Farm-to-Fork festival unites local foodies

Justyce Mirjanovic

The Farm-to-Fork festival is an event designed to promote local farms and emphasize the importance of agriculture. The festival is a way to celebrate Sacramento because after all, Sacramento is the capital of Farm-to-Fork.

Farm-to-Fork is a two week event beginning in the middle of September that features a variety of events that happened such as restaurant week, the Farm-to-Fork festival and the dinner gala.

The festival took place at Capitol Mall between 3rd and 7th street and featured live music, food trucks, restaurants and local farmers.

This is the second annual farm to fork and there were high hopes. Last year, there was about 25,000 people that came out to show their support for local farms.

Save Mart Supermarket is a huge supporter of local farmers and prides themselves on its fresh produce. Chef Randall Selland, owner of The Kitchen, Ella and Selland’s Market-Cafe, showed his support by doing a demonstration inside the Save Mart tent.

He made his famous room temperature tomato soup and shaved squash salad, both with fresh produce provided by Save Mart.

Selland has been participating in Farmer’s Markets for 25 years and said it is great to see how they have developed over time.

“I just think it’s a phenomenal event,” Selland said. “It’s a great way to promote Sacramento.”

Over the last few years, farmer’s markets have become more popular and fresh produce is available all year long now, whereas before it was only available during certain seasons.

Selland said with the rise of interest in agriculture and people wanting to know where their food is coming from, celebrating farm to fork is a great event.

Yolo County was at the festival to promote its produce and show support because they are one of the closest farms to Sacramento.

Alan Humason, executive director of the Yolo County Visitors Bureau, said the festival was a great celebration of the food, food production and a coming together of all kinds of people to celebrate.

“If Sacramento is the farm to fork capital, then Yolo County is the farm to Sacramento’s fork,” Humason said. “So we’re here to acknowledge our contributions to this regional proposition and try to encourage people to go across the bridge to Yolo County and come see what we have.”

Sacramento has the largest Certified Farmer’s Market in California and 70 percent of the region’s land is agricultural, forest or other open space.

Anneke and John Dndejong own a goat farm where they produce all-natural goat milk. This was their second year at the Farm-to-Fork festival and last year they went through 700 samples in 6 hours.

“I think it’s great to be able to talk to our customers and people who are interested in their food,” Dndejong said. “It’s nice to get the face-to-face, usually we deal with distributors, store owners, and retailers.”

Ruhstaller is a local beer brewing company that was originally founded in Sacramento pre-prohibition in 1881. They have a farm located off of I-80 and take pride in making locally grown beer.

“We say we grow beer because we grow our own hops locally and use 100 percent California barley too,” said Liz Harris, marketing manager of Ruhstaller.

Harris said it is great to have a spotlight shed on this region.

“It can only go up from here,” Harris said.

The Gala Dinner, which happened the day after the festival, sold out in record time this year with about 3,000 people logging on to purchase tickets. All of the proceeds go toward funding the Farm-to-Fork festival.

The Gala took place on Tower Bridge in Downtown Sacramento and there was about 740 seats on the bridge. There was a variety of people that showed up to the event including the conference of mayors.

“It’s such a unique experience that I think it touches all types of people,” said Sidney Scheideman, a Farm-to-Fork Spokesperson.

Some of the best Chef’s in Sacramento came together to create a 5 course dinner.

Chef Jay Veregge from Tenn22 and Chef Chris Jarosz of Broderick Roadhouse, said they were honored to be at the event and very happy to be involved.

Veregge said there have been changes in the farm industry over the last three years, but major changes in the last year.

“I guess the bigger thing is doing it all year round and thats kind of what’s different about Sacramento,” Jarosz said. “There really aren’t any other regions that do this, but ours.”

Aric and Rhona Resnicke, residents of Sacramento for 25 years, were lucky enough to get tickets because Aric Resnicke was logged into his event pride account as soon the tickets went on sale.

Scheideman said last year was an overwhelming success and tickets sold out in 6 hours even though it was the first Gala and people did not know what to expect.

“We saw the pictures from last year and had to be here,” Aric Resnicke said.

Another couple that attended the event was Danny and Julie Merkley, residents of Zamora, Calif. Danny Merkley is a farmer so he was there on business, but that did not make him any less excited to be attending the event.

“I think it really helps to bring awareness to people about where their food comes from, especially in Sacramento,” Danny Merkley said.

This was only the 2nd annual Farm-to-Fork celebration and it was a major success. These events will continue on in the future and hopefully keep attracting more people.