In search of a local farm for Johns Hopkins University students to visit and get a firsthand sense of what goes into growing food, Bon Appétit Marketing Manager Victoria McGrath had an out-of-left-field idea for an event that could include the students at another nearby campus.
With lots of logistical help from their clients, the Bon Appétit teams at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and St. Timothy’s School, a private high school for girls in nearby Stevenson, MD, joined forces to put on a very special tour and picnic at St. Timothy’s own Redlands Farm. (Johns Hopkins Resident District Manager Abdel Anane was temporarily overseeing both locations for Bon Appétit.)
Redlands Farm Director Brooks Binau walked the Johns Hopkins students, Johns Hopkins Senior Manager of Dining Programs Ian Magowan, and Dining Programs Coordinator Stephanie Sufczynski through the farm and highlighted its sustainable practices, explaining that the Redlands Farm grows produce for campus dining and supports learning opportunities for students, emphasizing small-scale, sustainable production. The farm also boasts a honeybee operation, a culinary herb garden, and heritage laying hens. While many farms enjoy bumper crops in the summer, Redlands Farm tries to plan to harvest the majority of its crops during the school year, when students are there to enjoy them.
After the tour, students were invited to enjoy peak farm produce at a family-style picnic, joined by St. Timothy’s Head of School Randy Stevens. St. Timothy’s students gave a presentation about how each menu item to be featured on that day’s lunch was sourced from the land they were touring. On the menu from Hopkins Campus Executive Chef Philippe Chin and Chef/Manager Lenord Washington: fried local Murray’s chicken with honey glaze, buffalo-cauliflower “steaks,” cucumber and tomato salad with sage vinaigrette, red-skinned potato salad, summer squash and roasted pumpkin medley with pumpkin seeds, and local apple cider.
The students were grateful for this inside look into how farmers grow and harvest seasonal crops, especially in their local community. Their collaboration culminated in an inspiring, educational, and all-around delicious event.
Submitted by Victoria McGrath, Marketing Manager