When more than 100 people meet for dinner in a park, it rarely ends with less than one barrel of trash. But that’s what happens at Lewiston’s Dinner in the Garden, an evening of local sustainable food, live music, art and community.The dinner is hosted by the Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History as a way to raise awareness about sustainable food sources. Some of the fruits and vegetables on this year’s menu come from the Lewiston Community garden where Jenifer Junior High School students have tended them since they were seedlings with this dinner in mind.
This year’s menu includes Margherita pizza, homemade tortillas, salsa, and dark chocolate zucchini brownies, says event organizer Angie Weiland.
“I can’t stress enough that dinner is by donation. This is about community. Some people give $50 and those who can’t donate a dime, we don’t care. This is about bringing people together to have a dinner family style. We just want to educate and enlighten,” says Weiland.
This year’s dinner won’t be at the garden at Modie Park where it started four years ago. It has moved to Pioneer Park because Modie, a nature conservancy, is no longer available for large events, Weiland says. Last year’s dinner drew 125 people.
The Katz Band will provide live music at Saturday’s picnic-style dinner in the grass. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets for seating. Lewiston’s Clearwater Canyon Cellars will sell wine. Plein air artists from around the region will paint the scene. Watercolors will be available for children to try out their plein air technique.
Lewiston restaurants concerned about sustainable practices will contribute some of this year’s dishes. This list includes Chef Al’s Campus Corner, Lunch Box Deli & BBQ, and Simple Eats. However, volunteers do the bulk of service and preparation, Weiland says. They also make sure leftovers are composted back to the community garden.
Table service for the dinner comes from the center’s Plate Project, which allows residents from across the region to borrow and return dishes for their own events. If attendees would like to donate dishes, linens, or silverware to the project, they can do so by bringing them to the dinner, using them for their meal, and leaving them with staff.
Donations for the dinner can be made at the park the night of the event or at the center during gallery hours, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. More information is available by contacting the center at (208) 792-2243.
if you go
What: Dinner in the Garden
When: 4-7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Pioneer Park, Lewiston
How Much: Donation