Hundreds gathered this past weekend at Yowela Farms for the third annual Harvest Dinner and inaugural Harvest Weekend. Hosted by REAP Food Group and Dan Cornelius (Oneida, Great Lakes Indigenous Law Center – University of Wisconsin Law School) at his farm in Stoughton, WI, this event celebrated Wisconsin’s harvest and cultural diversity.
On Saturday, September 30th, guests were invited for a community celebration and educational workshops. This family friendly event featured farm tours, corn harvesting, corn braiding, masa and hominy demonstrations, a scavenger hunt, and more. Refreshments, including apple cider and a vibrant blueberry drink, were provided by Brix Cider, and distributed through the REAP Uproot Food Truck. Yusuf Bin-Rella, a UW-Madison chef, farmer, and founder of TradeRoots, a culinary collective of farmers and chefs with roots in Wisconsin and West Africa, prepared grass-fed brisket from Dan’s farm and Red Cliff lake trout for tacos.
On Sunday, October 1st, nearly 100 guests enjoyed an evening centered around themes of food sovereignty, education, and preserving Indigenous foodways. The afternoon started with farm tours and more corn braiding. Prior to dinner guests were treated to appetizers of black bean and roasted squash tamales featuring Meadowlark white dent corn by Jonathan Correa and Yowela Farms Johnnycakes by Kyle Julius.
The evening’s main event, a multi-course farm-to-table dinner, began with a Three Sisters (corn, bean, and squash) soup prepared by Dan. This was followed by Lake Superior whitefish with stone ground grits, foraged mushroom, sunflower, and citrus prepared by Yusuf. Yusuf also prepared the next dish which was a smoked goat curry with coconut, roasted pumpkin, millet, and microgreens. Elena Terry, a Ho-Chunk chef, and founder of Wild Bearies, prepared the final dish of bison and root vegetable skewers served on wild rice. Dessert was a squash cake with maple and sage cream, pepitas, and cranberries made by Morris Ramen co-owner and State Representative Francesca Hong and passed out to guests as they left.
The event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of dozens of volunteers who showed up early to prepare Dan’s farm for the weekend’s events and help the chefs prepare, plate, and serve their dishes.
A special thank you goes out to Madison Area Technical College for providing the space and helping prep for the dinner, including butchering Dan’s goats for Yusuf’s curry.
All proceeds from the event went to the Native Food Network and REAP Food Group.