Crazy as it sounds…This week, when I learned what the weather forecast would be for today. I discovered that planning classes & events is quite a bit like farming. We plan, change course, adapt, re-plan. Repeat. And then, Mother Nature changes the plan, we adapt & re-plan again! When you find that you don’t have the correct equipment to harvest your crop or what you have isn’t working like it should, your fellow farmer is right there to lend a hand, an implement, or in this case, a barn! Taking it one more step, we had technology and a truck to bring the farm to the barn!
A big huge thank you to ALL the farmers who became incredibly flexible this week in changing course, adapting and relocating our carefully planned media event to The Groves on 41 barn, to Karen & Jennifer for rising to the occasion and inviting us to use their amazing event barn to host our Media FAM Tour, and to Barbara & Bill Spencer for bringing Windrose Farm to the barn!
What was this FAM Tour you ask? Well, FARMstead ED was invited to offer a FARMstead ED experience for Day 3 of a local Media FAM (familiarization) Tour that would showcase & represent many of the amazing products that Paso has to offer to a select group of media and press folks touring our area. While the first 2 days were all about wine, and some of the delicious eateries we have to offer, our FARMstead ED experience was designed to bring these media folks to the farm for a learning, hands-on, educational session.
A little bit about FARMstead ED…
We promote locally grown and locally made via pop-up agricultural educational events, bringing folks out to the farms, ranches and production facilities where our food & provisions are grown and made. Our class model is to tour the hosting farm, enjoy a class session on the topic at hand (i.e. How to Grow Your Own Cocktail Garden) participate in a hands on experience, preparing and planting our garden, shopping a pop-up mercantile that offers the bits & pieces for sale to do it yourself back at your own homestead, lastly and most importantly (I think!) is gathering around the table with the farmers and each other to enjoy a meal made from the ingredients grown on the farm and continue to share and learn about the culture and environment that surrounds us.
The idea was born while I was riding at one of my all-time favorite places, Fair Oaks Ranch. This is a place I have the privilege of bringing my horse and dog to wander and ponder on all the good things & people to be grateful for right here in SLO Co. This is where my passion for promoting local agriculture was born; right alongside the Angus calves, fawns, chicks and all that Ma Nature has provided to bring us in balance. It was here where I learned we don’t actually own this land; we are granted the privilege to be stewards and caretakers of it. It was spending time with ranch owner, Coco Collelmo, that led me to many of the special people we introduced today at our FAM Tour…
Friends will ask me, “Where do you get this tasty beef, this outrageous honey and decadent brownies? Or Really? this cake was made with olive oil? Who’s?” FARMstead ED is all about leading you to these local resources.
My favorite event to date was a dinner I hosted for the very folks I was passionate about promoting. I had the guts to prepare & present their very own product to them, along with the guidance of Brigit Binns The New Wine Country Cookbook. Between Brigit’s book and their quality ingredients, I achieved rock star status on the meal! Not because I am that great of a cook, but because I had quality ingredients to work with. It was a delicious meal worthy of celebrating all of their awesomeness, all the way around.
From there we have continued to create together and introduce each other to more locals that we can work with to produce educational classes & events that not only teach folks where the good stuff comes from, but how to grow, harvest, prepare & celebrate our locally grown with our very own hands…right here! AND we have been the proud matchmaker of many a partnership of collaborative efforts; i.e. Heaven Squared Brownies using ingredients from Windrose Farm, TheraBee Honey, Alcea Rosea Farm and RE:FIND to make their brownie yumminess that much tastier, all from local ingredients.
Cheers to our local farmers, ranchers & producers for all they do to bring us quality eats, and to all of you who celebrate them!!