Dig In! @ The Town Company – Summer Kicked Off in Style

Posted on June 25, 2024 by Alicia Alferman


On June 20th, the summer solstice, guests of Cultivate KC were invited to enjoy a four-course meal at The Town Company, prepared by Chefs Johnny and Helen Jo Leach and their incredible team. The meal, featuring all-local produce, was served in the stunning surroundings of The Town Company restaurant located inside the Hotel Kansas City. This was the first Dig In!@ event, which is a reimagining of Cultivate KC’s former annual Dig In! farm to table fundraiser at City Market, dating back to 2012.  

During the evening, guests were inspired by a speech from Biak Par, a recent graduate of the New Roots farm training and business incubation program. Participants in the New Roots program spend four years in our Juniper Gardens training program, building their farm business and honing their farming skills to fit their new environment.  

Biak Par shared her story, growing up the daughter of farmers in Myanmar and having to leave the country due to the military conflict brought on by an oppressive government. Biak Par and her husband fled to Malaysia and were eventually resettled to the US in 2013.

In Biak Par’s own words,

My motivation to farm comes from my mother and my father, who recently passed away. When I told them that I had joined a farmer training program, they were so happy and surprised. They were amazed that I had that opportunity to utilize my skill from my childhood in a new country. I know in the 21st century people think that if the parents are farmers, their children should be educated and always “better” than their parents, but I take pride in farming because it’s knowledge my parents were able to pass down to me. It was the most valuable asset that they gave to me. Some days when I’m really tired I think about how much my parents strived to support us and bring us to where we are today. My work is a tribute to my parents.”  

We can’t say it better than Biak Par. The impact of the work is both extremely personal and yet has greater implications for our community. Local, healthy food should be affordable and available to all.

If you also believe in this mission, please consider supporting Cultivate KC by making your tax-deductible gift to commemorate this special evening.