Our “roots” have always been with the work that we do with farmers. Tailgate meetings, workshops, research, farmworker education – these programs are the core of all of our work. We are a farmer group. Period.
But a few years ago (actually it was probably more like 8 or 9 years ago), we thought, “Hmmmmm – I bet there are other folks who would be interested in learning more about our group and mission. In fact, there are lots of folks beyond the wine industry doing great work in the area of sustainable farming. Wouldn’t it be great to have a little party?”
Well, that sounds like a great idea. But how do we connect non-technical consumers with our techie work without being to wonky? That was not an easy question. After all, I’d been to many events over the years and, for the most part, people’s eyes glaze over when I mention the “S” word, integrated pest management, and water quality.
But then one day I thought, “How about The Earth Day Food & Wine Festival?”
I knew immediately that I was on to something special.
It was perfect.
By its very nature, it recognizes the environment. But more importantly, it makes the connection between farmers and the environment.
After all, what’s more earthy than farmers?
Remember, in 2007, doing a consumer food & wine event was very much out of our comfort zone. After all, we do TAILGATE meetings, right? Plus we had to build relationships with all sorts of folks not in our immediate circle (food farmers, chefs, restaurants). Not to mention the consumers – ha! We had a great database of ag folks, but who are these foodies and wine lovers who might want to come to our party?
We did an amazing job in 2007 for our first event. And we knew that this could be a very special way for us to connect with non-ag folks and share information about our work and the work of all of our friendly farmers.
That’s not to say we had some difficulties – we certainly did. But I’ll talk about that later… <Hint: There were people who didn’t GET it.>
So here we are, prepping for our 6th Annual Earth Day Food & Wine Festival. We’ve won awards. We’ve garnered amazing media. But most importantly, we’ve connected like minded consumers, chefs, farmers, and vintners, all while celebrating the role of the farmer in protecting the environment.
So join us – and our very cool friends – on April 21 at Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery for this year’s event. The chefs are definitely raising the bar in terms of dishes and pairings. Did I mention this is not a carrots and dip kind of food and wine event? Real food.
And the wines featured from throughout our diverse Central Coast will be amazing.
And yes, this is a fundraiser for us. Money raised helps us continue our work in the field, with farmers & farmworkers. So you can come and have a great time, celebrate Earth Day, meet the people committed to growing you great food and wine, and support our work.
Earth Day Food & Wine Festival | April 21, 2012
Have you been? Are you dying to go? Do tell…