A San Mateo County program operated by four agencies called “As Fresh As It Gets” is hosting its first-ever farm dinner at Long Branch Saloon and Farms south of Half Moon Bay from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. 

The program is known primarily for the awards it gives to businesses that serve local food and beverages, but the farm dinner is an effort to increase awareness about the program and its reach.

“We’re just trying to get the word out a little better than it’s been in the past,” said Juan Camero, San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau media and public relations manager. “It’s a big selling point for tourists, people trying to come here and visit. They love the fact you have local farms.”

“It’s a way to try to connect our local growers, local restaurant chefs and local businesses to our local agriculture,” said Agricultural Commissioner Fred Crowder. 

San Mateo County Farm Bureau Executive Director Jess Brown said the event is an opportunity for growers to promote local agriculture. Brown said the bureau had been discussing the idea of inviting the public to a dinner with locally sourced food for a few years. He and Camero hope it becomes an annual event. 

“There’s so many wonderful things happening in agriculture, and restaurants using local products,” Brown said. 

The event will feature an autumn-themed menu, with food primarily from the Coastside, and a bluegrass band called the Wildcat Mountain Ramblers. Attendees are encouraged to dress in “farm party attire,” and general admission tickets cost $100.

In addition to the farm dinner, the program is also starting a quarterly newsletter that will feature local food-related stories. 

As Fresh As It Gets started in 2006 as a multi-agency project to “promote San Mateo County as a world-class destination for culinary tourism, and to support the San Mateo County farmers, fishermen, vintners and brewers,” the website states. 

“For us, it’s just trying to get awareness on being a local culinary destination for visitors,” Camero said. “I just want to let everyone know it’s going to be a fun event.”

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