Carbondale’s Farm Fest celebrates local cuisine October 14-16
The harvest season has always had a universal and mythical quality.
Here in the Roaring Fork Valley, fall is truly a primer. It is a time of transition as well as a time of abundance and joy. As the days get shorter and the first signs of winter appear, our farmers are literally “reaping what they sow”, as families and communities come together to connect and celebrate those who sustain them.
With this in mind, the Carbondale Tourism Board, local chef Mark Hardin, organizers and attendees hope attendees enjoy the inaugural Carbondale Farm Fest from October 14-16.
According to Hardin, harvest celebrations are about gathering around a fire with friends and neighbors to reminisce about summer while enjoying music and, most importantly, food.
Hardin grew up in Ohio, where her family maintained a small summer garden that had a huge impact on her relationship to land, food, and community. He fondly remembers how that little patch of land in the backyard nurtured his immediate family, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, and credits it with a certain grip. awareness of wasting nothing and the importance of self-sufficiency.
He recruited a group of notable chefs, restaurateurs, ranchers and farmers – both old and new – to organize the weekend-long festival. Spring Creeks Ranch, Cedar Ridge Ranch, and Potter Farms are some of the outfits opening their doors to the public.
Of course, there were challenges. Due to the well-documented and much-lamented labor shortage in the valley, some friends and colleagues have had to choose between keeping their businesses open and participating, not having enough staff to do both. Hardin understands the challenges facing the restaurant industry and hopes this will become an annual tradition that will allow everyone to participate in the future.
Nevertheless, Farm Fest managed to attract high profile supporters. Harper Kaufman, owner of Two Roots Farm; Casey Piscura, executive director of Seed Peace; and Stick and Bindle chefs Brian Mallon and Jeff Porterfield are a small sample of some of the local talent Farm Fest has enlisted. Beloved chef and longtime resident Andreas Fischbacher, formerly of Cloud Nine and Allegria, is also delighted to support him.
“It’s important for the community to get involved and come together on a large scale and learn where their food comes from,” Fischbacher said.
Several local farms will provide produce for the event. But don’t call what he does “farm-to-table.”
“I don’t like the term ‘farm to table’ because everything that ends up on the table comes from some sort of farm, corporate or otherwise,” he said, adding that we should all stand up for our locally run farms. “Agriculture and ranching are very important to the valley, and something we must preserve for the survival of our animals, our land and our way of life.”
Tanner Gianinetti, fourth-generation owner and operator of Spring Creeks Ranch, agrees.
“Knowing where our food comes from is so important, especially when it comes to the meat we eat,” he said.
Gianinetti’s predecessors immigrated to the valley in 1911. In 1927 they acquired what is now Springs Creeks Ranch. The ranch evolved from a major potato operation in the 1920s through the 1940s and then into ranching. Today it is a fully operational guest ranch that hosts an equestrian center, fly fishing and various private events.
Although the Gianinetti family no longer engages in commercial breeding, Gianinetti highlighted the impact it has on all of us when people have the chance to see an animal’s life cycle and how it fits into the chain. eating.
“Without an awareness and understanding of the animals we eat, their lifestyles, their personalities, as well as husbandry protocols, consumers cannot truly appreciate where their meat comes from,” said he declared.
He is excited to open the ranch to Farm Fest attendees for a harvest lunch on Saturday, October 15, and is interested in how new, younger farmers in the valley are working toward a more sustainable local food chain.
For Tanner, it’s about “self-sufficiency, bringing like-minded people together, family values and maintaining the village atmosphere.”
Mark Hardin shares the sentiment.
“What we have here in the Roaring Fork Valley are longstanding traditions of ranching and farming,” he said. And, now, “what we’re seeing is a resurgence of those traditions,” with a focus on more sustainable ways, less energy, and less processing. “Cheap food isn’t necessarily the best for the earth, the animals, and those of us who eat it.”
Hardin hopes Farm Fest will give people a renewed appreciation for all the great things the Valley has to offer and encourage them to look to local vendors for food supplies.
As for the event, he said, “We want everyone to be successful; plus, it’s fun to work with our friends.