Most of the diners, the ones who could spend $190 on a five-course lunch, weren’t from around here.

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Neither were the tattooed and pierced industry pros who prepared the meal and brewed the beer and staged the event last week at Joann Beasley’s farm 5 miles east of Brooksville.

Outstanding in the Field, a Santa Cruz, Calif., company that bills itself as a "restaurant without walls," had set up a long table laid with white linens and wine glasses between rows of neatly tended chard and mustard greens.

Joshua Garman of Hidden Springs Ale Works in Tampa poured Deja Moo Stout, a dark beer slightly sweetened with lactose, and gose, a variety of sour beer, flavored with raspberry and lemon.

Ferrell Alvarez, the acclaimed chef of Tampa’s Rooster & the Till restaurant, prepared plates of goat’s milk ricotta topped with dates and quinoa.

The main course would be braised beef shank and garlic bone marrow.

The appetizers drew as many oohs and aahs at the event’s sun-drenched, live oak-rimmed setting.

"It’s ridiculous," Debra Murray, 62, a jewelry designer from Clearwater, said as she finished off a tiny wooden bowl of cobia ceviche.

But part of the menu did come from very close by — the baby kale from Beasley’s farm that topped the ricotta dish — and "a pretty vast majority" of the other food was sourced within a few hours’ drive, Alvarez said, including grass-fed beef from near Ocala, bread from Tampa and chorizo sausage from Sarasota.

Also, the lessons of the event definitely apply to Hernando.

Though eating local can be less a principle than a sales scam — as documented last year by the Tampa Bay Times’ series Farm to Fable — nothing can beat a meal with ingredients freshly harvested from nearby fields.

And there’s a market for people who do local right, which is why Outstanding in the Field chose Beas­ley as a host for one of the 100 or so meals it stages every year — from coast-to-coast and beyond, to Hawaii and Argentina — and Alvarez as the chef.

In fact, seeing the dishes taking shape in the popup kitchen under tents next to the table, and considering the price diners were willing to pay hd porno for them, it was difficult to not ask why more people haven’t signed up for this mission — why, in particular, more of the rich land on Hernando’s east side isn’t turning out such greens and baby potatoes and eggplant.

Because "it’s not easy," Alvarez said.

No, it’s not, Beasley said.

There are crops for every season — squash and beans and turnips in the spring, okra in the summer, greens in the winter.

She plants at different times, which means she always has fresh vegetables available, which also means there’s always harvesting to do, harvesting that this time of year includes washing her greens and gathering them in bunches for sale at her farm or at one of her regular outlets, including the Hernando County Farmers Market held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays in the parking lot at Rural King on U.S. 19 in Spring Hill.

"I work every day," Beasley said. "I’m lucky if I have a few hours of downtime on Wednesdays."

The good news is that you don’t need to pay $190 to enjoy her food. She sells her pesticide-free produce — supplemented by tomatoes and peppers bought from farmers farther south — in a stand at her farm that is open Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And on most of those days, she offers prepacked cardboard boxes of vegetables for $10.

You won’t get a fancy table setting or gourmet food for that price, but you do get the same peaceful view of the oaks and antique tractors and her crops. You get fresh, local vegetables and the chance to sit under the metal awning in front the produce stand and shoot the breeze with Beasley.

If you can catch her when she’s not working.

Contact Dan DeWitt at, Follow @ddewitttimes.

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