LITCHFIELD — On August 3, beneath two large white tents pitched in the meadow of Arethusa Farm, butting up to a thinly separated pasture, a crowd gathered just before the skies opened to thunder bursts and a downpour — a touch of drama for one of the most talked about local farms.

George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis, who might be thought of as “gentlemen farmers,” but are more associated with pricey designer shoes and an Italian restaurant in the heart of Bantam, proved their commitment to their resurrected dairy farm and now, on-site farm stand, with hands-on involvement and by hosting the largest local initiative to raise funds to accelerate the growth of sustainable family farms in Litchfield county.

The Farmer’s Table began in 2011 at Warren Farm as a way to showcase the annual harvest from Litchfield County farms and start a conversation about the impact and importance of local food, with members of the community. At a sit-down dinner, area farmers and chefs showcased seasonal produce and products. After that first successful gathering, the event became an annual program, and in 2015, Litchfield-based nonprofit Partners for Sustainable Healthy Communities, Inc. joined the effort to promote the importance of sustainable agriculture, local food and active, healthy lifestyles in the communities of Northwest Connecticut.

When the thunder and deluge subsided during the event, a large number of the crowd walked outside the tent to capture the rainbow and frolicking cows on their cell phones, returned to watch a video produced for Arethusa Farms, then heeded the dinner bell for the main event.

Contributing chefs included Dan Magill (Al Tavolo), Brendan Martin (GW Tavern), Samantha Tilley (Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar), Denise Raap (The Village Restaurant) and Roy Khalil (Marketplace Tavern in the old jail).

For details on Arethusa farm stand, visit www.arethusafarm.com/gardens/, call 860-567-8270 or email cameron@arethusafarm.com. Hours are Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about Partners for Sustainable Healthy Communities, visit www.shc-ct.org/farmers-table.

Connecticut Media Group