Everyday occurrences and everyday experiences provide the perfect opportunity to participate in an ever increasing everything sort of day. Case in point a recently concluded week full of activities and opportunities to see the swelling local foods movement in Nebraska. From "Supporting your Local Nebraska Brewery" to participating in a Lincoln Bioneers meeting and drip tape demonstration, it was an all encompassing journey.
Monday began like any other day, kind of slow and an extra pot of coffee. Soon however I was on my way to a farm tour. On this tour we visited a certified organic farm in south central Nebraska. A major focus on this farm was poultry and there was also organic blue corn. I believe the corn primarily went for popcorn, but I am not sure. It was a great opportunity to see first hand a working sustainable family farm in Nebraska. Later in the day was a Nebraska Food Coop- NFC board meeting held in the Linwood area. Now typically board meetings can be boring, or not the most exciting. However there is alot of cool things going on with NFC including a new truck and trailer as well as preparations for very cool advertising, as well as adventures at the Nebraska State Fair. Oh, and there was an awesome Nebraska foods potluck prior to and during the meeting!
Tuesday's adventure into the Nebraska local foods movement was at a recently created event called "Sustainabrew." This is held every Tuesday at the Buzzard Billy's in Lincoln, and the major tenet is the support of your Nebraska breweries. Nebraska has a cache of awesome breweries making awesome beers. Be sure to ask for them at your local dining establishment or hotspot!
Wednesday brought an absolute treasure in the form of the Havelock Farmer's Market, located in historic Havelock in Lincoln. The market is just the right size where you can converse with the farmers and vendors and gain an even greater grasp on the farms and business's that produce the awesome foods. On this day we picked up some potatoes from North Bend and some greens from the Denton area. We also tried Hollenbeck meats fajita beef which turned out quite nice in a stir fry with the greens!
Thursday was perhaps the most intense. The Community CROPS market is on Thursday at Pentzer Park on 27th & Holdrege in Lincoln. We volunteer there for the set-up until around 5:30 or so. It is always fun interacting with the farmers and the CROPS staff does a great job putting on the market. There is always some entertainment at the adjacent open-air shelter and even cooking demo's sometimes! After we were done there we attended the Lincoln Bioneers meeting which included another Nebraska local foods potluck and a really cool hands on demo of a drip-tape installation. We actually, as a group, installed the drip-tape and that was very cool!
After this we attended an awesome concert featuring the coolest bluegrass band I have ever heard, Triggertown. This was held at the Zoo Bar in downtown Lincoln. The music was phenomenal!! If you ever have the chance to hear them, do not pass it up.
Saturday we attended a very neat Solstice Barn party hosted by an area family who are arduent supporters of local foods in Nebraska and specifically the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society and Slow Food Nebraska. We were entertained again by Triggertown as well as another really cool band and even some karoke. The weather was perfect and the food was awesome!
All in all it was a very exciting week and to see and be a part of the local foods movement in Nebraska is a ton of fun. One thing that is also very exciting to see is the recognition of our awesome family farmers in Nebraska. It seems that this is lost sometimes in the understanding of where our food comes from and how it is produces. Instead the focus is on the middle man and trying to get the cheapest possible product with the greatest possible return. Local foods is about understanding and appreciating farmer to consumer connection and vice versa. We are eager to join the ranks of Nebraska family farmers and appear to be closer and closer everyday.