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Sneak Peek! HOMEGROWN Skills Tent Workshops at Farm Aid 2013

Friday, September 6th, 2013


Farm Aid 2013
is right around the corner: September 21 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. And while Willie, Neil, John, and Dave will headline the main stage, Christina, Sheila, Thor, and more will appear live in the HOMEGROWN Skills Tent.

HOMEGROWN-skills-tent-seedsWhat’s the Skills Tent, you ask? And who’s this Christina? On concert day from noon to 6 p.m., the Skills Tent will host hands-on workshops in the agrarian arts, similar to the sort of how-tos you’ll find in the HOMEGROWN 101 library. The Skills Tent is just one part of the HOMEGROWN Village, a county-fair-style hoedown on the concert grounds that’s jam-packed with interactive food and farming exhibits from groups across the country, as well as a HOMEGROWN stage featuring live music. Not bad, huh?

HOMEGROWN-skills-tent-mushroomsBut back to the Skills Tent: HOMEGROWN is thrilled to have had the help of our barn-raising tentmate and partner in can-do, the Capital Region’s own From Scratch Club, in putting together this year’s workshop lineup. If you’re not familiar with From Scratch Club, it’s sort of like a food swap/book club/cooking school/food blog times one hundred. In other words: AWESOME. We love you, From Scratch Club! Now, without further ado, this year’s HOMEGROWN Skills Tent lineup:


» Make Your Mark!

Make your mark on Farm Aid 2013! Share what HOMEGROWN means to you in a potato stamp group art project, presented by

» Kitchen DIY: Can-Do Projects

Learn how to make your own butter and lemon vinegar! Get the dirt on cold storage! Christina Davis and Co. of From Scratch Club share tips all day in between Skills Tent workshops.


12:30 to 1 p.m.
Mushrooms 101: Grow Your Own

Thinking of starting your own shiitake crop? Bobby Chandler of Mariaville Mushroom Men shows you how.

1:30 to 2 p.m.
Makin’ Bacon 101: Cure It Yourself

Curing your own bacon is easier than you think! Erika Tebbens of From Scratch Club demonstrates, using pork bellies from New York’s West Wind Acres.

2:30 to 3 p.m.
Pancakes 101: From Field to Griddle

What’s the story behind your breakfast? Amy Halloran of From Scratch Club and Thor Oechsner of Oechsner Farms and Farmer Ground Flour connect the dots between grain grown and milled in New York State and your plate.

3:30 to 4 p.m.
Cheesemaking 101: Happy Animals Mean Happy Cheese

Good food starts with healthy goats and sheep! Learn the basics of home cheesemaking and goat care with the dairy farmers of New York’s own Nettle Meadow.

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Fiber 101: Making Friendship Bracelets from Llama Wool

Where does wool come from? Find out, see a spinning demo, and make your own friendship bracelet from llama wool under the tutelage of Saratoga Llamas’ Linda Woods.


Farm Aid 2013 is sold out, but there are still plenty of ways to join the party! Visit for details on farm tours, a free screening of the new urban-farming documentary Growing Cities, and more. And stay tuned to Farm Aid’s About the Concert page for news and updates. See you there!

Homeward Bound! HOMEGROWN Village Returns to Maker Faire Bay Area

Monday, May 6th, 2013











Yep, spring means asparagus and rhubarb and lettuce and morel mushrooms—all good things we love, for sure. But for folks in California, spring brings yet another seasonal treat: Maker Faire Bay Area, aka “the Greatest Show and Tell on Earth.”

For those not familiar with Maker Faire, it’s sort of like heaven for do-it-yourselfers, a ginormous festival of all things sawed, hammered, pasted, programmed—and preserved. For the past four years, HOMEGROWN and our big sibling, Farm Aid, have partnered with Maker Faire to present the HOMEGROWN Village, a curated corral devoted to food making, urban homesteading, farming, gardening, harvesting, cooking, and eating. Most definitely eating.

We can’t wait to return to the San Mateo County Event Center on May 18 and 19 for the HOMEGROWN Village’s fifth year at Maker Faire, and we can’t wait to see you there. Whether you live in the Bay Area or are considering making the hike (Do it! Do it!), whet your appetite below. This year’s HOMEGROWN Village comprises four mouth-watering areas, and we’re pleased as punch to point out how many HOMEGROWN members are involved.

Curated by Forage Kitchen, a food-focused hacker space in San Francisco, the Edible Marketplace features small-scale food makers, including Bar Jars, Cocoa Collection SF, Happy Girl Kitchen, McVicker Pickles, Oaktown Jerk, Sweet Lauren Cakes, T-We Tea, and more. Are you hungry yet?











Once you’ve picked up a tea-and-pickle snack, head to this screening area for short films on food literacy, sustainability, soil health, farming, and feeding ourselves.

» Let’s hear it for the HOME team! HOMEGROWN member Kala Philo presents FarmShorts, a new web video initiative

» Also from the HOME front: HOMEGROWN member Kristi Stephens Adams presents selections from her documentary shorts series From the Ground Up

» Director in attendance! Don’t miss Symphony of the Soil, featuring a Q&A with filmmaker and environmentalist Deborah Koons Garcia (The Future of Food)

» The award-winning film Nourish: Food + Community traces how food connects to climate change, public health, and social justice

» Also from PBS: Food Forward, a new breed of food TV

» And from VOM Productions: Udderly Direct, a short doc on a raw milk dairy farm near Fresno










Here’s where you can learn stuff directly from other smart folks. Think of it as a buffet for the brain.

» Hey-yo! Another HOMEGROWN member! Nicole Easterday of FarmCurious hosts not one but two talks: Making Fresh Chevre and Making & Infusing Vinegars

» And another! HOMEGROWN member Keri Keifer and her fellow Seedfolks spill the beans—er, seeds—on seed saving

» Lloyd Kahn, author and editor-in-chief of Shelter Publications (as in Tiny Homes!), gives a talk on the Half-Acre Homestead

» More! More! More! Pickling Oddities: Beyond Vinegar & Kraut, from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It‘s Karen Solomon

» Lamb Butchering, with Berry Smith Salinas of Sonoma County’s Meat Revolution

» Waffleology: A Scientific Approach to Delicious Waffles, with Sivan Wilensky of San Francisco’s Suite Foods Bakery














You’ve had a snack—or three. You’ve watched a film. You’ve heard a talk. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get your fingernails dirty. This year’s hands-on demos include:

» Making Your Own Moldy Cheese, with San Francisco’s The Milk Maid

» Making Kimchi at Home, with Farm to Fermentation Festival’s Jennifer Harris

» Kraut-a-thon: Making Kraut at Home, with Happy Girl Kitchen

» Shrubbin’ It: Tart & Tangy Cocktail Mixers and Make Your Own Mustard, with Kelly McVicker of McVicker Pickles

» And last but (ahem) not least, Butter: Shake It! Make It! and Seedbombs: The Throwable Garden! with yours truly,

Have we convinced you? Good! Here’s the fine print: Maker Faire Bay Area runs Saturday, May 18 from 10 am to 8 pm and Sunday, May 19 from 10 am to 6 pm at the San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo, California. Admission is $10 to $35; kids 3 and under get in free—and yep, Maker Faire is absolutely kid friendly. Get tickets.


Introducing FIND GOOD FOOD on

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013


It’s no secret that us HOMEGROWN types like good food. Or that we think about it 90 percent of the time. (OK, OK: 97 percent. Maybe 98.) And while we grow some it ourselves, from Mitchell’s pallet of herbs to Anna’s loopy zucchini, most of us can’t grow it all.

Thank goodness for farmers—the folks who stay up to their elbows in soil when the rest of us wash our hands of gardening and move on to cooking dinner or folding laundry or browsing the web. These guys and gals are out there harvesting today so that we can chow down tomorrow. The only trick is knowing where to find them.


So, to help connect the dots between farmers and eaters and to get good food into all of our gullets, we’ve created the Find Good Food page on HOMEGROWN. Check it out. You’ll see our very favorite national websites for locating food and farmers and markets near you, wherever you are. And since we couldn’t dig up a list of resources at the state-by-state level, we built one. How’s that for HOMEGROWN? If you like what you see, please pass it along.


One important note: This list is a work in progress. Just like everything else on HOMEGROWN, we’re relying on you to help make it bigger. Meatier. Juicier. Got a link you think we should add? Post a comment and let us know. We’re always hungry for more.