September took us to the Heirloom Seed Expo in Santa Rosa, now in its 3rd year, and already established as one of the most respected and also awe inspiring food and farming conferences during the year. Farmers, artisan producers, food activists, seed savers, weavers, micro coffee roasters, 4H Clubbers and chefs all gather for 4 days of speakers, artisan and farmer trade shows, animal and vegetable competitions, delicious, organic food trucks and nonstop foot-stomping, jumping and jiving music.
I also had the opportunity to stop in at the Seed Bank in Petaluma where Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. (also the sponsors of the Heirloom Seed Expo), has set up shop in an old downtown Petaluma bank, selling seeds, tools, farm and gardening books and artisan crafted foods. Great to see the business thriving! From there, I met Sow Swell founder, Sian Seligman, and husband Todd, at Della Fattoria for a big hunk of Meyer Lemon Rosemary bread, their freshly made blackberry jam, and big bowls of coffee. Hadn’t been there in 5 years, and everything seemed to have gotten more delicious since then! From Petaluma, I made my way to Davis to stay with cousin, Sarah, who has started with her brother Tim, the rage popsicle business in NorCal, Popnation, working solely with local farmers for their fruits and herbs, and selling to co-ops and specialty stores while blanketing the streets of San Francisco and Davis with their mini ice cream trucks.
Of course, I had to make a quick stop at the Collins Family farm in Davis, to taste their new figs they'll be using in their holiday jams this year. Can't wait to start selling those! I also visited our friends at Eatwell Farm in Dixon to pick up more organic Meyer Lemon, Rosemary, Lavender and Heirloom Tomato salts. I am all stocked up.
It was a very short week, but an intense and exciting one, reawakening in me the exhilaration of witnessing local, sustainable food production, from the ground up.