Monday, December 17, 2007

Glenda and Carolyn are there as John Mellencamp gets the ASCAP Champion Award

The ASCAP Foundation honored Farm Aid board member John Mellencamp last Thursday night at New York’s Lincoln Center with its prestigious Champion Award for being a wonderful humanitarian artist. Carolyn and I were so proud to be in the audience. John performed a few songs, including a couple of new ones. John is a true heart, wickedly funny, with a never-give-up-the fight commitment for the farmers. We are lucky that he’s a Farm Aid leader! The Farm Aid staff made a homemade card to congratulate John, and Carolyn hand-delivered it to his dressing room after the award show.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Love at Farm Aid

Congrats to Nancy and Nate!!!

That’s right, they met at Farm Aid 2004 in Seattle and it was love at first sight...in the rain...on a golf cart. As Nate puts it: “turns out that Neil Young is to me as Dave Matthews is to her. We measure our relationship by ‘Farm Aids’ ’’. In true form for advocates of Good Food, Nate and Nacy got married on Thanksgiving. We are proud to have brought two such dedicated and passionate music lovers and volunteers together. From everyone here at Farm Aid, we wish you the best!! Can’t wait to see you again next year!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Farm Yard Members “Harvest” Discount for Off-Broadway Show!

“Harvest,” a new play by David Wright Crawford exploring three decades in the life of a Texas cotton farmer, is currently in production at the Alchemy Theatre in Manhattan. Co-director Judson Jones tell us that Farm Aid Farm Yard members can receive a $25 discount on tickets, which are otherwise $40 apiece. When was the last time you saw an off-Broadway farm play for $15? Act now! Performances continue through December 23. For more info, visit Alchemy Theatre or call 212/967-0901.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Jen's Turkey Update and Yay for All the Good Things Happening!

I wanted to give an update on my Thanksgiving turkey for those of you interested! I talked on the phone with Dominic last night and he mentioned my blog post about the heritage breed turkey I cooked for Thanksgiving. Dominic sort of admonished me, “You trotted out the thing they always say about heritage and free-range turkeys. The truth is they’re turkeys—you don’t have to do anything special, just cook ‘em!” I sheepishly agreed, “I know, I know, but I read you need to brine and take special care, blah blah blah!” Despite what I’d read, in the end my turkey was seasoned with butter, salt, and pepper and thrown in the oven. And despite a lack of tedious and intricate prep steps, it was incredibly delicious and juicier than any turkey I’d ever tasted.

Dom and I talked about all the good things going on at his farm and in the food and farm world. Dom mentioned he had recently read about one of Farm Aid’s sponsors, Chipotle. As a pork farmer and a good food aficionado, Dom is excited about Chipotle’s work to source their meat products from sustainable family farms. Chipotle started out with pork and now they’re sourcing some of their chicken from family farms too. They plan to serve 40 million pounds of sustainably-raised meat this year. A recent article outlines how they’re trying to regionalize their sourcing, so when you order a pork taco at a Chipotle in West Virginia, the pork you eat comes from a farm in West Virginia. 40 million pounds a year! And as more and more people demand family-farm food, companies are stepping up to deliver it.

It’s a fantastic circle – you discover the benefits of eating local, organic, sustainably-raised, family farm food and you seek it out. You tell your friends, they seek it out. They tell their friends, they seek it out. And so on and so on. As people get more and more interested in their food, some decide to become farmers themselves and new farmers are grown! It’s a process--it’s not something that happens overnight. But it is happening!

Recently here at Farm Aid a staff member said, “Ok, being green is all the rage. What’s the NEXT thing?” We all looked at her blankly and reminded her what we’re often reminded of here in our work: When you’re starting to get sick of the message, it’s just starting to be heard. For us, there’s no next thing… this just keeps on going and we keep working so that it gets bigger and bigger. We still have work to do to demonstrate the connection between being green and supporting family farmers. But darn it if we’re not just a bit excited that it seems like the message is really getting out there, to a broader public than ever before. People want food from family farms and they’re going straight to farmers for it. Companies like Chipotle are going straight to family farmers too. It makes people like Dom and I just a bit giddy. Giddy and, all of sudden, hungry! Luckily, I’ve still got Thanksgiving leftovers!