Many, Many Thanks to all the exhibitors, performers and guests who made the first "Tastes of York" a unique success:
And a Huge Thanks to PASA (The PA Association of Sustainable Agriculture) and it's immensely important work of promoting local farming throughout the Commonwealth and indeed the world for inspiring us to pull "Tastes" together. Brian Snyder, Exec Director of PASA is often in Harrisburg or DC pushing for favorable policies for fresh local non-environmentally invasive food, often in the face of stern opposition from agribusiness interests, happy with the subsidized status quo.
All of our informal exit interviews detected a high level of satisfaction from event goers, many saying they had no idea about what local food is becoming available all over York County and that they learned a lot. Favorites were the samples from Victor's Italian (an incredible stuffed pasta with olives), Glen Rock Mill Inn (class wrap act), Spoutwood's Teen Battle Chef's garden veggie quesadilla, Julianna's (great veggies and goat cheese presentations, etc.), Food Availability Task Force/Market Basket of the Month and Buy Fresh, Buy Local display and sample of raw zucchini based dish put together by Jo Anne Ward-Cottrell, Deliciously Nutritious of York Central Market with unusual and tasty offerings, numerous excellent local cheese samples from John Esh (smoked and garlic cheddar both unbelievable! And if you didn't taste his creamy Swiss cheese, heaven help you) as well as Saubel's Markets' tasty raw milk offering, Perrydell's ice cream of course with the cutest sampler mini-cones, Naylor's First Capitol and KeWe wines, Swissland Acres for meatballs, etc. from pastured beef (thanks Jen for the email blast that got many folks in), Sonnewald for healthy sweetener and tonic tea samples, and the unofficial winner of this year's best booth award goes to Healthy World Café with its café table setting including fresh flowers and great musical performers by the old mill-less streamside setting topped off by its wonderful pea hummus on pita or community garden grown red lettuce (thanks to Ellen Morgan) served in a compostable sample cup. Hooray to all of you and those I forgot to mention. People were delighted and fascinated by the wealth of healthy local food!
As for the Performers: A huge thanks to Mike Males of www.myruralradio.com, whose word going out to his stable of musicians produced more volunteer acts than we could schedule. Notable was the high quality of all performers including Spoutwood perennial volunteer and leader of our Zero Waste efforts Tom Hopkins (the only non My Rural Radio act), the wonderful teen talent Morgan LaFave who converted my golf cart boy brigade of helpers into Morgan groupies, John Chiders who came over 2 hours to play beautifully, and Three Dollar Suit which to my amazement included on base Bill Kalina, our virtual Glen Rock neighbor who has taken many a photo at the farm for his job with The York Newspapers!
The numbers were respectable for a first event: 293 adults and 66 kids plus about 75 people associated with exhibiters and performers. In addition we now have 77 email addresses to help develop a notification database for these kinds of events. But as we kept saying: it wasn't the numbers that were important, it was the quality of the visitors. All those who came seemed open and hungry (pun intended) for fresh local food solutions. Many were new to the concept but even the choir members who came learned a lot!
Those of us involved with the local York County food movement need to decide where we go next with what seems to be a rapidly growing public need. In the meantime I welcome any, I repeat, ANY COMMENTS or observations which will help us for future events.
With Immense Gratitude to All,
Rob and Lucy Wood, Spoutwood Farm