Orange Home Grown is one of my favorite local organizations. Based in Orange, California, the nonprofit builds community through food—with farming demonstrations, a vibrant farmers market, education on sustainable agriculture & environmentally-friendly lifestyles, and great events.

Last Friday, March 31st I attended one of these events: a Farm Dinner fundraiser with special guest Will Allen. Allen is the founder of Growing Power, a pioneering urban farming organization based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois. For more than twenty years, Growing Power has trained and empowered people of all backgrounds to understand where their food comes from and become involved in the process of growing and making it. Orange Home Grown exemplifies the type of community-building Allen advocates for, and the organization celebrated his visit with a beautiful dinner worthy of the company.

Chef Greg Daniels, friend of mine and beloved Executive Chef of Haven Gastropub in Orange, prepared the four-course meal with Haven’s Chef de Cuisine Landon Pulizzi and Chefs Carli Saavedra and Raya Belna of The Water Brewery and Anicca Organic Culinary in Costa Mesa. All of the dishes included ingredients sourced that day from the Orange Home Grown Education Farm. And the menu was complimented by beautiful custom-baked loaves from Dean Kim of OC Baking Company and Olive Oil from Terrace Hill.

The Farm Dinner, held at a beautiful historic home in Old Towne Orange, was an intimate backyard gathering, complete with live music by a student trio from local Chapman University. When Chef Greg stepped onto the back patio to ring the dinner bell inviting guests to sit down, the special evening felt very home grown indeed.

{Follow Anne Watson Photography on Twitter/Instagram @annewatsonphoto | Follow Orange Home Grown @orangehomegrown | Follow Will Allen’s Growing Power @growingpower}