How Awesome Was This Year's Local Food Pig Roast and Potluck in Minneapolis? Even More Awesome Than Last Year's!

Even those among us who doubt the existence of a higher power shared the sense that someone -- or something -- was smiling down on us this past Sunday, August 15. After a long string of sticky, icky, ninety-degree days, the more than 150 local food lovers who gathered at Minneapolis' Minnehaha Falls enjoyed some of the finest food, fun, music, and -- yes -- weather we've had all summer. Simple, Good, and Tasty's Second Annual Pig Roast and Potluck gathered together families from all over the metro area to share stories, recipes, favorite family foods, and phone numbers with brand new friends. It was awesome.

Don and Dave pulling the pigDon and Dave pulling the pigDave Micko, Don Severson, and I started roasting the pig "low and slow" at about 9:00 a.m., and by noon we were turning heads (and noses) around Minnehaha Park. The smell emanating from Don's custom-built "China Box" (he makes the boxes to order, let us know if you want information) was amazing, and the growing crowd wondered what was happening and how they could participate.

Just before 4:00, the first people arrived, caprese salads and loaves of fresh baked bread in hand. For the next three hours, our terrific team of volunteers expertly checked in guests, provided name tags and temporary tattoos, found places for homemade goodies, and replenished supplies as needed. We were grateful for their help and thrilled to have made so many new friends.

The music, provided by local singer-songwriter Brad Senne and drummer Ryan Lovan, was fantastic, offering just the right low-key, acoustic blues to suit the occasion. Guest speakers Angela Eifert from Youth Farm, Jill Grunewald from Minnesota Cooks, and Kristin Tombers from Clancey's Meats and Fish were there to provide context for the meal we were eating, celebrating urban gardens, farmers, and chefs. And the kind folks at the Homegrown Experience let us give away several pairs of free tickets to their upcoming local food celebration (August 22 in Minneapolis).

But the undeniable star of the show was the food. Simple, Good, and Tasty provided the proteins and Birchwood Cafe lemonade. The pig, purchased from Hidden Stream Farm and covered in garlic, salt, and brown sugar for days, was the tastiest most of us had ever eaten. The bratwurst, from Clancey's and Seward Co-op, were juicy and delicious too. Best of all, guests brought together an amazing collection of homemade pickles (thanks Amy Boland and others), homegrown tomatoes and cucumbers, corn salads, potatoes, rice and pasta, banana cake with mocha frosting (that's you, Kathy), and many, many other delectable foods.

Usually when I hear the word "potluck" I think of church basement leftovers, old ham sandwiches, canned beans, and bags of chips. Not here. At this party, guests started with the most delicious, fresh, homegrown food around, then prepared favorite family recipes for everyone to share. And did I mention that the weather was absolutely perfect?

Thank you to The Birchwood Cafe, Valley Natural Foods, Hidden Stream Farm, Clancy's Meats and Fish, Linden Hills Co-op, Seward Co-op, and Sea Salt for providing free or discounted food and products. Thank you to Dave Micko and Don Severson for prepping and cooking the delicious pig. Thank you to our terrific team of volunteers who helped the event go off without a hitch. And thank you to everyone who came to the event, shared your food, and partipated in the larger "good food" community.

On Sunday, Kristin Tombers shared this excerpt from Gary Paulsen's book Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass:

[...] every single damn thing that we are or ever will be is dependent on six inches of topsoil and the fact that the rain comes when it's needed and does not come when it is not needed.

Thank you for coming to Minnehaha Falls on Sunday to celebrate this amazing truth together.


Lee Zukor is the founder of Simple, Good, and Tasty. E-mail him at or follow him on Twitter.