Today was another rainy, windy day but it did not stop the hoards of people from attending our towns Fall Harvest Fest. We would of walked since it is only four or five streets over, but we drove due to the weather. The cars were lined up and down the entire street, both parking lots full, no where to park! Wow, this was pretty amazing! I eventually found a spot and we headed in.
By the front door was a man with a hand cranked cider press. It was kind of crowded so we decided to check it out later. A nice lady at the door told me where everything was going on and we chatted a little bit. Then we headed into the fray. Wow, wall to wall vendors. So much locally produced goodies as far as the eye could see. The canteen was serving up yummy local fare, there were booths talking about topics of interest such as community gardens, school edible gardens, composting and more.
A lady announced the class was starting for edible wild greens soon so I made a quick run through the market to get some things I wanted then we headed over. There was a children's activity room right next door. After we wrangled them in there, we went to the class, which was just starting.
The class was being presented by Tony Papadogiorgakis, a local man who originally came from the Isle of Crete in Greece. He had pretty extensive knowledge of edible wild greens and was very descriptive. I scribbled lots of notes in the booklet they gave us. We didn't stay for the whole class (about 45 minutes) because we could see it would take a long time, but I really learned a lot. I will not look at weeds the same again!
We tried to get the kids out of the activity room but they were having too much fun! They made tons of play dough sculptures, they played games, dug for potatoes, painted, read and so on. They were having a blast so Mark and I ended up browsing the market a little more. We saw some people we knew and picked up some more fruits and vegetables. I noticed a fellow local blogger was there, but I was too shy to introduce myself (I am an extremely shy, insecure person in real life. Plus I didn't want to feel like a stalker :) ).
Most exciting of all is I signed up to be part of the Tri-Country Local Food Network! I talked to someone there about it, telling them I don't grow or produce anything but I want to support local food as much as possible. She said that was great! They need people who are willing to give input, to give support and to help the network grow. I am really excited about it :). I figure if I am going to talk the talk, I better be ready to walk the walk. Food security and the future of local foods depends on communities for support.
So then we tried some apple cider and the kids got to take turns turning the apple cider press, which they thought was a blast.
We all left happy, having had a great time. I love the sense of community that I feel when we go to the farmers market. I love knowing where my food comes from and being able to talk to the people who grow it. They have more invested in the food they sell than the grocery store does and it is worth supporting.