The Cool Kids

Yesterday afternoon, I attended a benefit, called “Dirt to Dining,” for the Ecological Farming Association, who brings you Eco-Farm every January at Asilomar. While I wouldn’t necessarily suggest that you attend Eco-Farm alone without knowing anyone there and share a room with a young woman who decides to invite in a stranger after you go to bed, I certainly think it is a wonderful event and community that deserves support.

It was held at the house of Jesse Cool, the local restaurateur who in responsible for Late for the Train, Flea Street Café and JZ Cool. She lives near Stanford, and, in fact, her backyard adjoins Stanford land. From the road, it looks like most of Stanford

but past the screen of olive trees is a large garden. We had a tour before the event started

and admired lots of beautiful vegetables (including Jerusalem artichokes, which I’ve never seen growing before)

as well as Jesse’s chickens, with their beautiful handmade coop.

After the tour, there were eight tables with food. Instead of having restaurants and caterers bring the food, Jesse had the farmers and ranchers supply raw ingredients and her own staff cook everything in her kitchen. There was BBQ pork and brisket, grilled vegetables, fennel and potato gratin, strawberry cupcakes, roasted mushrooms and more. There were also organic and biodynamic wines from small California producers to taste. While there was a good turnout, there weren’t the huge crowds and lines that sometimes make these events not so much fun.

I only took a photo of the Far West Fungi table, because I thought the mushrooms were so pretty.

I saw Tom Broz from Live Earth Farm, and Rebecca Thistlethwaite from TLC Ranch, and met Miranda Roberts from Fat Cabbage Farm, another farm in Pescadero which we should add to our 18 July road trip.

I even bought some yarn

spun from Olde English Babydoll Southdown sheep that help keep the weeds down for Crazy Flowers Wine.

I mostly go to these events to enjoy them for themselves, and to support their causes. Networking requires some minimum level of already knowing people, and I’m not there yet. But I certainly had a nice time.