Meet Slow Food Denver Pioneer and Colorado Farmer Andrew Nowak at Community Table Farm’s Celebrate Local Dinner
The nature of Slow Food has opened millions of minds to the idea of supporting good, clean, and fair foods. In the past year, Andrew Nowak, a Slow Food leader and school garden specialist, took his passion to the next level, and integrated himself into the local food system. Now, he’s also a farmer.
Andrew Nowak, a culinary professional for over 30 years, moved to Colorado in 2000 with his wife, Lisa, and two kids. He landed a job as a paraprofessional in his neighborhood school, seeking to be more involved in the school system. While teaching 2nd grade reading, Nowak realized many of the books featured stories about food. These stories stirred up a lot of questions for his students, and reading about food led to cooking classes and then lessons about growing food. After leaving the school system, Nowak later decided to join the team at Slow Food Denver in 2001. He became the co-director of Slow Food Denver’s Seed-to-Table School Food Program, and developed programs such as Youth Farmer’s Markets and Garden to Cafeteria. Over the past 10 years, Andrew has supported farm to school programs for many school districts, supporting local procurement, scratch cooking and installation of salad bars.
In 2017, Andrew Nowak and his wife, Lisa, purchased a 17-acre farm in Longmont, Colorado, hoping to create a larger impact on local kids’ health by creating an inviting environment for families as a whole. In the first year of Community Table Farm’s establishment, Nowak secured a 20-member CSA, partnered with four local restaurants to provide them with weekly farm produce, and successfully grew several distinct varieties from Slow Food’s Ark of Taste catalog. They also planned and executed a handful of seasonal farm events—one of which is partnered alongside Slow Food Denver.
Although the Nowaks have hosted four Celebrate Local Campaign dinners in the past, this year will be the first that will feature harvests from Community Table Farm’s soils. The dinner will offer some appetizers to start, followed by a family-style meal, with gorgeous platters of grilled lamb from Sky Pilot farm, vegetable dishes, crisp beverage pairings, and plenty of food stories. Guests will also have the opportunity to adventure on a behind-the-scenes evening tour of the farm and mingle around a cozy campfire. “I think the dinner is both educational and celebratory,” says Nowak, who believes the dinner will be a platform to rejoice for a solid Colorado growing season and evoke ethical food thinking through storytelling and discussion.
“There’s a lot of opportunities to be a part of this farm,” Andrew Nowak invites us. The door’s wide open to all who seek homegrown food, fellowship, and grassroots food movements.
For tickets and more information about the Celebrate Local Farm Dinner at Community Table Farm on September 13th, visit https://www.twoparts.com/event/celebrate-local-farm-dinner-at-community-table-farm/.