The founders of Food Day view it a little like a mushroom. The events on and immediately surrounding October 24th are supposed to be the fruiting parts of a year-long effort to improve the local, regional, and national food system.
And so, with Food Day 2013 just two weeks in the past, it's time to start looking forward to next year's celebrations and the work we need to do to get there.
On Tuesday, I got to attend a day-long workshop on culinary and agritourism. As I mentioned the next day, going to an Oregon Wild Rivers Coast tourism event made me ponder our place where the Wild Rivers Coast meets the Redwood Coast. It's a beautiful place to be, as we all know, but how can we forge bonds with both regions in a meaningful way?
One possibility is to create itineraries that highlight some of the best that all four counties -- Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry, and the southern end of Coos, from south to north -- have to offer. Food Day starts on a Friday next year, which lends itself well to expanding the offerings into a Food Weekend.
Travel Oregon is a sponsor of an amazing array of activities that all fall under the name, FEAST Portland. The lineup in Portland is incredible, but I'm taking more inspiration from the "Trails to FEAST" created by the folks at Travel Oregon. These are themed driving itineraries covering beer, cheese, wine, and other specialty foods. They include tips for where to stay, where to eat, what not to miss. Now, I wish (because of the name) they actually LED to Portland and FEAST Portland, but they don't. They're more regionally-based.
But imagine, if you will, cheese trails leading from Humboldt, Rogue Valley, and Oregon's Wild Rivers Coast creameries converging on Crescent City for a cheese making workshop. Or a weekend itinerary starting in southern Humboldt and hitting every creamery and cheese destination from there to Bandon, with tastings, workshops, and tours along the whole route.
This is one of the things we're dreaming of for next year's Food Day celebrations. If you would like to be involved in planning events like this, join us! There are always new places at the table.