Farmer to Table dinner raises money for local farmers market

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FAYETTE - The Columbia Farmers Market and Blue Bell Farm partnered to host the second annual Farm to Table dinner Thursday evening.

Columbia Farmers Market Manager Corinna Smith said a rainy growing season hurt summer crops, and delayed the dinner, which was held last year in June.

"We are having it later this year to allow for a better variety in foods," Smith said. "During our usual market, we saw a shortage in summer crops and eggs, but tonight's event won't see any shortages."

The market's operational costs are mostly covered by membership dues. The dinner helps cover the remainder of the costs and supplements a grant to help with programming.

Dan Kuebler, who owns The Salad Garden in Ashland and is a donor for the dinner, as well as usual vendor at the market, runs an organic farm.

In addition to building community and showcasing local farms and businesses, Kuebler said he thinks the event will bring out a younger demographic and show the difference in taste with local foods.

This year's dinner proceeds will go toward the market's Good Food Detectives program. The program was started this month and provides students with "Munch Money" that they can use to buy produce at the market.