Redefining "farm-fresh": Diners and farmers come together in Oregon and California

Green orbs of lettuce brighten the dark loam fieldsstretching west to California's State 1. A strip of ocean is justvisible in the coastal mist. And smack in the middle of the farm isa linen-covered banquet table with formal place settings for 100.Not your typical restaurant decor ― but you can't beat theambience.

Featuring local, organic ingredients, the dinner is one of adozen offered from now through fall at Northern California farms bya five-year-old program called Outstanding in the Field. It's thebrainchild of Jim Denevan of Gabriella Café in Santa Cruz,California, a chef who hopes to reconnect gourmet diners with thefarmers who feed them.

It's such a good idea that others have followed suit, includingPortland-based Plateand Pitchfork and Sand Rock FarmB&B in Aptos, California. Call it outdoor dining with afresh twist. Dinners from $60 per person.

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