When you venture off the beaten path into the rugged roads of Felanitx’s countryside, you know you’re in for a truly rural experience. It’s a warm autumn afternoon, and we’re heading to the Farm-to-Table clambake event.
Arriving at the farmhouse, there’s a sense of camaraderie in the air. Children run around with boundless energy, adults engage in animated conversations while sipping kombucha and organic wine, and some even pitch in to help with harvesting and food preparations. The Farm-to-Table events are a testament to the enduring appeal of a simple idea that has blossomed into a thriving and heartwarming community experience. But how did this successful concept come into being?
From Gardening to Gastronomy
The seed of an idea began when Andy started dabbling in gardening at their Bunyola home and, one day, having a glut of veggies, decided to host a dinner for friends. Little did he know that this simple idea would evolve into a thriving events business. Working from home as a chef was a dream come true for Andy and his growing family, and it harmonised perfectly with the idea of running an independent and self-sufficient farm. After two seasons, they were producing around 50 percent of the produce for their ‘Farm-to-Table’ events, but they were eager to scale up. They found a larger property in Felanitx and set out to transform the abandoned and overgrown land. While Gosia returned to her IT career, Andy continued to develop the concept, but their dream of both working from home together had finally become a reality.
Today, Farm-to-Table hosts events twice a week during the summer, as well as private gatherings. During the off-season, they reduce the frequency to once or twice a month, with their recent barn conversion offering a warm and cosy atmosphere for dining indoors. Andy proudly shares, “Everyone gets involved, and the whole family is welcome. Children can run around or lend a hand with harvesting and planting.” He points to some enthusiastic kids he’s just sent off with seeds, adding, “Before, they were harvesting the veggies that are cooking on the fire right now.”
Farm-fresh and organic
Their abundant organic garden thrives with the help of manure and their own composting, eschewing the use of pesticides. “Instead, we have ducks,” Andy smiles. “They are trained like sheep; we can move them around the fields, and they eat all the slugs and bugs.” Centuries of poor agricultural practices and soil quality on Mallorca make farming a formidable challenge. However, Andy proudly notes that they are adapting and succeeding. Okra, African and Asian aubergines, and other resilient vegetables take centre stage depending on the season.
On this particular day, a clambake with a seafood extravaganza is being prepared in the ground beneath a fire layered with hot rocks, seaweed, and plants, featuring certified sustainable ingredients sourced from a local fisherman in Felanitx. Everything else is produced right on the farm, from vinegar and miso to olive oil, which Andy presses from his own olives at the local shared press.
Before we let him get back to cooking and hosting duties he shares some final words: “I’m extremely happy with where we’re going, and each year, there’s huge progress. There are always ups and downs; we just had our greenhouse destroyed by bad weather, and we lost our cornfield, but these are the challenges you face.” His unwavering passion is evident, and it’s clear that he is precisely where he wants to be.
Text by Ché Miller | Photos by Sara Savage