Guest contributor Pamela Price is the founder of Red, White & Grew, a blog devoted to “Promoting the Victory Garden Revival and other simple, earth-friendly endeavors as bipartisan, patriotic acts in an age of uncertainty.”
If you’re a full-fledged foodie, then you’re well aware of this weekend’s Slow Food Nation ’08. Sandwiched as it is between the nation’s political conventions, the first-ever SFN promises to be a palate-cleanser for those of us who regard good food and sustainable agriculture as bipartisan paths to unity. According to the official web site, SFN conventioneers will be invited to Celebrate, Learn and Act this weekend to create a “deeper connection to our food.”
Not surprisingly, and as Kelli Best-Oliver reported here earlier, many SFN events are already sold out. And the major networks won’t be providing round-the-clock coverage for the San Francisco-based convergence (drat!). But don’t feel left out of the party! There are several ways you can stay connected both with the convention goings-on and general spirit.
Count on the official Slow Food Nation blog to keep you up to date on what’s happening over the weekend. (Be sure to scope out their coverage of the City Hall Victory Garden!) You might also want to log on to the San Francisco Chronicle’s site, which has given the convention ample press over the summer.
There’s also no reason why you can’t celebrate the landmark convention at home this week. Consider weaving the SFN ’08 theme, “Come to the Table,” into your own Labor Day Weekend plans. Who knows? In the process you may persuade stragglers to join the campaign for better, fresher, more local food.
- Celebrate: Got a garden? Situate a table near it to dine with (or serve) guests at your fete. Even a last-minute wine and cheese tasting featuring local products can be a fun way to re-establish the connection between food and land. Or mix things up and sample end-of-summer tomatoes or early fall fruits–whatever is freshest and most appealing in your area.
- Learn: Brush up on your “locavore lit”. Visit a bookstore to grab copies of best-selling books by Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Wendell Berry as well as cookbooks by Alice Waters, Rick Bayless and Charlie Trotter–all of whom are scheduled to speak this weekend. Read ’em all? Then create a lending library and encourage your friends and family to read them, too.
- Act: Take inspiration from the SFN Victory Garden and plan your spring planting now. Investigate innovative techniques such square foot, no-dig, bag, or keyhole gardens. Containers are a great option, too. Itchin’ to help spread the Victory Garden revival concept in your community? Consider writing a letter to the editor of your local paper to make the case for local leaders to follow San Francisco’s lead and replicate the popular Victory Garden 2008+ initiative. And don’t forget to tell the next president to Eat The View!