What a year it's been! Between our first post - proudly proclaiming that we joined a CSA - and our recent letter to Santa Claus, we've grown gardens, pickled dilly beans, and made lifelong friends. Here are just a few highlights from 2009:
- In April, we published "10 Ways Local Food Has Changed My Life," then kicked off our monthly local food events with a dinner of lamb and polenta at the Craftsman Restaurant. (We were back at the Craftsman for our December event, a big ole party with free food).
- In May, we teamed up with the Birchwood Cafe and Common Roots Cafe to recruit a bunch of friends for a day of onion planting at Riverbend Farm.
- In July, we relaunched our blog as a fully formed website (complete with an events calendar, restaurant and farm directories, and lots more) and then went right back to work at Riverbend Farm, helping pack CSA boxes to learn how it's done.
- In August, we visited the Minnesota Governor's residence and got the chance to ask what the Governor eats and how it might affect his food policy.
- In September, we hosted what was surely Minneapolis' funnest-ever pig roast and potluck for more than 150 local food lovers.
- In October, we teamed up with Lucia's for a nourishing "Know Your Farmer" dinner, connecting with our food producers in the most direct way.
- In November, we launched our first product (in conjunction with Peace Coffee), a delicious fair-trade Ugandan Peaberry coffee.
- In December, we launched our Local Food Lover program, making Minnesota the unofficial leader in local food programs in the country.
So what's next?
2010 promises to be better in every way. We at Simple, Good, and Tasty resolve the following:
To Continue to Build Bridges
We're excited to build on our successes and learn from our opportunities. There are so many great farmers, restaurants, businesses, and organizations around the country working to improve our food system, to increase access and education, and to make our food safe. As we work to become one of them, we will continue to reach out to others in order to learn, to build meaningful connections, and to make a difference.
To Address the Connection Between Food and Health
Despite promises and proclamations of health care reform, I don't know anyone who'd debate that our best option as patients is to stay out of the system altogether. The wellness - and healing - aspects of the food we eat profoundly affect ourselves, our children, and our communities, and we're excited to explore them more in the coming months.
To Continue to Invite the Conversation
We don't have all the answers, and we never will. But we're committed to creating a community and a conversation - online and offline - that encourages people to ask questions, support each other, get great information, and make informed choices. It's critical that we share experiences, eat together, and learn from each other.
To Dig Deeper
Knowing our farmers is the best way we know to feel confident about our food, but it isn't always practical - and it's not always the answer for everybody. We're committed to making good food choices, to basing our thoughts on reliable information, and to sharing what we learn - even when it challenges conventional wisdom (and/or our own).
To Can Truckloads of Tomatoes
This is the year, it really is. Local tomatoes, year-round baby.
We're grateful for an amazing 2009 - for terrific partners, great friends, memorable events, delicious foods, and an incredibly supportive community - in Minnesota and throughout the country. As we look ahead to 2010, we're excited by what the future holds - and thrilled to have you along for the ride.
Thanks for a great 2009, and best wishes for a happy, healthy, and tasty 2010.