Spence Farm Foundation is changing how food is grown, prepared, and eaten. We are farmer-centered, connecting food professionals to sustainable farming and the land in a way that ties us together as a community.
Bread and Chef Camps
Hands-on classes such as Bread Camp and Chef Camp allow food professinals to gain a deeper understanding of how sustainable methods of production are undertaken while firmly putting a face to the future.
Students, culinary professionals, medical professionals, and eaters come into contact with this system understanding that they also have a responsibility and a role to change the system. Through these hands-on educational opportunities, they go forward to teach others, to have better methods of purchasing, and to pull back from their own daily experience to understand the impact of their decisions on the whole system.
What happens at Chef Camp?
Chef Camp starts with a tour of the farm highlighting the diversity of the land and the impact each area has on the economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability.
To a chef, the art of smell is a key factor to success. Chefs are surprised by the lack of negative odors on the farm. Pastured raised animals do not create the odors associated with animal confinement operations.
The sounds throughout the day indicate life and activity on the farm. This is highlighted by the night walk through the woods. The peace and tranquility that is part of life on the farm can only be fully experienced by sound.
Activities that promote the sense of touch like chores, butchering, foraging for meals, and participating in learning sessions taught by professionals in their field are a large part of the learning experience. This allows chefs to really appreciate and know the effort that it takes to be a farmer.
By side-by-side sampling of processed, conventional, organic, and responsibly produced farm fresh ingredients, chefs experience the real value of supporting local agriculture. This cumulates with chefs using the farm products to create and share masterpieces of their own creation for a collaborative meal.
Want to see what happens?
From the amber waves of grain to the clay oven, Spence Farm Foundation’s Bread Camp leads the way taking bakers and chefs on an experiential and social journey from farm to loaf. Campers are shown traditional methods of sourdough and sprouted grains to be used in artisan bread. The two-day class includes a tour of the mill, the farm, all while producing a variety of bread.
Experiential and Mindful Learning for Restaurant Groups
Restaurant managers, field leaders, and team directors have an opportunity to move pig pens in the field, enjoy a honey tasting, and learn more about the farm practices of a diversified farming system. Considering where food comes from and the hard work it requires to produce it characterizes the theme of “Mindful.”
Chefs partake in farm chores while at camp by harvesting produce for local restaurants. Discussions led by Travis, Meyer, and other local farmers further educate chefs about best practices and sustainability. A variety of tastings is included throughout camp—such as eggs, animal protein, milk, and honey—which help chefs differentiate conventional products from locally farmed, minimally produced products.
Spence Farm Foundation’s vision, commitment, and execution of its fundamental principles are creating a revolution in thought and a renaissance of good motives that can change not only health care but also the health of the planet. I am honored to be part of this visionary team: soil doctors, chefs, and the medical community! — John R. Principe, MD, Founder of WellBeingMD