Saturday, October 3, 2009

Catering to my Every Green Need

There's nothing quite like eating fresh produce from your garden. Having helped my parents tend their mostly organic garden while growing up, I can truly appreciate picking and eating pea pods in one action, unearthing potatoes with a hoe, and gathering blackberries from a tangle of bushes in our ditch.

As expected, eating produce from sources NOT laden with pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers - a.k.a. organic - is healthier for you and the earth. So, too, is organic meat preferred among greenies because the animals have not been pumped with growth hormones or antibiotics. With this in mind, Dan and I earnestly desired organic wedding fare, but our first choice - an entirely organic caterer - fell through. We then discovered a caterer,
Lee Johns , that held major promise in its openness to "current food trends. We quickly discovered that they were eager to make our menu largely green. Here's a list of the ways our food will be seasonal, local, and organic, as much as possible:
  • One of our three main entrees is vegetarian (with seasonal May veggies like beets and asparagus from local Wisconsin farms).
  • Our other entrees (chicken, Alaskan salmon) are considered some of the greener meat choices, even if ours aren't organic.
  • All entrees will utilize seasonal vegetables.
  • Salad will contain local artisanal lettuces and seasonal strawberries.

Other elements from our caterer will be green as well. Since I will have graduated from Harding by then, we will certainly have a selection of local beers and wines. Here's how our bar setup will be gentle on the environment:

  • fair trade wines and local microbrews (not difficult in a city with a "Milwaukee Brewers" baseball team)
  • recycled white cocktail napkins
  • wooden, not plastic, cocktail picks
  • no bottled water - a large jug of water will be brought to minimize plastic-bottle waste

Bottom line, Lee Johns has stressed that everything Dan and I have be eco-minded whenever feasible. This is bolded on the proposed menu:

"Client requests a green wedding; as much food as possible should be local and/or organic. Recycling is a must."

Additionally, leftover food from my wedding will not be tossed; Lee Johns employees will enjoy whatever is left.

Curiously, I just checked Lee Johns Web site, which contains a NEW statement that was not there when Dan and I first hired them:

"Wedding planners, Event Coordinators, Clients and Venues are seeking out businesses such as ours that encourage:

  • Green environmentally friendly events
  • Organic and sustainable foods, locally grown at family farms
  • Seasonal Wisconsin products purchased through local artisans
  • C.S.A. ( Community Supported Agriculture )
  • Fair Trade Business

Did Dan and I help Lee Johns realize that there is indeed a market for green menus? I'll have to ask when we have our December tasting. I'm already salivating about it.

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