I should have just pitched a tent at the San Diego County operations center last week because I was there for two different events, three days in a row. Both make me glad I live in San Diego County where good things are happening in the farm/gardening world.
The first: Let’s Go Local! Showcase. This was a “meet and greet” between school district food service staff and local farms and distributors. As I’ve discussed before, creating a Farm to School program is challenging because there are so many disconnected pieces to connect. This innovative, model event sought to make the process easier by bringing the two sides of the conversation together—buyers and sellers in the transaction over school food. Or as the Union Tribute* put it:
San Diego County has more than 6,000 small farms, including one-third that cultivate produce. But with no single broker between the growers and schools, the first step can be a logistical maze for districts. The San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce, a subcommittee of the Childhood Obesity Initiative, helped bridge that gap on Thursday with a showcase at the county operations center in Kearny Mesa. Representatives from about 30 school districts met with distributors and growers who set up booths that overflowed with produce in a farmers market-like setting on an upstairs patio.
Then on Saturday, I was a plant schlepper for the San Diego Master Gardeners Spring Seminar. This is a full-day of workshops, lectures, cooking lessons (there was a singing chef!) and a marketplace of plants, gardening tools and garden art. It was incredible, and I was proud to be a small part of it as an MG.