Woodland has a proud farming history. Dating back to the 1850s, European settlers had a vision for this rich agricultural region. Their dream and dreams of 21st-century Woodland survived to embrace the second annual alfresco Dinner on Main. Bidding summer adieu, harvest season and autumnal riches arrived. Hundreds of friends, families and neighbors gathered to celebrate Historic Woodland’s resurgence and its agricultural legacy: past, present and future.
This fête was made possible through the generosity of local farmers, city leaders, businesses and community collaboration. Two years as title sponsor, Tri Counties Bank’s commitment to the community gathering is inspiring. Founded by agri-business people, it was a natural fit.
“With the dinner (literally) at our front door, there simply was no way we couldn’t be involved,” said Cyndi Blickle, Vice President/Business and Community Development, Tri Counties Bank. “It’s an opportunity to commemorate our heritage, the harvest, local bounty and everything that agriculture represents to Woodland and our region. When you see the table on Main Street, it just takes your breath away!”
Bright People Foods had outgrown their Bay Area facility. After a nationwide search, two years ago they became a new Woodland neighbor. Dedicated to developing and marketing foods that sustain the earth, the Central Valley’s agricultural heartland proved to be an ideal location.
“We really like the values of Yolo County. People care for each other and take pride in what they do. It felt like coming home,” remarked Mike Vinnicombe, Founder, Bright People Foods. “Downtown Woodland is delightful. There are so many positive transformations; everything’s being done just right and setting the tone for the future. We’re proud to be part of this great coming out for the city.”
All the best, finest and most delicious local ingredients took center stage for Woodland's Dinner on Main. Behind the scenes, Executive Chef John Gamboni, Morgan’s on Main, along with a cast of Woodland restaurateurs and volunteers orchestrated and performed a culinary dance like no other feeding 500 devotees.
“As soon we learned about the dinner, Morgan’s was all in! It is community. Supporting this fantastic event is easy and fun, too,” John said. “Is it a challenge? Yes. But we were drawn in. This year we’ve raised the bar. We’ll be roasting Yolo County Berkshire Hogs and chicken over live flame using locally-sourced almond and oak. “
John concedes it’s nice to see things evolve. “When I arrived in Woodland, downtown was really quiet and limited. Now there’s a diversity of options that completes the downtown vibe. Bringing awareness to what’s sourced locally is a huge, huge part of this community. We use and source what we can – truly wonderful products. There’s a difference and it’s obvious.”
Whether it’s a gathering of 500 friends and family or the simpler side of small town living, there’s a lot of Woodland pride –as much before as there is today. Farm to table is not new. The earliest inhabitants of Yolo County, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, were the first gatherers of local and seasonal harvests. Land stewards, they cherished natural resources, doing the best thing for the land in a respectful and vital way. Today, a very modern tribe with present-day resources, they have figured out what grows best and where. The Wintun values of land stewardship are truly the basis of farm-to-fork and believing “if you take care of the land, the land will take care of you.”
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