All that *and* a packet of seeds

I had my first brush with fame this morning at the farmers' market. I'm not going to lie: I kind of liked it.

As I wandered about the Dupont market picking up eggs and apples and chatting with farmers and Street Sense vendors, a few different groups of grinning young women approached me to say that they'd been at the demonstration I'd given at yesterday's Rooting DC forum. Some showed me greens that they'd picked up to ferment. They seemed really excited. (See? I'm not the only one who gets giddy when it comes to kim chi.) It got me thinking about the first Rooting DC event I attended exactly two years ago. It was one of my very first forays into the DC sustainable food scene, and I recall leaving at the end of the day with a heart filled with excitement and hope. (I was bummed to miss the Forum last year, but I was fighting my way through the Southwestern winter gales at the time.)

It is events like this one, put on by the Field to Fork Network, that really brings people together and gets them fired up to DO things. Garden. Cook. Compost. Build things. Fix things. Help each other. Share ideas. And load DC area food enthusiasts up with endless packets of free seeds.

This year I was proud to be among the presenters, thanks to an invitation from my friend Farmer Mo to help with a demonstration on food preservation. Here she is talking about the importance of a solid seal.

I was just tickled to see that the young woman who had first taught me to ferment foods was sitting in the audience. She was smiling, even, and didn't seem at all alarmed that I was making kim chi with swiss chard. And, happily, nobody gave me a hard time about the poetry. (Who knows, maybe they showed up to see what kind of loony writes sonnets about canning tomatoes. Me. I am that kind of loony, but I'm harmless enough.) Regardless, I would say the session -- and the Rooting DC Forum generally -- was a huge success.

For those who came to our session after I handed out the 50 copies of recipes for tomato sauce, peach preserves, and beet green kim chi -- I think there were about 15 or 20 of you -- you can find recipes here. It was great meeting you all, and please feel free to drop us a line and let us know if you try out any of our recipes. And, of course, if you EVER need tips or ideas related to fermenting foods, you know who to call. :)

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