Last weekend I tabled with From Scratch Club as we co-presented the Homegrown Village Skills Tent at FarmAid. I don't even know how I ended up in such an incredible situation. When I look back on the past few years, I look at the facts and I still pinch myself sometimes that I get to meet and know such great people doing so much good in the world of local foods. Through FSC, I've interviewed farmers and cook book authors and regular home cooks for our podcast. I've met dozens of awesome peeps at our local food swaps. I chat with people throughout the country through our online book club. And now I can say that I've sort of shared billing at FarmAid with the likes of Neil Young and Willie Nelson. All because I like eating, and I like eating well.
It's a natural interest, is it not? Everyone eats. Everyone needs food to survive. So why not start to know more about where your food comes from? Find out who grows it and how. Try your hand at cooking, even if it's not your passion. Build your confidence in the kitchen with a few simple recipes- those are often the best ones anyway. Bake a loaf of bread. Put a pot of Sunday Soup on the stove. Learn how to can your own jam or tomato sauce. Dehydrate a tray of hot peppers for the winter. You don't have to be fancy, you just need to start somewhere, when you have the moment.
Because everyone eats and everyone needs food to survive, it seems like an obvious rallying point for folks to come together. This past weekend was an awesome reminder of how food can bring people together in the best ways. At FarmAid, folks of every type joined in to support local food systems and farms. We were pleasantly surprised at the number of people who stopped by the Homegrown Village and Skills Tent with genuine interest in our demos and classes. They asked great questions, shared tips and stories of their own and helped raise consciousness and inspire those around them. We figured most people would ignore the educational and informational tents in favor of the beer stands and the epic musical lineup. (Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Willie Nelson and surprise guest Pete Seeger just to name a few of the headliners.)
Then on Sunday, From Scratch Club held our September food swap in Troy. Maybe I was just running on adrenaline at that point, but I was blissed out. There were regular swappers who have become dear friends and new, excited faces and I was so so grateful to be among the organizers of this rad food community. Christina and I didn't even bring anything to swap, but we still left with goodies generously given to us by other swappers. They are the kindest and the best and so inspirational.
Here's to a great foodie weekend! In between the food love, I also finished the longest run of my life and thus successfully completed the peak training week for my first-ever marathon. If there's anything that makes you appreciate good food even more than usual, it's running twenty-some-odd miles. More about that in the coming weeks.
View more photos from the Homegrown Village at Homegrown.org's album or From Scratch Club's Facebook page. More swap photos at the FSC Swappers Facebook page.