The fifth annual Tour de Cluck Bicycle Coop Crawl took place on Saturday, May 24.
This collaboration of Davis Farm to School, Yolo Farm to Fork and other sponsors and participating businesses bring a chicken-centered community activity to the City of Davis.
The City of Davis is well-known for its flat ground that is suitable for biking, exemplified by the city symbol of an old-fashioned bike. Similarly, the land surrounding Davis are vast areas of farmland; UC Davis is referred to mainly as an “Ag school.” The two concepts of agriculture and biking come together in this Davis-oriented family event.
“The event is a fundraiser to benefit the programs of Davis Farm to School and Yolo Farm to Fork, non-profit organizations supporting farm-fresh and local produce in school lunches, school gardens, elementary school farm visits and recycling and composting programs,” said Beth Harrison, executive director of Yolo Farm to Fork.
This year, the proceeds from ticket purchases and sponsors benefited the Davis Farm to School and Yolo Farm to Fork programs, with a shared mission of supporting farm-fresh school lunches, farm visits, garden programs and recycling.
According to their website, the mission of Yolo Farm to Fork is to educate the public, especially children, about the value of a farm to table community food system that also teaches us to value the environment. Davis Farm to School is a project of Yolo Farm to Fork, specifically working to create an educational and cultural environment in our schools that connects food choices with personal health, community, farms and the land.
“Davis Farm to School values good nutrition and has always had a desire to help the community understand and appreciate our local agriculture,” said Dorothy Peterson, founding chair of Davis Farm to School. “With Davis being a bicycle town, we came up with an idea of bikes and chickens for a ‘Coop Crawl’ for Tour de Cluck. With May being Bike Month and the idea of a chicken riding a penny farthing evolved into our logo. Over the years, Davis has supported what is now a successful fifth Tour de Cluck.”
The Tour de Cluck signature event is the Coop Crawl — an excursion around Davis, in which all participants travel by bike. Starting at the Davis Farmers Market in Central Park, there are all sorts of exhibits and activities by the Bicycle Hall of Fame, the Fowl Food Fair and the Community Crowers on the Green.
“Local restaurants (Fowl Food Frolic) prepare signature fowl dishes for two weeks to show the skills and talents of local chefs, Chicken Skool introduces education to a little known subject to inform novices about good chicken raising practices, and Community Crowers on the Green are groups and businesses that are showcased at the Davis Farmers Market to share valued information that center around the Davis Farm to School messages of good nutrition, waste management and growing their own food in school and home gardens,” Peterson said.
Many popular Davis hotspot eateries have shown support for this cause by their participation in the “Fowl Food Frolic.”
“Dos Coyotes was the first restaurant to support the Davis Farm to Fork program. It is the Dos mission to help with food literacy as well as teaching kids to eat healthy foods,” said Bobby Coyote, founder and owner of Dos Coyotes.
All of these Davis restaurants have local roots and exhibit their support for the Yolo Farm to Fork message by brandishing the Tour de Cluck emblem. Portions of chicken-related dishes bought at these establishments will go towards funding the Tour de Cluck cause in the last two weeks of May.
“The Symposium is very happy to be taking part in the program,” said Yanni Pendelos, owner of Symposium. “We feel that the more people understand their food supply chain, better, healthier decisions can be made about what they choose to eat. Symposium always tries to buy local and fresh, not always easy, but nonetheless important.”
The businesses of Davis come out to show their dedication to benefitting the people in their community.
“Since day one we’ve been a passionate supporter of any effort to help our kids get excited about eating healthy, delicious foods (which tend to be produced by our big hearted neighbor farmer friends),” said Pru Mendez, chef and owner of Tucos. “We’re so proud to be a supporter of the pioneering efforts of Davis Farm to School!”
SHANNON SMITH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.