A few weekends ago a few of us had the immense priviledge of attending FarmAid, right in our own backyard. We got to assist in the Homegrown Skills tent showing people an array of demos sourced from the blog.
Initially I didn’t know how many people would want to wander to our tent when so many great bands were performing. I was pleasantly surprised that we were busy all day.
Initially I didn’t know how many people would want to wander to our tent when so many great bands were performing. I was pleasantly surprised that we were busy all day. There were demos during the afternoon as well, and I got to present an abbreviated version of my “Makin’ Bacon” class (spots still available for the October 27th class) where I explained how to cure bacon at home.
The whole experience was amazing. Thousands and thousands of people were there to hear great music, and also to support a great cause. People wanted to be educated. They wanted to learn about local grains, and cheese making and all sorts of skills that just used to get passed from one generation to the next.
Later in the evening we packed up everything and moved closer to hear the music on the main stage. I don’t even know where to begin on explaining how great the performers were. At one point Pete Seeger came out for a brief, surprise performance and people went crazy. It was outstanding. It felt like an incredibly rare gift.
The rain started to come down and one-by-one members of our group went home. Somehow we ended up with a VIP pass, and since I was staying through the end of the show, I took it. Christine left at the end of Neil Young’s set so I took my pass and wandered into the seated area during the break.
As I meandered my way to the front a woman in the second row offered up the empty seat next to her. I gladly took it. Willie Nelson came on last and it was electric. He’s such a legend and somehow I was only about 50 feet away from him. At the end the other artists came out and they all performed together. Everyone in the audience was standing and singing along.
And before I knew it, a very long, very inspiring day was over. Just. Like. That.
As I made my way through the rubbish on the lawn, in the rain, out to my car I recommitted to myself that for the rest of my life, in some way I’d always support farmers and farming. This path has already changed and shaped the trajectory of my life. It has brought me to people I would’ve never met before. People who make me and our region better.
I wish Farm Aid didn’t have to exist, but I’m really glad it does. Let’s keep fighting the good fight though.
Also, many thanks to Jennifer Wehunt of Homegrown for her hard work and dedication and to FSC Editor & Founder, Christina Davis, for offering up my bacon class. It was certainly a day I’ll never forget.