SLOW-FOOD BARBARA

We thoroughly enjoyed last month's Slow Food celebration in San Francisco. Our village school has just added locally-grown vegetables to their canteen meals, and tossed out the frozen chicken nuggets. This can only be better for the kids - slow food's all about the entire community.

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Vegetable garden in front of City Hall, San Francisco

We were honored to be one of 60 local producers chosen for the Slow Food farmer's market. We had the perfect spot on a corner, with a view of the vegetable garden at City Hall. It was blissfully sunny (we kept the cheese on ice, brought it fresh from the farm each morning, and moved it along the stall to keep it in shadow) and the shoppers all wanted to talk and taste. We had an amazing group of staff and friends to help, but I have three special thank-yous. My sister-in-law Kathy was a rock of support, organization and good ideas, like the hotel massage when I literally couldn't speak from giddy appreciation and exhaustion. My neighbors Joe and Lesa brought the cheese to the city one day, began slicing bread, and never left. Lesa is a can-do mother of five who understands my teenage staff, and has luckily agreed to manage our shop at the weekends. Third, there was Barbara. Barbara appeared on the Friday to see if we needed anything, reappeared with fresh baguettes, and stayed to slice bread. She was bubbly and gorgeous and of course we chatted. As soon as we heard she was a flight attendant, I asked if she'd ever met one of my oldest friends in town, Sarah Boling, who had wild days flying the world on the same airline before becoming one of the pillars of Pescadero community. Sarah's in Pismo Beach now, but she was one of Harley Farm's earliest supporters and had our first batch of retired goats. Well, it could have been just as random as people asking me if I've ever met their friend in Yorkshire, but no, Barbara and Sarah are best friends... Barbara stayed with us on Friday, flew to Seattle on Saturday, and came back to us on Sunday, apron on, ready to work! It's the beginning of a beautiful thing!! We were extremely happy to be in the market, available to all, rather than in the admission-fee-only section of the festival. We have to run the farm as a business, and cheese isn't cheap, but we don't lose sight of a slow food mission: getting good-quality food into schools and to hungry people. Our next food festival is at the farm. It's our most ambitious, most sumptuous local-food dinner yet. Pescadero Maid Feast on October 25th - details soon!!

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