Monday, September 22, 2008

Harvest Festival: Dinner

Saturday was a beautiful, clean, crisp, after-the-rain day for the annual Harvest Festival hosted by the Little Lake Grange. The focus was on locally produced food of every sort, with the highlight being a community banquet using only food from within about a fifty mile radius of Willits. Throughout the day, local food vendors, growers, inventors, and home food preservation crafters displayed their ideas, and taught useful skills to visitors. In the photo above, volunteer cooks seasoned root vegetables before roasting them for the evening dinner. Even the salt and marinades were completely locally sourced, from the ground (or sea) up! There are some more pre-dinner pictures on my Overflow blog.

There were so many aspects to this event, I may just succumb to another series of posts, concurrent with the Roots Steam Up series, and the Miracle Mile series, both of which aren't finished yet. Plus, there's all the plain old pictures I want to slip into the blog now and then. Who knew such a quiet, tiny little city of no particular importance would be such a challenge to cram in to an ongoing blog! The mind, uh, bloggles!


Olivier said...

j'adorerais ce type de festival, cela doit être vraiment très agréable. je vais proposer ça à la ville d'Évry.
I love this type of festival, this must be really nice. I will propose it to the town of Evry.

Sara N said...

Ooo,Nice and intresting!
You do not know how much my mom likes such events!

angela said...

it's always interesting to taste other people's food and a great way to harvest new recipes. I'm about ready for my second breakfast after looking at all that delicious food!

Laurie said...

This is wonderful, Elaine. We're so lucky to live in regions that grow so much food. Look at those root veggies in your picture... YUM!

I'm always amazed at our farmer's markets all over Los Angeles. Everything from locally made honey to exotic salad greens -- and they're affordable, too. Many are from organic farms, too. My family has been considering subscribing to a local farm and basically eating only the vegetables and fruits from there, that are in season. I like the idea.

I love all of your series, Elaine! You make Willets come alive.

Knoxville Girl said...

California is blessed with fresh fruits and vegetables. This would make another great series.
It's not the size of the town that matters, it's the heart and creativity of the individual to see what's going on around them. You see the heart and soul of Willits, Elaine, and show it to us so elegantly.

Dina said...

Harvest Festival, it even SOUNDS nice.
Your last two sentences are so true. It does bloggle the mind. Fun!

Halcyon said...

I forgot my breakfast at home this morning. This food sure does look tasty. I may have to make a run to the vending machine!

Nathalie said...

I really like the idea of the local food only dinner! Makes you realize what's really local. Your photo is mouth watering.

D.C. Confidential said...

What a great event! Nothing better than good food and good people.

Barbara Rahal said...

mmm Im hungry now..nice!

Anonymous said...

I look at the food, I dream of rain. Summer just seems to be dragging it's heels down south.

Petrea said...

I love the summer heat (I know, I'm the only one) but I look forward to the root vegetables of fall and winter. That's the big plus.

Kris said...

Roasted root vegetables, lovely. Don’t look past roasted beetroot, it’s a supremely underrated roaster.

Benjamin Madison said...

"bloggles" nice word. I know what you mean, having just finished the neighborhood corn roast post and having left out about a dozen pictures and not mentioned about forty people I should have and.... Perhaps I will succumb to the overflow blog solution.

Glad you got some rain.

USelaine said...

Olivier - I think it would be easy to do where you are. Let me know if you succeed!

Sara - Public banquets and community dinners are fun, and becoming rare in the US, I think.

Angela - I think they had local chicken too, but I didn't see that part.

Laurie - I heartily endorse subscribing to a farm! I'm nearing the end of my second year supporting Live Power Farm, and I love the people involved with it. If you haven't already, check my sidebar of links, where you'll find their website. There's a winter season farmer starting one in the valley to the south of us too.

KG - Thank you for your kind words.

Dina - Some days/weeks I feel more bloggled than others. 6^) This is one of those weeks!

Halcyon - Oh no! Not the vending machine! Does it dispense carrots?!

Nathalie - As with Olivier, I think it would be very easy in your climate, and the French passion for freshness.

DC - There are wonderful people in Willits. The more I look, the more amazed I am.

Barbara - I hope you found a good carrot too.

PA - Let's face it. You get all your water from far, far away. Not your fault.

Petrea - And they are so easy and comforting. I liked the look of their mix in the picture.

Kris - The fellow tossing the copped beets was covering them with an apple vinegar marinade, the apples grown, and the vinegar produced right in our county. But worth abandoning the Dutch Cream potato?

Benjamin - The rain was just that ray of hope we needed. I hope it isn't too long before the next dowsing. Overflow/Extra Depth/Making Of ... blogs are great "safety valves". Makes you feel like you aren't completely breaking rank.

Thank you everyone! More of this event to come!