A couple weeks ago, I was at the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds headquarters in the Missouri Ozarks. I sat down in Jere Gettle’s office and spilled the beans: I had been selected as a Slow Food USA Delegate to represent Hawaii at Terra Madre. I was shaken, and excited about the prospects. I had just given a speech a couple days prior at The Spring Planting Festival that explained how heirloom seeds assisted me in finding growing solutions that resist pests, disease, and drought here in Hawaii. Some of those solutions were found in Ark of Taste seeds. Take a look at Slow Food’s Ark of Taste . These are historic vegetables that were in danger of extinction. How do we keep them going? Grow them, eat them, put them in our markets, our menus, reconnect them with our lives. They have been around a long time…for good reason. They are resilient, and delicious.
I am thrilled to report that Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds has now donated an entire case of Ark of Taste heirloom vegetable seeds to assist in getting me to my Slow Food USA delegate position in Italy…yes, it is in Italy! Check it out here: Terra Madre Two years ago I was cheering for some of my favorite family farmers as they packed their bags and went off to represent all of us. Now it is my turn to do so. I will be posting more in the future, but let’s get back to the seeds.
Since funds are being collected to get me that very long way from Hawaii…all the way across the globe to Italy, I am trying to make fundraising fun, and also have some serious perks for the Hawaii community. What better way to celebrate along with our USA delegation, and be with us in spirit as we represent in Italy, than to be growing Ark of Taste seeds in your gardens? Kind of a seed solidarity! Jere and Lisa let me go though the vast array of seeds and seek out Ark of Taste varieties that had a strong chance of thriving in Hawaii. I made my selection, and they have shipped them here. This generous gift will be helping me, and the seeds will be helping the community here in Hawaii. Everyone wins!
I have put together a GoFundMe funding page where you can put me to work! That is right, put me to work. For every action there is an equally loving action performed. You can send me off to an Italian rare beans cooking class at Terra Madre…then I will give a rare beans class for Hawaii students or adults. You help put me on a plane to Italy…I will help put food on our communities tables through food pantry donation. Win, win…win. I am curating Ark of Taste seed packets into baskets for a silent auction (more on that later) and individual seed packets will also be sent out to those who sponsor at any level $20 and over! You can also sponsor, and have your seeds donated to a school garden, or a Hawaii gardener. I have a list of people who will make good use of these seeds! Slow Food is all about community, so please assist in my efforts at building community. Follow along too on my farm Facebook page and you will see how much is happening. So think about what you would like to see in the community. Pick your favorite schools, pick your favorite community action and I will teach what I know. Thank you for your time, your support, and thank you to those who read this and are currently clearing space in their garden to grow Art of Taste vegetables…it all matters.
It was a pleasure to have Chef Voudouris of Team Downey visit the farm last evening!
He has just arrived, but he immediately set out to travel the island to source high quality fish and produce direct from our fishermen and farmers. His smile reveals his excitement in experiencing what is new (or in the case of heirlooms-old) on our farms. Here visiting the isle, Chef Charles is the private chef for Team Downey who are on island for the next two weeks. When presented with the table of rare heirloom squash, Chef knew immediately which one would be taken back to the kitchen, it was the Thai heirloom Rai Kow Tok.
This is the first season that I am growing the lovely, dappled Winter squash. The 20 lb c. moschata variety thrived here in Waimea’s challenging environment. Without missing a beat, Chef Charles had the recipe worked out before even setting the produce in the trunk of his car.
It was so nice to have him visit the farm, to share in his stories and insight, as well as take these beautiful farm photos. I was happy to hear that Team Downey is dedicated to finding sustainable produce, and that they frequently enjoy vegan meals. It is an honor to have my squash be a part of their island experience. I wish the team a wonderful visit, and a big mahalo for allowing us small farmers to take center stage at the dinner table.
Mahalo nui loa Chef Voudouris and Team Downey, you are welcome back anytime!