Happy Anniversary!

The Anderson Valley Foodshed is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year! As the importance of eating and producing local food grows incrementally, so do the hands-on activities of the Foodshed. The 9th annual C’mon Home to Eat will again feature a full month of community events in October to celebrate local food. All month there will be lunches, dinners, and other events that feature local food and camaraderie, including a farm tour, interviews of local food growers or sellers, cider pressing, gleaning, how-to- workshops, and an Eat Local Challenge. The calendar of the festivities will be posted later this week.

First, the challenge: Can you mostly eat and thrive on what is grown in AV or within 100 miles during the month of October? If you act on this intriguing challenge, the food you eat will be in season (or preserved), have its vitamins and nutrients intact, support the local economy, come from a known source, save packaging, use far less fossil fuel, and be delicious.

The hope is that after C’mon Home to Eat month you will be encouraged to extend your local focus throughout the year. To support eating locally all year long AV Foodshed has established 3rd-Sunday-of-the-month local food potlucks with how-to workshops on fermenting, vermiculture, seed saving, etc, usually at the Grange in Philo. This format changes in July for the annual Not So Simple Living Workshop on the 4th weekend in July where the how-to workshops last all weekend and the Saturday evening local food potluck is an event to be remembered. In December the AV Foodshed partners with the AV Solar Grange to host a community holiday dinner replete with local turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy and a fabulous array of potluck dishes.

AV Foodshed has an annual booth at the Fair in the Ag Building. Information about local food activities and events as well as hour-long Living Skills discussions and demonstrations on gardening tips, food preservation, fermenting, grape tasting, etc. are presented. Do-your-own Eat Local decals debuted this year on a jaunty cardboard manikin sporting an Eat Local T shirt, underwear, and hat.

The AV Foodshed has published two editions of the Mendocino County Food Guide, and a third edition is in the planning stages. The Food Guide features farms, ranches, stores, and farm stands where local products including meat, fish, and grain can be purchased, outlining what is available, the locations, hours of operation, and contact information. This information is also on the www.mendocinolocalfood.org website. The Connecting With Local Food series currently has 24 interviews of AV gardeners, farmers, markets, restaurants, and food stands that grow, sell, or serve local food. These interviews appear periodically in the AVA and are archived on the www.mendocinolocalfood.org website.

AV Foodshed has a table at the Boonville Farmers’ Market on the first Saturday of the month and makes its apple press available at the market each Saturday so people can bring their apples to make cider to drink, freeze, can, ferment or make into apple butter, syrup, or vinegar.

If you would like to know about upcoming activities or connect with others growing grain, beekeeping, collecting mushrooms, gleaning, tool sharing, etc. please email avfoodshed@gmail.com to receive the monthly calendar and weekly updates.

Check the AVA for weekly updates this month on the C’mon Home to Eat events, find a calendar of events in town, or go to the www.mendocinolocalfood.org website for encouragement to eat locally. How local can you go?

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