses, each of which would be accompanied by comments from the farmer responsible for supplying the food as well as from the chef who prepared it.
She said the farm to table concept came from the fact that Berlin was surrounded by farms and was home to several restaurants.
“We’d like to be able to showcase that,” Bowland said.
She said alcohol would be served at the event and that organizers were considering the possibility of doing wine pairings with the courses served.
The dinner is set for June 3, with a rain date of June 4, and would run from 5-8 p.m. Bowland said she was asking the town to close Jefferson Street from 2 -10 p.m. to allow for set-up and clean-up.
In addition to the meal, she said the event would feature live music and displays by local artists. Habitat for Humanity will also have a rendering on display of the building planned for 21 Jefferson St. While there is a house there now, the organization plans to tear it down and erect a mixed use building on the site. It would include retail space on the ground floor with apartments above. Habitat for Humanity would retain ownership of the retail space, leasing it—ideally to artists—to generate income, while the apartments would be sold.
Councilman Zack Tyndall praised the concept of a farm to table fundraiser.
“We have some great farmers in the area,” he said. “There are so many local resources. It’s a great event.”
Councilman Thom Gulyas asked if the event had to include alcohol. Bowland said it did.
“That’s how they make their money,” Mayor Gee Williams said.
Gulyas said he’d be happy to donate printing services to the event but said he had some issues alcohol being served at events in Berlin. The council voted 4-1, with Gulyas opposed, to approve the event.