Our annual conference was last weekend and yes, I planned and implemented the entire thing....with a little, emphasis on little, help from the men. Thankfully, another woman was recently elected to the Board, FARM GIRL POWER!
It was a fantastic, informative, and rejuvenating (well, mentally, not physically) weekend. Just like every other year after a farmers' market conference, I spend every day of the next week out planning and working in my garden or perusing catalogs and ordering my seeds. A big shout out to the incredible Seed Savers Exchange, an organization that saves and shares the heirloom seeds of our garden heritage, forming a living legacy that can be passed down through generations. Check them out.
The highlight of the entire weekend for me was meeting the extraordinary Deborah Madison. Yes, I am in awe of this woman. She was everything and nothing I expected. I expected a celebrated chef, local foods advocate, author of 11 cookbooks, former farmers market manager, and the founding chef of San Francisco’s Greens restaurant. What I did not expect was for her to be so down to earth, warm and welcoming, to have a kind spirit and radiate such health, beauty, and class.
She and her cutie-patootie husband Patrick joined us for our board dinner (which was delicious thanks to Chef Lee Richardson of Ashley's at the Capitol Hotel) and she was immediately supportive and enthusiastic about all we are doing for local farmers and markets in our state. On Friday, she spoke at our conference and was full of wisdom and ideas leaving all the attendees wanting more. That evening was a Farm to Table Dinner with a book signing at The Peabody.
I got over to The Peabody and visited with a few people, then I wandered over to her book signing table. She welcomed me as if we had been friends for life. I purchased her book, Local Flavors which I HIGHLY recommend and before I walked off she asked if she could sit with me at dinner, yes at the event she was speaking at. Um, yea!
There were two tables full of farmers amidst the crowd of attendees, yes, we were the ones wearing cowboy boots, and yes Kim Severson of The New York Times, I wore my cowboy boots with a dress.
Deborah Madison wowed the crowd and hopefully the attendees got her message of the importance of local foods and the farm to table movement.
I firmly believe that God puts people into our path to learn lessons from, admire, and that will encourage us to be better people. I am thankful that Deborah Madison crossed my path.
Remember, you too can eat pure, healthy, local foods. Visit your local farmers' market or hey, order some seeds and give gardening a try, you might love it like me!
Going to get my toes in the dirt,
The Park Wife