Maker Faire report

I really like the idea of Maker Faire. Exhibitors are specifically asked to provide hands-on activities for people; it’s not just things for sale, or tables of pamphlets (although there is some of that.) But lots of other people like the idea of Maker Faire, too. Deciding beforehand on what demonstrations to see was a good idea, but it’s impossible to see everything in one day, and the experience is pretty darn exhausting. Taking the train, however, was so the way to go.

The first thing I went to see when I arrived was Iso Rabins, of ForageSF, demonstrating pickling sea beans, aka pickleweed.

The pickleweed is intensely salty, and the texture is very much like a green bean. Next time I’m up at the WPCP, I’ll see whether I can harvest some at Don Edwards.

Iso was very interested when I told him about the wild chard that grows everywhere at Emma Prusch park. I think he’d be an interesting person to have come talk at the Veggielution afternoon seminars we’re talking about.

Also at the food tent (which was called the Homegrown Village) was this guy making hand-pulled noodles.

I saw no sign or any official notice of who he was, but he was making batch after batch of these doughy wonders. I also never saw them cooked, more’s the pity.

I then watched the Mentos and Diet Coke fountain, and played “Edible Pursuits” with the editor of Edible San Francisco. I got a terrible score, but I did know that San Franciscans used to eat the eggs of the common murre before there were big chicken farms in northern California.

For my own lunch, I had a delicious paella, from this booth with more paelleras than I’ve ever seen at one place.

The food at Maker Faire has improved markedly in its three years.

After a crushing turn through part of the Bazaar Bizarre, I went to watch the pie demonstration by Pie Ranch. Karen Heisler brought all the fixings to make strawberry rhubarb pie. Everyone got a little pie plate, and a round of dough, and she went from table to table mixing the berries, the rhubarb and the sugar and thickener, and people got to take home their own unbaked pie. I decided not to make one, since I didn’t want to carry around a pie, but I did eat some of the pie crust. It was yummy.

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Working to build a local, sustainable food system in San José