This is a reminder that our Farmers and Eaters Roundtable will be this Thursday January 17 at the AV Senior/Community Center at the southern end of Boonville.
The program for the evening is as follows:
5:30 — short Foodshed Group Quarterly Meeting
5:50 — short demonstration on growing and using roots (by Tim Ward from AV Community Farm)
6:00 — local food potluck (please bring a potluck dish and your own place settings)
7:00-8:30 — Farmers and Eaters Roundtable Discussion (facilitated by Brent Levin)
Please come for all or part of the evening.
In order to make for a brief Foodshed Quarterly Meeting, our various project leaders have submitted their written reports. If you would like to know what the AV Foodshed Group has been up to, please read on.
The AV Foodshed Steering Committee now consists of Barbara Goodell, Greg Krouse, Renee Wilson and Cindy Wilder. When we decided last year to go from monthly to quarterly meetings, we established a steering committee to make sure that our projects go forward and new projects are given consideration. The upcoming Farmers Roundtable is an example of a new project idea which grew from the steering committee. Greg and Renee are our newest members. Greg is very active in the AV Grange and joined us in order to foster more cooperation between the Foodshed and the Grange. Renee is new to our community as a member Anderson Valley Community Farm, so she brings new viewpoints and the all-important farming interest.
The Boonville Winter Market continues every Saturday, rain or shine, in front of the Boonville General Store, 10:00 — 12:30. We have had anywhere from one to seven vendors, but usually about three — four. This is an uncertified market, which means that anyone can come on down and sell their homegrown or homemade products. We especially need anyone who has too many greens, either salad or cooking, and would like to sell them to community members who don't grow in the winter. We almost always have a few dozen eggs, a variety of produce, fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir and sometimes wild mushrooms, olive oil and bread.
The Mendocino County Local Food Guide http://www.mendocinolocalfood.org is still being added to and continuing to build all of the time. It is great to see as farmers update their own pages and continue to update information on what is available on their farms, upload new photos/announcements etc.
All farmers and eaters are invited to log in to the site for their own use. As farmers, you will receive your own page to manage and keep updated with information/photos/announcements etc. Farmers can post events to the calendar and add items for buy/sell/trade etc. to the classifieds. Farmers are also encouraged to submit articles. Eaters, once logged in can post events to the calendar and list items for buy/sell/trade in the classifieds section . It is a very simple process to follow with clear directions to walk you through every step of the way. Once a person has logged in, you will receive permission from Torrey back usually within hours, if not the next day or two at the latest, then you will be ready to go on your own.
Cindy has been doing a wonderful job at keeping the calendar updated regularly. thank you!
The resources list is continuing to evolve and being added to and refined, so keep checking back in to see what's new. Coming very soon will be a Food Policy section under the “News” tab that will list relevent food policy updates on federal, state and local levels. We are also adding a list of Nurseries/Farm Supplies, a separate list of CSA's, and expanding a links page to other reference sites that are relevant to local food but may not be Mendocino County specific.
We are looking for someone to help us to gather, source, encourage people to write articles/stories related to food being grown here in Mendocino County. If this is something you think you would be interested in helping out with, you can contact Linda (email@example.com) and/or Torrey (Torrey@lemonfreshdesign.com)
We are going to be outreaching to new farmers in the next week or so. We are going to be sending out email and some snail mail letters, with some bookmarks included, to remind and inform “new” and “existing” farmers about the site, encouraging them to sign up/log in and manage their own pages.
If you know of anyone that is not on the site, but you think they should be, please help us spread the word and encourage them to do so, or let us know and we will add them to our outreach list if they are not already on it.
We are looking forward to continuing to build on the site and promoting it wherever and however we can. If you are interested to help us keep developing the site and helping to realize it's potential, we'd love to hear from you!
Thank you for eating local food and supporting local farms and farmers! Linda MacElwee and Torrey Douglass
The Anderson Valley Jr/Sr High School gardens continue to grow throughout the frigid fall and winter season. Garden projects continue with the After School Garden Club, the 8th grade Ag bio class, the grade 10 Health and Nutrition class and the weekly Harvest of the Month Program. Charlene will take on another role starting next semester (Feb 4th) teaching Nutrition Ed to students of both Jacob Bagnell and Liz Gonzalez. She is also working on an exciting new Herb Garden Design which will be located directly behind the cafeteria and be quite a prominent feature seen from Mountain View Rd.
Tara Lane has been continuing her work at the Elementary School Garden teaching G.E.N.E (Garden Enhanced Nutrition Education) and facilitating the Harvest of the Month Program there. Both Tara and Charlene are excited to join forces with Ukiah's Garden Project this year to design and expand the existing garden site at the Elementary School.
The future looks bright for school-grown food in Anderson Valley!
-- Charlene Rowland
AV Grateful Gleaners Program for AV and possibly Mendocino County
Last year I was attempting to coordinate with Susan Lightfoot a countywide gleaning effort. Due to some personal setbacks I could not focus or promote AV Gleaners.
This coming season we hope to organize AV Grateful Gleaners once again with a strong AV student volunteer base as well.
We would also like to work on a donation drop off box for excess perishable food. The Sr. Center, when I spoke with the last summer, said we might be able to use their location.
Another idea would be to get a fixed community apple press, possibly in the AV Sr. Center parking lot, for everyone to use. It would be built like the one they have in Elk (commercial size) with possibly a bike generator attachment or such. This way we could really promote harvesting fallow orchards and maybe make some jams/ jellies etc. to give to the schools as well. Help and input are greatly appreciated.
The Not-So-Simple Living Fair last July (the second annual) was another well-attended, successful event. After serious consideration, the NSSLF coordinating committee has decided to go for number three. This was a big decision because it is a lot of work for those who commit. One factor in favor of continuing is that the community really wants it. It will again be held the last weekend of July at the Fairgrounds in Boonville. The coordinating committee begins monthly meetings again this month.
C'mon Home to Eat in '12 reached out to all the AV restaurants, the Farmers' Market, caterers, and all eaters to fill a calendar with events at the schools, in restaurants, at the Farmers' Market (including a live demo on fermentation), farm tour, local potlucks, and a stated length of time to consciously practice eating locally at home. Susan Lightfoot from the Farm to Fork grant connected us with another NCO grant that had the money to be able to design and print the AV local calendar (the graphic design can be reused) in addition to several other printed items with our logo that can be used county-wide any year: a generic poster for C'mon Home to Eat in October, a small laminated sign for restaurants that indicates they serve local food, a small, laminated sign for stores saying they sell local food, and banners that announce a Local Food Event.
Susan Lightfoot had planned to include a farm tour during October for all chefs and caterers to the local farms to make connections, but decided that the timing would be better in early spring '13.
Through conversations with market owners we found that AV Market is now carrying Gowan's produce and seemed open to featuring more local products, Lemons continues with fresh fish and some local produce — and also seems open to more. Barbara is going to write an article interviewing the AV market owners (including Boont Berry) before next October. Maybe one on farm stands (Blue Meadow, Petit Teton, Brock, Gowans, and soon, the Hotel) should follow. The interviews could go on with CSAs, market gardens, the school garden, home gardens, etc.
It seems that interest and knowledge in growing, purchasing, and eating local food is growing. All the activities were well attended and appreciated. October is a bountiful month to demonstrate both preservation and eating-in-season techniques.
--Barbara Goodell and Charlene Rowland
AV Foodshed had a space at the Apple Tasting booth at the County Fair to put out info and examples of local food, email sign-ups for our mailing list, Food Guide, book marks, and live demonstrations of the new Food Guide website.
The Annual Holiday Dinner at the Grange, co-sponsored by the AV Foodshed Group and the AV Grange, continues to be a well-attended event which draws people from all parts of Anderson Valley. The volunteers who come forward year after year are what make this event happen. And the food is amazing! The turkeys and hams this year came from Anderson Valley Community Farm (formerly Boont Berry Community Farm) and the potatoes were from the Apple Farm, grown by Sophia Bates. The rest of the meal was potluck. We have a valley full of great cooks who know how to make local food taste delicious.
— Cindy Wilder