Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Co-op Farm Fest 2013

 by Shane Smith, Outreach Coordinator

We want to thank everyone who brought all of those wonderful homemade pot luck dishes out to this year’s Co-op Farm Fest held at the Vegetable Ranch in Warner on September 8. We also want to thank Larry Pletcher and his Vegetable Ranch staff for hosting the event, getting parking areas created, and for clearing the field where the tent was set up. We also want to thank the Dusty Gray Band for entertaining us and keeping our feet tapping throughout the afternoon.
This event was unique for us. Planning started weeks in advance and set up started several days in advance. Tents had to be assembled, port-o-potties set up, electric generators wired, tables brought in and food prepared.  The wood fire (about 1 cord of wood was used) was lit at 7PM the evening before to provide enough coals or the pig to go into the smoker at 3AM and the fire needed to be tended to throughout the night, in order  to be served at 2:30PM. Marketing Manager Greg Lessard and Executive Chef Scott Jones pulled out all the stops and brought in cots and tents to get a little sleep before guests began arriving.  In all they were on hand festival duties for 24 hours.
Why go through all of this effort for a Co-op Farm Fest? Our main objective was to provide members with a direct experience of where some of their food comes from and to get to know  other members to mingle and have fun. We talk a lot about our hoop house at the Vegetable Ranch, which we are very proud of, and Farm Fest offered members to see it firsthand.
Given the success of Farm Fest (we had an estimated 500 members in attendance) we are planning similar events for 2014.