You found us! The most dedicated farm-to-table restaurant in Southwestern Virginia. At The Harvest Table, we prefer to serve foods with a low carbon footprint. All our meats are pasture-raised and finished, and all of our seafood is wild and sustainably harvested from the Carolina and Virginia shores. In addition to the produce grown on our own Harvest Table Farm, we offer the products from over 50 regional farmers, gardeners and ranchers. Even our beer & wine menu is from local and regional sources, offering wines, beers, and hard ciders from Virginia.
Our mission is to promote, feature and celebrate the agriculture and crafting traditions of our beautiful region. In addition to our local-foods restaurant, we also have the Meadowview Farmers’ Guild General Store that carries food items and handmade goods from over 170 local craftspeople and artisans. We are located in a pair of renovated buildings on the old town square in Meadowview, VA.
Earlier this month another food-related epidemic was reported in the Midwest, primarily Texas, Nebraska and Iowa, but also with some cases right here in Virginia (1).The problem was a single-celled internal parasite, usually associated with contaminated water in tropical regions. Over 500 people were reported ill, with over 30 hospitalized (2).Did these people engage in some risky food-handling behavior? Not unless you consider eating in a chain restaurant to be a risky behavior. It seems that the common denominator was that these people had all eaten in one of two well-known chain restaurants. To make it more local, both of these restaurant chains have franchises located right down the road at exit 7. While initially the origin was unknown, eventually the outbreak was traced to the source of the pre-packaged lettuce served at these restaurants, all shipped from the same farm in Mexico (3).Not to put too fine a point on it here, but we’re saying that they are shipping a product that is 96% water, and pre-washed so they don’t have to wash it in the restaurants, from a country where it is recommended we don’t drink the water? Pardon me while I pause to consider this…
The incidence of food-related illness in the United States is not actually rare, estimated by the CDC to affect over 48 million people annually, with a resulting 128,000 hospitalized and 3000 deaths (4).The causes are diverse, from improper preparation, sanitation, handling, shipping etc., but a significant number of these illness outbreaks can be traced to the lack of individual attention inherent in having large-scale operations. When the amount of produce gets huge, it necessitates long-distance shipping of produce, and the problems can extend far and wide. We understand the logic behind such operations — consolidate the equipment, automate the handling, economize the purchasing scale, and outsource to another country where the labor is much cheaper. Industrializing food production works up to a point, but then the concomitant problems seem to recur (5).
At The Harvest Table we prefer to take a more unhurried approach and support a smaller, local scale of production. Small scales allow for our growers to be attentive to the rhythms of the season, and responsive to the needs of individual plots of lettuce, spinach, radicchio and other greens, grown specifically for the Harvest Table. We prefer to pay our growers a fair price for their work. Most of our greens are grown right here in Meadowview at out Harvest Table Farm, but we also get additional greens from River Valley Farm along the North Fork of the Holston River and from Abingdon Organics. These small operations are also easier on the land and our watershed. So come on in and order a fresh salad, or a salad pizza, knowing that the lettuce we serve was grown by someone we know, most likely our own farm manager, Sam. It was likely picked this morning and washed with water that came cascading out of our lush green mountains. Treated water, of course.
1. Origin of salad-linked cyclospora outbreak remains a mystery. http://www.denverpost.com/ci_23771675/origin-salad-linked-cyclospora-outbreak-remains-mystery
2. Cyclospora outbreak grows; Possible salad source still unknown. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57596805/cyclospora-outbreak-grows-possible-salad-source-still-unknown/
3. Salad mix from Mexican farm linked to Cyclospora outbreak. http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/gastrointestinal-infections/news/online/%7B60E9DEEA-2630-4ACD-8509-473FE1D98335%7D/Salad-mix-from-Mexican-farm-linked-to-Cyclospora-outbreak
Taylor Farms Halts Salad Mix Deliveries Due To Cyclospora Outbreak. http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1112921762/cyclospora-outbreak-salad-maker-cease-production-081313/
4. CDC Estimates of Foodborne Illness in the United States. http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/2011-foodborne-estimates.html
5. Recent Food Recalls: http://www.foodsafety.gov/recalls/recent/index.html
Come enjoy the best music our local area has to offer!
We feature a different musician each Wednesday evening.
We are blogging! Instead of our monthly newsletter, we will now present you with smaller, more manageable pieces of interesting and helpful information (we hope).
We have come to know many of you and consider you all as friends. It will be wonderful for us to be able to stay in touch with you all this way. Many of you do not have facebook and do not see our facebook updates, but all of you have internet access and can view this website. This way, we can let you all know what is happening with us.
We value the relationships we have developed here amongst the staff, with our farmers, our artisans and you, our friends. It is a wonderful place to be and not just because the food is great, and the shop smells amazing, and the staff is helpful and friendly… it’s because we all love where we are and what we are doing, and are proud to be able to share the delights of this bountiful region with you and with each other. It is a wonderful thing, and we look forward to making new friends and sharing the beauty of this region with even more people.
It’s going to be fun to keep you updated about our music schedule, menu changes, farm happenings, Community Night events, and give you some behind the scenes glimpses as well. We are excited to share things with you more often.
We are located in the old town square in the quaint little village of Meadowview, Virginia, an easy off exit 24 from I-81.
Lunch: Tuesday-Saturday 11:00 — 2:00
Dinner: Wednesday-Saturday 5:00 — 9:00
Sunday Brunch: 11:30— 2:30
Tuesday: 10:00 — 2:00
Wednesday– Saturday: 10:00 — 9:00
Sunday: 11:00 — 2:00