me in the pomegranate trees.
every year that i can, i attend the hoes down festival at full belly farm. this year i fulfilled a dream of finally going camping with my dear friend olivia.
while i didn't see quite as many friends as i sometimes do, some of the women of berkeley acupuncture project were there giving free treatments and so was chef charlie, who despite his fame was volunteering in the kitchen sunday morning to make breakfast. we also reunited with our wonderful former kitchen co-worker and friend may, who is now hard at work at say hay farms.
for me the highlight of this particular year was a workshop that could have been called, "so you think you want to start a farm" with farmer chris hay of say hay farms. chris practices certified organic, ecologically sustainable, integrated farming. he talked about solving problems and then going right into solving the next problem and needing to be okay and not taking it out on the few people around you. it reminded me of certain aspects of being a chef and it also reminded me of something my brother once said that i will never forgot: "work, life and love are all four letter words that mean the same thing." whether you are a chef or a farmer the love part is important.
as far as i know the eggs from say hay farms are the best eggs available anywhere. a dozen is eight dollars. that's 66 cents an egg and that is not expensive. it is clear to me when i eat these eggs that they have more nutritional value. aside from superior taste that comes from a diverse diet of vegetable scraps and bugs, i find myself sustained for hours.
this annual festival "dedicated to honoring and promoting the knowledge of sustainable rural living through inspiration and education" has a rare integrity. truly green: there are water taps to re-fill the bottle that you bring, all food waste is composted, and the plates that deliver delicious made-from-scratch food are washed by volunteers after meals.
i always return home from full belly farm feeling fully fed and connected.