Monday, December 7, 2009

Farm Aid-Supportively Sustainable

There are many things in life that just don't measure up to our expectations.
The Farm Aid concert, press event and Homegrown Village are not some of those things.
After weeks of excited anticipation, many of the staff at Sappington Farmers Market, with family and friends, attended the all-day and on-into-the-night event and completely enjoyed every moment. Even my three-yr.-old granddaughter, seen in the picture, had a wonderful time for hours and hours.
Kickoff for the day was the press event with the four headliners, Willie
Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews.
They were joined by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, USDA's Kathleen Merrigan, Rural Crisis Center's Rhonda Perry, University of Missouri Extension's Mary Hendrickson, a young dairy farmer from Wisconsin-and me, (representing Sappington Farmers Market and Farm to Family Naturally). We were joined on stage by assorted Farm Aid staff and performers.
The rest of the day was spent very enjoyably, browsing the many interactive exhibits in the Homegrown Village. Randy and Russell Wood's Floating Farms exhibit was a big hit, as was the Missouri Beekeepers Association's observation hive. Adults and children alike enjoyed finding the queen in the hive. Worm races drew a big crowd, and in my seed-saving booth, we gave away thousands of packages of heirloom seeds from Baker Creek seeds.
The food was awesomely fresh, local and tasty. The offerings at the Sappington Farmers Market booth included local apples, caramel apples made with agave syrup, grilled corn (the line for that was seemingly endless), deviled eggs and delightful all-natural baked goods from the interns at St. Louis University's School of Dietitetics and Nutrition. Tom Strumolo from NY City made the trip just to be able to help us present all that good food. We are immensely grateful to him for sharing his experience and expertise with our novice team.
I finally managed to finish taking down the seed-saving booth well after dark, just in time to race to my seat next to my dear son who had made the trip from Memphis. Just as I sat down, John Mellencamp hit the stage and I was in music heaven for the next few hours. It was well past midnight when we made our tired way home. None of us will ever forget it.