Community Philosphy Blog and Library

HOMEGROWN Life: In the HOMEGROWN Village at Farm Aid 2011!

 

 

 

 

 

Another Farm Aid has come and gone, but the HOMEGROWN spirit lingers!  The 2011 Farm Aid concert was held at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in KCK on August 13, and HOMEGROWN.org was there to enjoy the music, the food, and celebrate the good food movement!

The 2011 Farm Aid events began on Friday night with a Farm Aid 2011 Kick Off Party at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, and continued through Saturday’s press event, the 15 sets on the main stage, HOMEGROWN Concessions that sold foods foraged from local and regional family farmers, and the HOMEGROWN Village.  Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and friends championed throughout the day for the family farmer, urging the crowd to take action to change the current system of agriculture by voting with their forks, supporting local farmers, and participating in our food system.

Photo by Cathy Tingle

Off-stage, the buzz of activity was felt throughout the HOMEGROWN Village, where almost 40 local, regional, and national food and farm groups exhibited their work for concertgoers.  Along with the dedicated Farm Aid staff, we coordinated an exciting and interactive area where folks could visit with farmers and get their hands dirty with some of the inspiring individuals that are in the thick of the good food movement.

Photo by Shriya Manian

Photo by Shriya Manian

While I was busy with logistics and coordination of the Village on concert day, I did get to visit some of the exhibits and vendors.  Some highlights included getting my staple pork sandwich from our friends at Patchwork Family Farms; visiting the three farmers’ markets set up around the venue; playing the National Agriculture Center and Hall of Fame’s “Wheel of Agriculture” game that tested agricultural history knowledge; touring Nebraska Environmental Action’s revolutionary mobile meat processing trailer; posing for Food and Water Watch’s Farm Bill testimonial photo booth; learning about new foods through New Roots for Refugee’s “Meet Your Farmer, Meet Your Food” trivia game; and the trying my hand at the Intertribal Agriculture Council’s grain-grinding workshop.

Photo by Shriya Manian

Photo by Shriya Manian

The Farm Aid Farm Yard tent showcased the “Turnip the Heat” action center, where visitors could sign petitions for fairness in our food system, the Farmer Resource Network “Game of Farm Life”, and the informative displays on the history of Farm Aid’s work and the issues they focus on.

Photo by Shriya Manian

This year there was a new addition to the Village that drew in the masses throughout day.  The HOMEGROWN Skill Share Tent featured the HOMEGROWN.org exhibit, and a stage where masters from Mother Earth News and Slow Food Kansas City demonstrated their skills on stage for Village visitors.  The demonstrations included making your own baby food, making homemade home cleaners, composting, making sauerkraut, plowing with pigs and farmstead solutions, and rendering lard.  In between each demonstration, farmers and artists gathered in the Skill Share Tent to discuss agriculture and how to become active in the movement.  It was a great way to learn new HOMEGROWN skills, connect with growers, eaters, and doers that embody this lifestyle, and inspire newbies to get involved!

Photo by Shriya Manian

Photo by Shriya Manian

Photo by Shriya Manian

Farm Aid has a uniquely beautiful way of bringing together the larger community of foodies, farmers, and everyday folks to celebrate family farmer agriculture and to drive the effort forward.  This year seemed to highlight the HOMEGROWN culture that is adding its own blend of spice to the movement – we even had Neil Young stop by and check out the Village this year, affirming the importance of the work and the breadth of the community we are creating.  It truly was a day where everyone in attendance was “Living HOMEGROWN”.  I hope that you get to experience Farm Aid and the HOMEGROWN Village in 2012!

Photo by John Cavanaugh

Photo by Shriya Manian

 

I am the Flock-Tender here on HOMEGROWN.org.  I am keeping a chronicle of my experiences learning, living, and growing a homegrown lifestyle fresh out of college.

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