Local Flavor in Franklin

New Homegrown Harvest Festival to showcase Virginia food and culture while benefitting community organizations
Photos courtesy of THE HUBS VINE, THE CROP FOUNDATION, RIVER ROAD FARM

The organizers behind a brand-new two-day festival, to be held in Franklin Oct. 7-8, 2023, hope to highlight “the best of Virginia cuisine, music and community.” The event is being put together by Sedley-based Hubs Peanuts, Commune—a farm-to-table restaurant with locations in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, and River Road Farm—a farm in Franklin specializing in ethically raised, grass-fed beef. Food featured at the festival will be handcrafted by some of the area’s best-known chefs.

Those include Harper Bradshaw of Harper’s Table in Suffolk, celebrated for its locally sourced Southern cuisine, and Kip Poole, who was featured on HBO’s The Big Brunch and runs the Norfolk-based CROP Foundation. Sedley native and chef Nic Hagen and select out-of-town guest chefs like Walter Bundy of Shagbark in Richmond and Ryan Ross, a private chef who was featured on Food Network’s Chopped, will also be a part of the event.

Captain Chris Ludford from Pleasure House Oysters will serve Lynnhaven oysters and provide education on sustainable aquaculture, and beverage providers include Michael Shaps Wineworks, Cirrus Vodka, Crunchy Hydration and others.

The Homegrown Harvest Festival will benefit Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore and The CROP Foundation to further their missions and create new opportunities for student involvement with the Foodbank’s new Western Tidewater Branch in Franklin.

“At the core of Homegrown Harvest is our love and concern for the community we’re so deeply a part of,” said Marshall Rabil, Hubs Peanuts director of sales and marketing, in a press release. “Bringing together locals and visitors to celebrate the bounty Virginia has to offer while raising funds, awareness and physical support to tackle hunger and provide culinary experiences for students is immensely meaningful to us.”

Area students from two local high school culinary programs will serve as volunteers for the festival with assistance from chefs and mentors from the Hubs, Commune and River Road Farms teams.

Photos courtesy of THE HUBS VINE, THE CROP FOUNDATION, RIVER ROAD FARM
Photos courtesy of THE HUBS VINE, THE CROP FOUNDATION, RIVER ROAD FARM

Homegrown Harvest FestivalEvent Schedule 2023

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7
Opening Kickoff Fish + Chicken Fry
10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Blackwater Park, Franklin
$50 per person. Fried chicken and fish from David Rabil and Elisha Barnes with fixings, live music from bluegrass band Common Ground and hiking around the park

The Harvest Reception 
6:30-9:30 p.m.
The Hubs Vine, Franklin
$100 per person. Featuring the best of Virginia cuisine with multiple food stations and bites, wine, beer and cocktails with live music from some of the area’s best

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8
Franklin Rising Brunch
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
River Road Farm, Franklin
$100 per person. A group kayak paddle to the venue leaving at 9 a.m. is available from Barrett’s Landing in Franklin. Kayaks can be rented through Blackwater Outfitters and Nottoway River Guides or guests can bring their own. The brunch will feature a seated three-course open fire meal with specialty cocktails. Tickets include entry to Music in the Country.

Music in the Country
1-5 p.m. River Road Farm
$35 per person
Guests can look forward to a family-friendly event with local food trucks and live music from local artists.

All-inclusive weekend tickets are $225 per person.

Learn more at tinyurl.com/HHFestVA.

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