Food is medicine and medicine is food. The phrase is as true as it is palpable and it certainly makes more sense than the popular, “you are what you eat.” Food connects us to our deepest cultural roots, forms our heritage with the land, nourishes our microbiome, and fuels our life missions. Food also drives community, so when our connection to food is lost, we begin to lose our sense of community and ultimately, our sense of self.
The group of passionate volunteers, known collectively as Bare Roots, has seen steady growth within the mission to support healthy, sustainable food access through education, outreach, and partnership over the last year. One area that has experienced much impactful growth is the annual summit event, re branded last year to convey a more inclusive environment of people interested in participating in open dialogue with local experts on Eagle County’s food system, in particular, to learn about local businesses involved in food production and supply. What the group took away from last year’s event was there is almost no support for local producers in our region, growing food in the mountains is hard work, and emergency food assistance programs are starving for healthy, local food resources.
This year, Bare Roots is taking an even more innovative approach to the annual summit event, calling it the Sustainable Food Summit, with a tagline goal of “Growing resilient community fueled by food.” The grand vision for this event is to immerse our beloved mountain community in all things food, to form purposeful partnerships, share resources, raise awareness about outreach projects and businesses related to healthy, sustainable, local and equitable food resources, so that we may transform our food system to one that is regenerative rather than degradative. Established sponsors, All the Good Stuff, Colorado Meat Co., Hovey & Harrison, and Green Elephant Juicery will be represented at tables with taste samples and products for sale. Other organizations, like Walking Mountains Science Center, will be in attendance to share about the Climate Action Plan for Eagle County. Their Sowing Seeds program will also be represented with garden-themed activities for kids in collaboration with Bare Roots’ Growing Gardeners program. Attendants also have the opportunity to learn more about food assistance programs through Vail Valley Salvation Army and Our Community Foundation’s Food Hub. Information on how to get involved with local community gardens as well as visions for future community gardens will be shared. The plant sales by both Red Mountain Farms and the Bare Roots Greenhouse are not to miss as well as seed swaps, garden decor crafts, close encounters with garter snakes, face painting fun and even free beer from Bonfire Brewery!
In addition to the plethora of tables to move through at leisure, Bare Roots has also organized 3 optional speaker sessions that will take place throughout the event in the Bare Roots Greenhouse. Starting at 1:00pm, Shawn Bruckman from Ground Up and Vail Honeywagon will speak about soil health and composting with an emphasis on the new commercial composting facility for Eagle County. At 2:00pm, Patricia Esperon, project manager for Bare Roots will speak on behalf of the entire Bare Roots team about the various education and impact projects taking place at the site in Avon, with an emphasis on the importance of conscious collaboration. At 3:00pm, members of the Bare Roots Steering Committee will lead a networking and vision sharing session for community members interested in local food production. All the Good Stuff, a new farmer’s market delivery company will be attending this session, along with the up and coming ventures of Blue Sky Farms and Vail Valley Creamery, also sponsors of the event.
This not to miss food fest takes place this coming Sunday, June 3 from 12:00-4:00pm outside of the Vail Valley Salvation Army office in Avon, CO. The team at Bare Roots is beyond grateful for the many partnerships forged for putting together this event. Special thanks to the Town of Avon and Beaver Creek Resort for their donations of tables and tents. Thank you to CSU Extension of Eagle County for collaborating on education and outreach projects. And thank you to all our sponsors, All the Good Stuff, Ground Up, Our Community Foundation, TV8 Vail, Minturn Free Radio, The Vail Daily, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Vail Honeywagon, Hovey & Harrison, Green Elephant Juicery, Blue Sky Farms, Vail Valley Creamery, Bonfire Brewery, Red Mountain Farms, Walking Mountains Science Center, and Colorado Meat Co. We can’t wait to see you all at the event this Sunday!