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Hosting a harvest garden potluck party

By RST Brands
September 21, 2014

Fall is a time to celebrate the harvest and gather with friends and family. The weather is still nice enough tocomfortably sit outdoors (the crisp air and colorful leaves are definitely a draw), so why not host a party in your backyard? If you have a garden full of tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, etc., then you have many of the ingredients you'll need to cater to a bunch of diners. However, we much prefer the idea of a potluck! Thanksgiving is coming up, and you can get a head start on the sharing spirit of the season. Here are our tips for making a garden potluck party a success:

Plan your menu
Because you'll be hosting your potluck during fall, you may want to stick to seasonal foods. Turn to your garden for some inspiration - the food that's in season will be right at your fingertips, no trip to the grocery store required! Ingredients like squash, apples, potatoes and greens will all be ready to pick. Thoughyou won't be preparing all the food on your own, you should inform your guests of your autumnal theme. Consider sending invitations to your friends and family that include a note about food. Lay out your plan for a harvest meal and ask each person to bring a different course (you don't want to end up with 10 desserts and one entree).

Spread the food
Designate a spot in your backyard where you'll keep all the amazing dishes. Depending on how many people RSVPed with a yes, you mayneed a large or just a small table to display the meal. The Deco Nine-Piece Dining Set is a safe bet, as it's long enough to hold plenty of food. Line up plates on either end of the table so guests can form two lines when getting their food. As your guests arrive, direct them to where they should place their dishes.

Create a grill station
Will you be cooking a few dishes during the party? Doing so keeps everything nice and hot, so you may consider including a grill station in your pot luck. That way, you and your guests can fire up food that will taste best fresh off the grill. You can set this up near the food table so you can put piping hot entrees right on the serving surface.

Provide seating
No matter how many people are attending your potluck, you want to have plenty of space to accommodate them. That includes outdoor dining sets and sectionals. Before and after the meal, guests may want to sit down to mingle, and sofas can make that happen- not to mention they're a cozy touch to your outdoor autumnal space. Before you decide which sets you'll use, get a final head count. Then arrange your furniture to accommodateparty traffic flow - keep open lanes between furniture groupings.

Decorate your yard
The harvest theme may be apparent in your food, but you can support it in your decor too! Add throw pillows and blankets to your outdoor sectionals that feature fall colors, such as red, burnt orange, mossy green and gold. You can even decorate with bales of hay, corn stalksand pumpkins.