“Fresh” is the way people want to eat today. Fresh produce enhances both the health benefits of cuisine and the pleasure of eating it. At Willow Valley, surrounded by Lancaster’s rich farmland, Life Lived Forward is pursued for residents’ nutritional needs and culinary delights through an innovative farm-to-table program.
For more than 10 years, Willow Valley has maintained a relationship with a superior local corn farmer, who provides seasonally crisp, delicious, nutritious golden corn. In 2012, the communities expanded its local sourcing of produce to include tomato varieties. As the program led to an abundance of healthy menu options, increased quality of produce, and higher resident satisfaction, Willow Valley Communities Culinary Services began to creatively explore expanded local produce ingredients in 2013.
After a “farm hopping” expedition in early spring to tour and select the best providers, Willow Valley Communities is proud to now work directly with five different local farmers. The new farming partners were even invited to the communities to introduce them to the people who would enjoy their produce and how it was showcased on the salad bars and featured in menus.
The Clubhouse, with its Bistro called “Local Table” features locally sourced produce at the center of its innovative menu. Everyone can experience what supremely fresh, local ingredients bring to the table.
Willow Valley is proud to recognize that “fresh is best” for community members. Additionally, great importance is placed on sustainability and the support of local farmers. This program has already been so successful and well received by residents that plans are underway to develop even more seasonal menus based around crop availability and harvest seasons, taking full advantage of local produce at its peak.
In addition, this spring Willow Valley team members are invited to participate in our community supported agriculture program. The 28 week program offers fresh organic, local produce that members can pick up weekly for making meals at home.