Community Agriculture Alliance: Food talk and what is a Yampavore?
What does farm to table mean to you? What is fresh, organic or natural food? How far away can food come from and still be local? All good questions and not easily answered in our global food economy. Food marketing is a huge industry and unfortunately these words are overused and have lost meaning. In working to provide education and information about local food, Community Agriculture Alliance wants to share our definitions so you can decide what’s important to you.
What: Barn to Brewery
When: 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 4
Where: Butcherknife Brewing Co., 2875 Elk River Road
What: Harwigs Yampavore Farm to Table Dinner
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 11
Where: Harwigs, 911 Lincoln Ave.
More information: communityagalliance
Food that is raised and grown in the Yampa Valley * or as close as we can get. Why the asterisk? Because there are just some things we cannot grow, make or raise in the Yampa Valley due to our climate or simple economics. So, are peaches from the Western Slope local? Maybe, but we know they are delicious, grown in Colorado and we want to buy them and eat them.
U.S. Department of Agriculture food labeling, sell by, buy by and expiration dates are confusing at best. At CAA, we are working with micro — smaller than small — farms and ranches. Chances are the local eggs you buy were laid by chickens within the last few days and vegetables were picked that morning. Think about it, there are no large or corporate farms in our area. Most producers who sell eggs are backyard gardeners or hobby farmers who love their chickens and have more eggs than they can eat.
There is USDA-certified organic, which is a government regulated certification and requirements to use the word organic for food products. With CAA local producers, we encourage everyone to disclose their farming and ranching practices. Most utilize organic methods but are not certified organic. Again, think micro scale and size versus industrial food.
Farm to Table
While everything we eat began at a farm somewhere and ended up on our tables, at CAA, we think truly local, fresh and natural food. CAA is partnering on two incredible local farm to table events coming up soon. And yes, we are proud to say these are truly local. All of the ingredients are donated by local farmers and ranchers. Harwigs staff donates their time to transform local meat and produce into a gourmet experience. Oct. 4 at Butcherknife Brewing Co. is the Barn to Brewery event with local food appetizers and beef. Oct. 11 at Harwigs is the Yampavore Farm to Table Dinner with a mind-blowing, multi-course gourmet meal, paired wines, beers and spirits. Tickets are going fast, so order yours today at communityagalliance.org/local-food-events.html.
A Yampavore is someone who eats food from the Yampa Valley — and if you missed Cabaret last spring, the Yampavore skit was not only hilarious but added to the definition of eating local.
There is much to consider when buying food, looking at labels for ingredients and knowing what you are eating. It can be overwhelming. At CAA, we are committed to being transparent about local food, providing information and education so you know what you are buying and ultimately, eating.
Visit caamarket.org and spend some time looking at local products that are listed. Click on producer profiles to learn more about why, how and what local producers are making/growing/raising. And come over to the year-round Friday Farmers Market inside at CAA offices located at 141 Ninth Street. Stop in, learn more and shop for amazing, fresh, local food.
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