August 30, 2010
The FARMcurious booth at Eat Real Fest
Eat Real Fest was a blast – again! Three days later, everything we own is covered in dust and every inch of my body aches but, alas, we survived the weekend! In its apparent attempt to offer us reprieve from the heat wave, that pesky Bay Area weather served up two days of chilly wind just in time for Eat Real Fest. Despite the funky weather, people came out in hoards to enjoy street food and urban homestead-inspired classes and demonstrations.
Our booth was located between the homesteading stage and the smaller Whole Foods demo area so we saw a lot of aspiring urban gardeners and eaters. My throat is sore from explaining everything from why we only carry heirloom seeds to why you might want to make your own cheese at home and it was exhilarating to see how many people are interested in learning the home arts that all of our grandparents once knew.
Nicole & Derrick at the booth
Many of the people I meet still seem to be a little bit nervous or reluctant to try growing their own vegetables, but there seems to be a huge interest in making cheese, beer, kombucha, yogurt and wine at home. Despite what the young reporter from a local radio news station was dying to get me to say about demographics, as far as I can see there doesn’t seem to be a straight line based on age, race, sex or socio-economic status. Just about everyone finds a thing or two that intrigues them about urban homesteading. I’m so overwhelmed with how important these skills seem right at this moment in this place.
To give you an idea of what I mean, here’s how the booth activity looked throughout the course of the weekend. Over the span of three days I…divulged my kombucha secret to a 60-year-old white male farmer, waxed philosophical on the traits of west coast IPAs with a 30-year-old black man who lives around the corner from Jack London Square, demonstrated how to use a jar lifter to a six-year-old white boy, explained how our bamboo utensil cases help keep used water bottles out of landfills to a 40-year-old white mother of three girls, suggested vertical gardening to a 50-year-old black woman, teased a 20-year-old white hipster type about using our fruit picker to reach into the neighbor’s yard, helped a
Terina and a customer discuss the virtues of preserving food
60-year-old Chinese immigrant woman pick out weather-appropriate heirloom seeds, stood corrected when a 5-year-old white girl told me that one of my unidentified Japanese veggie erasers was an artichoke, talked about my company and its goals with a multi-racial lesbian couple and extolled the virtues of homemade mozzarella to nearly every 30-year-old in the entire Bay Area. Try to sum all of that up into one demographic report!
I also had the pleasure of rubbing elbows with some exciting likely suspects in the local/good/sustainable food world – Anya Fernald and all of her Live Culture gang, Iso Rabins from forage sf, Sean Timberlake from Punk Domestics, Vanessa Barrington of DIY Delicious, Haven Bourque of HavenB PR and many more exciting sustainability pioneers found their way into my little “store”
Caroline & Crystal prepare for the afternoon rush
Thank you to every one who came by the booth. Thank you especially to those of you who went home with something new to try, those who congratulated, encouraged or thanked me and especially ESPECIALLY to my amazing booth workers who were all volunteers: Jared, Terina, Caroline, Jeff, Keith, Derrick, Michelle and Leigh.
For those of you who were admiring our incredible hand-stamped shirts, they can be ordered here for $30 each. Terina, who also designed the FARMcurious logo, hand-carved the tractor stamp from wood and paints the stamp individually for each shirt she makes so they’re all unique. Support a local artist and order yours today.
What an amazing weekend! Hope to see you all at the SF Underground Market September 11, 2010 from 11am-4pm at SomArts at 934 Brannan St, San Francisco. Don’t forget to sign up at foragesf.com.