by Kat Robinson
Seattle — June 29, 2010 — Today Toyota announced the 11 farmers markets selected to participate in the second annual nationwide Toyota Farm to Table Tour . The Tour travels to farmers markets across the country to showcase the connection between farmers, chefs, farmers markets and the communities they serve, and to give market shoppers the opportunity to experience Toyota’s hybrid vehicles.
At each stop on the tour, up to 12 of the area’s top chefs and farmers will be paired together to highlight the best of each market’s fresh offerings. The chefs will prepare bite-sized tastings for visitors to sample that highlight their partner farm’s ingredients while guests will have the opportunity to learn more about each market, the specialty farmers, the notable chefs, and ways to eat and shop more locally.
The 2010 Toyota Farm to Table Tour runs from July 10 to August 28:
The City Market — Kansas City, MO — Saturday, July 10
The River Market Farmers’ Market — Little Rock, AR — Saturday, July 17
The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market — Raleigh, NC — Wednesday, July 21
The Pepper Place Saturday Market — Birmingham, AL— Saturday, July 24
FRESHFARM Market, by the White House — Washington D.C. — Thursday, July 29
Market Square Farmers Market — Pittsburgh, PA — Thursday, August 5
The Chattanooga Market — Chattanooga, TN — Sunday, August 8
Rochester Downtown Farmers Market — Rochester, MN — Saturday, August 14
The Farmers Market Annex — Minneapolis, MN — Sunday, August 15
The Salt Lake City Downtown Farmers Market — Salt Lake City, UT— Saturday, August 21
The Red Stick Farmers Market — Baton Rouge, LA — Saturday, August 28
Tour Stop in Little Rock on July 17, 2010
This year’s second tour stop will be at The Little Rock Farmers’ Market in Little Rock, Arkansas on July 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
“The Little Rock Farmers’ Market is proud to have been selected as part of the 2010 Toyota Farm to Table Tour,” said Gretchen Hall of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, Managers of the River Market and Farmers’ Market. “This year marks the 36th anniversary of the Little Rock Farmers’ Market. Our vendors provide a variety of flavorful, farm fresh fruits and vegetables as well as other agricultural products. This tour will help to emphasize the connection between local farmers, consumers and Little Rock chefs which we hope will bring light to the many benefits the community can gain by supporting local farmers and in turn sustainable, greener living.”
The Little Rock showcase will feature 9 noted and award-winning local chefs, including:
Capi Peck — Capi’s and Trio’s
James Meadors — Fat Sam’s Louisiana Café
Tim Morton — Restaurant 1620
Mark Abernathy — Red Door and Loca Luna
Cynthia East — Pulaski Technical College Arkansas Culinary School
Jacob Peck — Forty Two, in the Clinton Presidential Center
Kathy Webb — Lilly’s Dim Sum Then Some
Jason Knapp — Big Rock Bistro
Donnie Ferneau — Ferneau
In addition to complimentary tastings, visitors who participate in the day’s activities will have the opportunity to select complimentary potted culinary herbs from the Highlander Hybrid Mobile Garden as well as enter for a chance to win a culinary trip to Santa Barbara for a special cooking and farmers market tour. At the Highlander Hybrid Mobile Garden, a Mobile Garden Herb Specialist will be on hand to pot the plants for visitors and answer general questions about gardening. All herb plants are sourced from local vendors at the market.
Market visitors will also have the chance to take a ride in a 2010 Prius, Highlander Hybrid or Camry Hybrid and take home a John Boos cutting board as a memento of the experience. In support of all the benefits the markets offer their communities, Toyota will also make a financial donation to the market. Throughout the tour Toyota has committed to using eco-friendly materials and will be purchasing carbon credits through TerraPass to offset the impact of the tour’s carbon footprint.
“The Toyota Farm to Table event at the Farmers’ Market is a great opportunity to meet farmers and chefs in Little Rock and is a good fit for our local climate,” said Capi Peck, chef and owner of Capi’s and Trio’s as well as founding member of the Arkansas Green Restaurant Alliance. “AGRA is committed to reducing our carbon footprint by becoming more “green” in our operations and one way of doing that is to support your local farmers who practice organic and sustainable agriculture. For spectators, it will be fun to taste the variety of wares that our local Little Rock chefs have to offer!”
“The Toyota Farm to Table Tour was created to celebrate farmers markets and the benefits they offer their communities while also showcasing Toyota’s extensive line of hybrid, fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles that give consumers options to choose a vehicle that complements their lifestyles,” said Keith Dahl, Toyota National Manager of Engagement Marketing. “Now in its second year, the tour provides Toyota the opportunity to connect with people who have made lifestyle choices such as driving hybrid vehicles, eating locally-grown food and shopping at farmers markets, while also providing the opportunity to directly give back to the communities where our customers live.”
New to the tour this year, in a further effort to support famers markets across the entire country, Toyota is also providing financial support to the Farmers Market Coalition, a national non-profit dedicated to strengthening farmers markets that serve as community assets while providing real income opportunities for farmers.
“The growth of farmers markets nationwide has helped support farmers, provide consumers with fresh, local produce and foster a sense of community within a shared public space,” said Sharon Yeago, President of the Farmers Market Coalition. “We are thrilled to partner with Toyota’s Farm to Table Tour this year to help bring awareness to the importance of farmers markets and the link between healthy eating and caring for the environment.”
To learn more about the Tour, visit www.farmtotabletour.com .