Help run a sustainable healthy food festival in Oakland

Better than reading about the new food world, in August you’ll have a chance to plunge happily into it. At the Eat Real Festival in Jack London Square, Oakland (August 27-29), you’ll have the opportunity to meet and observe small-scale food and drink artisans at work. Or if you’re a closet food artisan yourself, you can compete in some state-fair type food and beverage contests.

Activities: eating food, of course! Also watching cheesemakers, tofu artisans, and coffee roasters demonstrate their skill; check out local mini-brews; listen to music, storytellers, and poetry; and take lessons in beekeeping, chicken raising and much more! There will be contests for those so inclined (bring your best beer, jam, and preserves).

For anyone who ever read the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie and its wonderful sequels) and marveled at the many amazing domestic skills of her mother (best line of dialogue: Pa says to mother, “You’re a wonder, Caroline”), here’s your chance to learn or show off some of those same arts of making food at home.

Event partners include Food and Water Watch, a valuable watchdog group; the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, which encourages us to connect with small local farms for benefits to both sides; the San Francisco food entrepreneur incubator La Cocina ; and the People’s Grocery, whose mission is to improve West Oakland’s economy and access to healthy food.

If you’ve been following the news in the last ten years about food safety, pesticide contamination, factory farm cruelty, and environmental damage caused by industrial agriculture, you’ll be thrilled to learn how many people in our area are successfully creating, maintaining, and recreating a grassroots food system.

Why am I telling you about this a month ahead of time? So you can volunteer to help run this multi-sensory festival! Sign up on the website http://eatrealfest.com/volunteer, where you can also sign up for the event newsletter.

(This is also found in the Examiner.com Be sure to check up more of Linda’s articles!)

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