Growing Fresh: Marathon Grill to add to its locally-sourced arsenal

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In our December and June issues we featured Marathon Grill’s urban farming initiative, Marathon Farm. Now, the Philly-wide restaurant chain has announced plans to expand its foray into the agricultural world, and begin sourcing more products from local farms in PA and NJ. Great news for Philadelphia residents seeking a wallet-friendly option for eats prepared using farm-fresh ingredients.

Specifically, Marathon will source milk, eggs, beef, and sausage from farms including, Koch’s Turkey Farm in PA, Sandy Ridge Farms in PA, Jennings Farm in NJ, Lancaster Farm Fresh in PA, and several others.

As mentioned earlier, the initiative to connect with local producers was kick-started by the debut of Marathon Farm in March. The Brewerytown-based grow spot came together with the help of volunteer work days hosted throughout March, and is now growing vegetables and herbs for Marathon’s locations, as well as a community farm stand. The farm is also collaborating with local churches and schools to host educational camps geared at teaching youth about urban agriculture.

Although it’s still getting its legs, Marathon Farm didn’t shy away from participating in Philly’s Beer Week. Yesterday, Farm Manager Adam Hill teamed up with Yards brew master Tom Kehoe to host one of the week’s “The Chef, The Brewer, and The Farmer” dinners. Centered around a pig roast, dishes featured sides inspired by the farm’s bounty served alongside brews selected by Kehoe.

Marathon’s locations will be updating their menus shortly to reflect new local ingredients. Planned additions include: Grass-Fed Philly Cheesesteak with Marathon homemade whiz, caramelized onions, roasted peppers, and sautéed mushrooms; Omelette & Salad featuring cage-free eggs with country ham, roasted peppers, caramelized onions, cheddar, field greens, and balsamic vinaigrette on a grilled baguette; and a Turkey and Grain Burger with free-range turkey, pickled red onions, lettuce, and tomato on a whole wheat bun.