Certified American Grown hosted a record-breaking crowd during the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at Star Valley Flowers in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin on September 8.
Originally set for 150, the table grew to 175 and then to 200, breaking the previous record of 183 in Detroit in 2015.
“It really isn’t about the number of people,” explained Kasey Cronquist, Certified American Grown Administrator and emcee of the award-winning national dinner tour. “We really focus on our guest experience and have always wanted to keep the experience intimate, but we had a lot of demand and a willing farmer embraced the idea of ‘the more the merrier.’ So, it just kept growing and it all turned out beautifully.”
One guest commented, “even though there were 200 guests, it felt intimate. The setting could not have been lovelier and the weather was perfect.”
Of course, the floral-focused evening wouldn’t have been as magical without the incredible talent of Greg Campbell and Erick New of The Garden District. The dynamic duo created one of the most dramatic tablescapes we’ve ever seen, complete with beautiful pussy willow arches that covered the table and accented by the bittersweet berries that Star Valley Flowers is known for. Stunning fall-colored arrangements flowed down the entire length of the table.
The team at Driftless Cafe, lead by Chef Luke, did an outstanding job with the menu for the evening. And the response from attendees was outstanding, with praise for every single course. The main course was organic beef tenderloin provided by Organic Valley, one of the evening’s sponsors, and headquartered just down the road from Star Valley Flowers. The menu was paired beautifully with the wine provided by Geyser Peak.
It was a beautiful evening on the farm. The weather held and the sunset was picturesque. Diners were able to meet an American flower farmer, hear from the floral designers about their aesthetic and what makes designing with homegrown flowers special and converse with other flower lovers throughout a multiple-course meal.
Guest Laura M. shared, “The evening was so beautiful. I loved the chance to walk around the farm and hear some comments from John and Phil. We were so glad John allowed a few more people into the dinner. The lovely women I sat across from gave me a hug at the end of our evening. We sat down with strangers and left as friends.”
Guests left happy, arms full of flowers and enjoying the ever popular Field to Vase Dinner swag bag. It was a perfect early fall evening where 200 strangers became friends and the love of flowers sealed the deal.
Planning for 2019’s tour is underway. If you’d like to have your farm considered for the 2019 tour, please fill out the online application found here: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07efnf3qeqjle3mv0a/start