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FamilyFarmed Expo 2011

I am pleased to be involved with the FamilyFarmed Expo this year, serving on the advisory board responsible for planning Saturday’s events and working on social media marketing.

But you say, “Grant, what the heck is this FamilyFarmed Expo thing and why should I go?”

The Expo is THE local food and farming trade show and convention and we are extremely lucky to have it right here in Chicago.  If you’re reading this blog, it is probably because you think about your food.  You garden, you wish you could keep chickens and you love farmers and buy from them whenever you can.   The Saturday portion of the Expo, the Good Food Festival,  is the place for you to get answers to your questions and move yourself further along in the process of understanding your foodshed.   Maybe you’re ready to think about canning more or want to keep bees.  Maybe you want to get some worm composting happening, or learn to make cheese.  Or perhaps you just want to hear Rob Levitt, Paul Kahan, Herb Eckhouse and Ellen Malloy rhapsodize about the glories of local, pastured meats and eating snout to tail.  Saturday’s workshops are for you.  You can also catch amazing chef demos organized by Stephanie Izard and meet with farmers and local food producers.  This is a great place to find your season’s CSA!

Still want more?  Well, Saturday launches with an incredible Sally Fallon workshop.  Sally is the founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and the author of Nourishing Traditions.  Personally, it’s worth the trip down to the UIC Forum just for that.

Still more?  Well then come heckle me as I moderate a panel called Antiques Roadshow: The Heirloom On Your Plate.  Dave Snyder of Chicago Rarities Orchard Project (CROP), Gene Mealhow of Tiny But Mighty popcorn and John Caveny of Caveny Farm will be speaking on heirloom fruits and veggies and heritage meats and I’ll be trying to stay out of their way!  (What’s a heritage meat?  Read: What’s A Red Wattle?)

And that’s just Saturday.

Friday night is the amazing Localicious Party – the city’s best chefs (Paul Fehribach, Patrick Sheerin!) who source locally will be paired with farms to feed you and local wineries, breweries and distilleries will be on hand to serve drinks.  All that plus music from Liquid Soul!  Don’t miss this fun foodie event!

For those of you who are farmers, or want to be farmers or have food policy interests, the trade and financing days are loaded with great workshops and speakers.  Check those schedules here:  Financing Farm to Fork and FamilyFarmed Trade Show.

That’s March 17, 18 and 19.  Mark your calendar.  Go get tickets immediately so you don’t miss out.  I’ll see you there!



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