We have partnered with Visit Mendocino County and our beer geek friends to introduce an exciting new event, the Inaugural Mendocino County Homebrew Festival! This new addition to the Mendocino Mushroom, Wine and Beer Festival is set for November 4th, 2017 at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center.
The afternoon will feature brewers from several clubs in Lake and Mendocino Counties and also from around Northern CA competing to become the people’s choice winner. The event is also open to ciders, mead and other fermented beverages including kombucha & jun. Local Farm-to-table food will be available for purchase.
The festival will include both a People’s Choice award and Brewer’s Choice panel winner.
All proceeds go to support Good Farm Fund, which makes fresh local food available to lower income community members by funding the SNAP/food stamp Market Match program at farmers markets and provides strategic economic development grants to Lake and Mendocino County small farms. Farm to table food provided by the Mendocino College Culinary Arts Program will be available for purchase.
If you would like an opportunity to promote your business by joining our >> fine cast of sponsors email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about our sponsorship packages.
Ukiah Brewing Company, The Big Chief of Laytonville, Visit Mendocino, Westside Renaissance Market, Saucy, Beer Belly Fermentation Supply, Riley’s Cab (which will be providing attendees with free cab service within a 10 mile radius of the event), KWINE, KMAX and KZYX
Tickets also available at JD Redhouse & Co, Mendocino Book Co, Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op and Westside Renaissance Market
Tuesday, June 13: 6– 9:00 pm
Yokayo Roots Farm Tour: 6:15 Dinner served: 6:30, drinks included
Yokayo Ranch | 800 Hensley Creek Rd, Ukiah, CA
$100 in advance | $125 at event
Featuring live acoustic music by Jason Wright and specialty summer inspired cocktails by American Craft Distillery Whiskey.
Get your tickets, mark your calendar, and join us on Tuesday, June 13 for a one-of-a-kind experience designed to unite the entire food system in one evening. This is the only event that pairs the best chefs with the best farmers from both Lake and Mendocino Counties. Together, our chef/farmer teams create seasonally inspired small plates to delight and inspire you, while showcasing exceptional, locally grown produce.
Thursday December 8, 2016, from 5– 9:00 pm Dinner served from 6 – 8:00 p.m. Barra of Mendocino Event Center | 7051 North State Street, Redwood Valley
Farm to Table Dinner featuring locally raised meat, produce, grain, beer, & wine. Plus… an auction, live music by The Thin Air String band and great company.
Tickets $30 adults advance/$40 at the door | $15 youth (<15)
A back-by-popular-demand highlight of the local holiday season! Proceeds support Good Farm Fund’s mission to provide assistance to local farms and fund the Farmers Market Food Stamp Matching program, which makes nutritious local food more affordable in our community.
In 2016, we are giving out $20,000 in grants to local farms, which was raised through events like this dinner. All grant applicants will join us at the Winter Feast to talk about their exciting farm projects!
The event is sponsored by North Coast Opportunities, the Mendo-Lake FoodHub, Mendo Lake Credit Union, First Five, Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op, Yokayo Ranch, Black Dog Farm & Catering and Thompson’s Party Rentals.
Thank you for supporting our work to help local farms thrive!
The Good Farm Fund is excited to host its Third Annual Winter Feast on Thursday, Dec. 8 from 5 to 9 p.m.
This year’s farm-to-table dinner will be held at Barra of Mendocino Event Center at 7051 N. State St. in Redwood Valley, and will feature locally raised meat, produce, cheese, grain, beer, wine and cider.
There will also be live music by The Thin Air String Band — known for its jazzy/West Coast-punkgrass style — and a silent auction packed with unique local items ideal for holiday giving.
This dinner is back by popular demand after selling out last year. Attendees proclaimed it a highlight of the holiday season, with plenty of feel-good cheer and an abundance of local food and drink to enjoy at an affordable price.
“This dinner is about celebrating all the hard work that farmers do throughout the year and the customers who support us,” says Caroline Radice of Black Dog Farm & Catering, one of the event coordinators. “The best way to do that is enjoy delicious local food together, while raising funds to help local farms expand.”
Radice and her husband, Jason Pluck, cater the event with the help of many volunteers. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meal options will be available.
Proceeds will go toward the Good Farm Fund’s small grant program for local farms, as well as the Ukiah Farmers Market Food Stamp Match program, which makes nutritious food affordable for all.
The event is sponsored by North Coast Opportunities, Inc., Mendo Lake Credit Union, First Five, Ukiah Natural Foods Co-Op, the MendoLake Food Hub, and Thompson’s Party Rentals.
In its first year, the Good Farm Fund awarded a total of $7,000 in farm grants to nine local farms. Now in its second year of accepting applications, the Good Farm Fund is poised to award $20,000 in grants.
Applications were due in October, and grant recipients will be at the dinner to talk about the critical projects that have been or will be supported by the fund.
Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door; youth 15 and under are $15. Tickets can be purchased at the Westside Renaissance Market, the Mendocino Book Company, the Ukiah Farmers Market, The Spot Coffee in Redwood Valley, or online at www.goodfarmfund.org.
The Good Farm Fund is a fiscally sponsored project of NCO, a 501(c)3 Community Action Agency serving Lake and Mendocino counties.
For more information, to sign up to volunteer, or to donate items to the auction, email goodfarmfund[at]gmail.com.
SECOND ANNUAL FARM TO TABLE BENEFIT DINNER Tuesday June 21, 2016, 6-9 p.m. | Yokayo Ranch
We are delighted to present the Second Annual Good Farm Fund Farm Benefit Dinner at the lovely Yokayo Ranch in Ukiah. This farm to table dinner has quickly become one of Mendocino County’s favorite food and agriculture events of the year, featuring gourmet small plates prepared by over 20 of the best chefs in the county!
Designed to bring together the entire food system in one experience, every chef is paired with a local farmer and together they present a seasonal dish directly to eaters in a fabulous and intimate setting. In addition to serving up local wine, beer and cocktails with live music in the background, we will share some of the most inspiring stories from Mendocino County’s bountiful and vibrant local food scene.
Event proceeds support our Farm Grant Program which provides direct support to local farmers. Eat well for a great cause! >> See Eventbrite listing
Saturday, May 28, 2016, 7:30-10:30 pm The Madrones| 9000 California 129, Philo Join us and our special guests wine expert and TV personality, Leslie Sbrocco and Casey Beck, Filmmaker of Organic Life, for delicious farm-fresh cuisine for a good cause. Go “into the bottle” at this family style dinner, as you enjoy dishes from chef Shannon Hughes made entirely with local ingredients and paired with wines from Drew, Witching Stick and Signal Ridge. Chat with your favorite winemaker, filmmaker or farmer and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Proceeds from the dinner benefit the Farm Grant Program.
By Chef Julia A. Kendrick Conway for Culination Magazine
Farm-to-table is a big buzzword today in the culinary and restaurant world. It seems every other menu touts a local connection, identifying ingredients by naming the farms that produce them. But how much does the trend really benefit farmers and our local food economies?
Here in the far reaches of Northern California, it has become a reality through the Good Farm Fund, which raises money to match dollar for dollar the EBT coupons used to buy fresh produce in our farmers’ markets, and runs a grant program administered by and benefiting small farmers.
The Good Farm Fund recently sponsored a fundraising dinner at a local ranch, where each farmer was paired with a local chef. 175 guests enjoyed dishes based on ingredients that were grown, raised or produced within the county. The vibrant menu was as diverse as the types of farms and farmers; carrot and beet cake with red wattle ham and summer slaw, carrots roasted with Moroccan spices and served over a carrot top salad, Thai green bean curry with coconut milk and fresh basil and peaches wrapped in pancetta and roasted.
As a caterer, we source local ingredients whenever possible, so it was a pleasure to meet with our farmer and choose what item was in abundance given the season; creating a dish that would highlight its freshness and special character. In our case, it was rainbow carrots, which were roasted within twenty four hours of picking. The carrot top salad was born of the mounds of perfectly crisp greens that remained after cleaning, which were trimmed of their stalks and tossed with vinaigrette of cranberry-pomegranate vinegar and blood orange olive oil. Each serving of carrots was plated atop the salad, allowing the subtle taste of the fresh carrots to carry though both components of the dish.
The challenge for all of us is to find ways to support farmers, whether through fundraisers, direct sourcing, or shopping at your local farmers’ market.
Many farmers barely scratch out a living, much like chefs, and put every ounce of their passion into what they grow. No, local products are not the cheapest, and you can’t always count on the availability of a specific item, but if you let the aromas, flavors and colors influence your menu, the results can be profitable for everyone, including the customer.
Julia Kendrick Conway is Owner and Executive Chef at Assaggiare Mendocino. She is leading a chef’s life of Farm-to-Table cuisine, while building awareness for the Good Farm Fund.
An event this week in Ukiah was designed to not only showcase local food producers, but hopefully garner interest in helping them succeed at a daunting task: making a living as a farmer.
“It is nearly impossible to grow food for your neighbors and make enough money to live on,” said Scott Cratty, the director of the Ukiah Farmers Market and one of the organizers of the event, Farm to Table Mendocino. “And it is next to impossible for a young farmer to succeed without a great deal of support from the community.”
The event was hosted June 24 at the Yokayo Ranch, which borders Mendocino College, and featured food grown and prepared by Mendocino County farmers and chefs, along with local wines, beer and spirits. “A vibrant agricultural community is something worth celebrating, and great food is one of the few things we all can appreciate,” said Cratty, explaining that “farm-to-table” dinners which bring food straight from the farmers’ hands to diner’s plates are proving quite popular, but that this dinner was designed to achieve more than an appreciation for locally grown food.
“We decided to do an event that would ‘feed’ the farmers, as well,” said Cratty, referring to the fact that the proceeds of the event would go to the Good Farm Fund, which describes itself as “a community organization dedicated to providing direct support to small farmers in Mendocino and Lake Counties, and increasing local food security for all members of our community.”
After being invited to purchase tickets to the event, diners were treated to appetizers like goat cheese from Shamrock Artisan Goat Cheese of Willits and rye crackers from the Mendocino Grain Project. The small dinner plates included Thai curry green beans by Black Dog Farm of Potter Valley, a selection of cured meats from Heart Arrow Ranch in Redwood Valley, and a vegetable tapenade paired with crostini provided by Saucy and Covelo Organics.
The special guest chef was John Ash, known to many as the “Father of Wine Country Cuisine,” who said that Mendocino County “doesn’t get the credit it deserves” for all it produces, a fact he blamed on a mix of geography and reputation.
“You all are a bunch of food outlaws out here,” Ash said. “But dinners like these can be the model you use to get Mendocino on the map.”
Another way Mendocino County can be put on the map, diners were told, is if residents decide to invest in agricultural ventures. One successful model is Fortunate Farm of Caspar, which partnered with North Coast Brewing Company of Fort Bragg after the company tried to find uses for the tons of spent grain it produces every year.
“I grew up here and loved farming here, but never thought I could make a living farming here,” said Gowan Batist of Fortunate Farm, explaining that her “obsession” with spent grain led to the supportive relationship with North Coast Brewing Company, something she not only credits with giving her “my name on the deed to the farm I live and work on,” but also with “making me a better farmer.”
Another way the community can help young farmers was presented by John Kuhry, the executive director of the Economic Development and Financing Corporation, which recently launched a Direct Public Offering, which may be used to provide the infrastructure needed for a wool processing facility, or a meat processing plant.
“It will take local investments and pool that money into a loan program,” said Kuhry, describing the DPO as “investment crowd funding,” and Ukiah resident Matthew Gilbert as “the poster child for what this fund can do.”
Gilbert, a Mendocino County native who began shearing sheep when he was 12, said he has seen tons of wool go to waste in the county because it is so difficult and expensive to get it processed. He recently bought the equipment he needs to process wool locally, and was given a permit by the city to operate a mill out of his home in Ukiah.
“This project is shovel-ready; we just need enough capital to get it up and running,” Gilbert said, explaining that he cannot afford to pay the interest rates on loans offered by traditional banks. “Our goal is to raise $250,000 for the DPO, and if we do, Matt Gilbert’s mill could become a reality,” said Sarah Bodnar, coordinator of the Farm to Table Mendocino dinner and co-founder of the Good Farm Fund. The dinner was sponsored by The Community Foundation, The Mendocino County Farm Bureau, Leadership Mendocino, Mendocino Winegrowers, Inc., North Coast Opportunities, the Economic Development and Financing Corporation, the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District and the Mendocino Land Trust.
For more information on how to donate, call the EDFC at 467-5953, or go to goodfarmfund.org.