I've never been a Girl Scout, or even a Brownie, so I didn't know about the Scout "journey" until recently. I like the name journey over project. Projects are desk jobs. A journey is a road trip to exciting destinations far and wide.
The Portola Valley Girl Scouts are journeying about food right now. You might ponder hitching a ride. They are learning about food production, distribution and use, both from a local and global perspective. Along the road, they read the signs: Why is it essential for us to care about the food system? What can I do to improve it?
Last week, the journey led to Bianchini's in Portola Valley, where Kevin Bianchini is quietly leading a food revolution all his own. The girls learned how to create a mini farmers market 365 days a year with systematic partnerships at super-local farms including Webb Ranch of Portola Valley and Pomponio Creek Farms in Pescadero. You can always find something unique and screamingly fresh these days from Pomponio because the farm and the store created a growing schedule of seasonal produce all year long with no gap in harvest and delivery. They're not just dating... they got married.
Right now, I am loving the beautiful baby butter lettuce. I swear it's smiling at me in the produce aisle. And I don't even want to remind you that Webb Ranch's pick-and-deliver-corn-in-5-minutes-or-whatever is right around the corner because you might buy it all before I get there. Check out the produce signs, Kevin is great about listing where things are grown. Beet Enthusiasts, I hear those are on their way.
"I enjoyed the tour," said Kevin. "Teens are a good age to learn how and why to be passionate about food. The girls understood and appreciate that real relationships with farmers make our food taste so much better."
After Bianchini's, the Scouts and I made dinner using ingredients "harvested" from the market. Cooking classes (where dinner is the goal), are often organized chaos, but when the meal hit the table and each girl presented a dish, I found myself inspired and proud. They got it. Thru journeying they learned one of the most positive effects we can have on ourselves, and the environment, begins on our dinner plate, and that there's a story behind each dish. If we take the time to learn the story, the farmer and the rancher join us at the table, and family dinners take on whole new meaning. It is essential to care. We can do something to help.
Let's all join their journey. We'll have impact because food is power, possibly more powerful these days than politics. Most of us are fed up with politics, but still hungry for good food. Not everyone votes, but everyone eats.
So let's journey into the kitchen tonight and cook, shall we?
Together we can make a great meal and a great difference.
3130 Alpine Rd. Portola Valley, CA
810 Laurel St. San Carlos, CA