On Friday, the Davis Food Co-op, located at 620 G Street, held their second annual Eat Local Fair. The Co-op hosted what they called “a parking lot party” to celebrate food providers within 100 miles of Davis.
From 6 to 8 p.m. vendors gave out free samples, ranging from olive oil to chorizo while also selling their products.
Stands included Caffé Italia, Z Specialty Foods, Rancho Llano Seco, Five Dot Ranch, Winters Cheese Company, Three Twins Ice Cream, Drinkwell Softers and Joy and Taylor’s Raw Chocolates.
Representatives from local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups, including Pacific Star Gardens, Full Belly Farm, Farm Fresh to You and Good Humus Produce, were also available to explain their programs and meet potential subscribers.
The event also featured live music from The Telling and The Souterrain. Local author Brenda Nakamoto did a reading from her book, Peach Farmer’s Daughter. There was also a surprise flash mob.
“We expanded this year, from just the north side of the parking lot to the whole south part,” Melanie Madden, marketing coordinator for the Co-op, said. “We take ‘local’ seriously in Davis. We want shoppers to be able to meet folks in person, especially around harvest time. Some of the vendors don’t sell at our store, but I think it’s still a great way to feature community supported agriculture.”
Local community activism groups also had booths at the fair. Veronica Pardo, former Domes resident and graduate student in community development, said she came to advocate for promoting new leases with the Solar Housing Community.
From Nov. 3 to 6 the Domes and cooperative living community, the University of California staff and volunteers will help renovate these community structures in anticipation of a January re-opening. Pardo’s group, Friends of Baggins End, is hosting a four-day work party to rebuild interiors, lay pathways, paint, plan, garden and make and serve food.
“We came to promote the event to the community and get people signed up to help in November,” Pardo said. “I think reopening in January is practical and feasible. There has to be time to get through the bureaucracy.”
Deborah Raven-Lindley, co-owner of Nevermore Farm, which is just north of the Yolo County line, said the fair is a nice way to connect with customers. The farm offers poultry, eggs, flowers, almonds, fruits and vegetables.
Joan Diestel, owner of the Diestel Turkey Ranch in Sonora, agreed that the event is good for increasing businesses’ visibility.
“It helps the community understand what the Co-op has to offer,” Diestel said. “We have a partnership with the Co-op to source sustainable food products. We’re here to help tell our story.”
Yolo Press owner Dianne Madison started her company 22 years ago. Yolo Press carries olive oil and olive oil hand lotion.
“This is my first time at the fair. I wasn’t able to go last year because of time conflicts,” Madison said. “Even though I already sell my products at both co-ops and the farmers market, I’m here to get more customers.”
ANGELA SWARTZ can be reached at email@example.com.