I am so excited to be sharing my experience at the 7th Annual Farm to Table Conference as my first blog post! Even though this is the 7th year for the conference, this is my first year attending. It was held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh. The conference is all about supporting local products and businesses, mainly farmers, gardeners, and other local food stuff! A portion of the proceeds benefit Grow Pittsburgh, which is an urban agriculture nonprofit organization. So it’s quite a worthy cause!
The theme of this year’s conference is Do It Yourself. What an empowering message! You are in charge of what you and your family are eating – it’s your choice! By choosing to eat locally (even in part) you increase your control over the production of your food. You have the ability to contact local farmers to find out what herbicides/pesticides were used, if any, who harvested your food, how long ago it was harvested, etc. Better for the environment, and easier on your wallet! Not to mention the food it almost always fresher. There were a lot of vendors! Here are just some of them:
There were multiple Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups there. If you’ve never heard of a CSA, I encourage you to check it out! Here is the one we belong to, but there are many.
Each week we get a box of goodies; locally grown produce and other items, like honey, puffed corn cereal, cornmeal, and different grains and flours. They have delivery year-round, but we usually sign up for just the Spring share. It’s so worth it! I’ll be posting about all my CSA goodies in the future!
To support the Do It Yourself theme, there were many vendors with information on gardening, canning, fermentation (yay kimchi!), and recipes!
Think you can’t have farm fresh eggs because you live in the city, or have a small backyard? Think again! These great folks will tell you how! They even had a couple chickens on site for the kids to pet.
There were so many samples! Salsa, hummus, dips and dressings, jams and jellies, olive oil. And wine!
Farm to Table had many speakers and demonstrations during their two-day event, as well. Topics included herbal soap making, fermentation, backyard chickens, making whipped cream and butter, making bone broth, school gardening, integrating farm to table in your life, and more! The topics that were most interesting to me were held on Friday. We went to the conference on Saturday, so we only caught one speaker – on preventing chronic diseases with diet. She was interesting, and non-prescriptive (exactly what I like to see in speakers on health – one size never fits all), and she demoed some of her recipes and gave samples!
There were so many vendors, I couldn’t possibly get pictures of all of them! But I had a great time, and it was a great learning (and eating) experience. I can’t wait to see how the event grows next year!
Have you ever been to the Farm to Table conference? Let me know your experience in the comments! I can’t wait to hear from you!