I have always loved food, I mean really LOVED food. I feel like I’ve also pretty much always known the difference between good food and bad food, but there came a time when I actually started paying attention. Wait, why does this tomato taste like Styrofoam when a couple of months ago, at the same restaurant, it melted in my mouth?
It wasn’t until I started my own garden that it began to dawn on me that there are seasons, and certain food grows in specific seasons. It’s so easy to forget this since we live in a day where our grocery stores are pretty much stocked year round because the items have been shipped there from faraway places. It would take another blog post to discuss what happens on that journey from the farm to our stores and why most of that produce is tasteless!
However, like me, it may not be until you’ve eaten a tomato from your garden or farmer’s market that you realize the difference and how amazing local food in season can be!
So, when I first started recognizing this seemingly simple truth, I started to research. Where can I get good food? I remember reading over and over again, “Get to know your farmer!” I was so frustrated! How am I supposed to meet my farmer?!! Even at the farmer’s market, if the actual farmer is even working their stand, it’s so busy and crowded and loud. And what do I ask them?
Have any of you ever felt this way too?
It was around this time that I stumbled upon the Slow Food USA website (Click here). I was immediately intrigued. Since childhood I’ve had an aversion to Fast Food, so Slow Food sounded like the opposite of that…..I’m listening. I checked out my local chapter, Slow Food Yolo (Click here). Since Yolo County is in the middle of farm land, Slow Food Yolo’s events seemed to center around just that, the local farmers!I went on a tour at The Cloverleaf Farms (Click here) and the farmer, Emma Torbert, showed us her crops, told us what it’s like to be a farmer, explained her irrigation challenges during a drought, taught us how to recognize and pick ripe fruit, and then sat down and ate peach crisp and homemade peach ice cream made with her peaches, that were picked THAT DAY! Side note….I have never tasted such perfect, juicy, sweet peaches in my life. Could. Not. Stop. Eating .Peaches!!!!
After this tour, I was super excited. I had met one of “my” farmers and she was really really cool!!! I saw the farm; I picked the fruit and ate it. It was 5 miles from my house. I wanted more!
The next tour I attended was at Henry’s Bullfrog Bees and PURE honey (Click here). We met the beekeeper and his family, we saw how they extracted the honey and he explained the business of bees and pollination. We toured their bee and butterfly flower garden and saw an educational hive that they take to schools. Turkovich Winery (Click here) and Winters Cheese Co (Click here) provided wine and cheese tasting and Henry’s family made gorgeous honey inspired appetizers. We all left with a complimentary mini jar of honey. Now, at the Farmer’s Market, I feel really good about purchasing Henry’s honey! I’ve met them and talked to them, I’ve been to their farm, I’ve seen their process, and even met a couple of the bees, all within 20 miles of my house!
These are just two examples of the many fun and educational events we did last year.
Are you wondering how you can get involved too?
I know, I know it’s totally exciting right? Here are some of the upcoming events we have planned for this year as well as some events where we are partnering with other great organizations that we believe in and support. Some of the dates are still pending. Please come back and check the calendar as the dates will be updated and linked to the calendar.
- Tour de cluck (Click here) 5/21
- Farm to College 6/2
- The Cloverleaf Farm (Click here) 6/25
- Tomato Festival (Click here) 7/16
- Hoes Down Harvest Festival (Click here) 10/1-10/2
- Indian Cooking and Story Telling with Meera Klein, author of My Mother’s Kitchen (Click here)