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Dinner at the Vines

October 10, 2021 at 9:19 a.m.

The Arkansas 4-H Center (now called The Vines Center) in Ferndale, opened its doors in 1980, the year I started work. The first event was a retirement party for then director of extension Mr. Bates. Since everything was so new, the Pulaski County extension staff were the servers at the meal. Fast forward 40 years, and two of those "new" staff members are now retired,

but still serving and helping set up!

The celebration for 40 years of the center, a fund raising event was planned for last year. Due to Covid, instead of a kick-off event, it turned into a culminating event, and what an event it was.

Dinner at the Vines was the title of this farm to table dinner,

complete with silent auction.

The event started with a fabulous garden party at the Garden at the Vines,

a Pulaski County Master Gardener project. The MG volunteer team who runs the garden,

outdid themselves, showcasing the MG program in fine form. The vegetables and flowers were manicured to perfection,

the beehives were buzzing and the 200 attendees got a taste of what the MG volunteer program is all about--in more ways than one.

More Pulaski County MG volunteers congregated in the afternoon to make all the appetizers

--all donated and grown in Arkansas gardens. From tomato caprese on a stick, to edamame humus with vegetables,

and ending with cucumber rounds topped with pulled pork and tomato jam,

they were delicious and nutritious. Rock Town Distillery created a signature cocktail--The Secret Garden with strawberry lemonade and lemon and basil vodkas.

It was the hit of the party!

Golf carts carted folks up and back from the garden to the dinner. Dinner was served al fresco, under the stars outside.

A beautiful setting. It was great to see so many people coming together to honor 4-H and the 4-H center. The team who put it together worked long and hard, and it showed. I am sure Mr. & Mrs. C. A. Vines were smiling down from above during the celebration! Hopefully it will be an annual event.

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