Dirt-to-dinner, garden-to-table, farm-to-fork, fork-to-mouth… what does it all mean?

Not long ago I got a call from an old friend, Greg Gearheart. He’s an organizer of a Dirt to Dinner event in Sacramento and water resource engineer. Apparently Sacramento is positioning itself to be the farm-to-table capital of the nation. Fertile soils and an amazing growing season combine to create a mecca of sorts for foodies and down-to-earth healthy living. Seems simple. But somehow there’s a disconnect. The red tape of getting local produce to local markets and residents challenging. And apparently other farm-to-table events in the region have become common and competitive, billing more as a Top Chef match-up. Dirt-to-Dinner aims to make garden-to-table eating accessible. Attainable to individuals no matter the circumstances or scale. Small spaces, container gardens, and gardening of a budget all a green light to get started, especially with a few fab demonstrations of what can be possible.

The requisite plant sale plus general rummage sale were the heart of the event. Veggies grown and sold in dixie cups, cuttings and divisions of favorite flowers and even fruit tree volunteers were dug up, delivered and passed along nearly for free to willing takers. It was a crowd of wonderful people mixed in with chickens, worm bins, live music, and speakers teaching what they know about backyard bees, organic farming, growing what you love (me), food literacy, DIY compost tumblers and rainwater catchment systems (aka rain barrels).

Easy to be inspired to start a garden with so much enthusiasm for growing things, plants nearly thrust into your hands and overall love for living a hands-on life in the air. But it can be overwhelming, so much information all at once. Like learning a new language or facing a list a mile long, it can be tough to know where to begin. But by starting small, one bit at a time, it’s digestible and doable. Dirt-to-dinner eating transforms from a nice idea to a lifestyle.

Grow what you love. Pass the pistil.


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