This year's Seed Ordering/Exchanging Potluck--more than the previous 2 events--opened me up to the real need to celebrate this valley's gardeners more often. There was a great diversity of age . . . from some rad MSU students on up to post-graduates who are workin' the Montana Conservation thing and a few experienced, yet humble, gardeners who would make up the "elder" demographic.
And I don't mean that in any derogatory sense . . . when Chaz Holt and Judy Fisher described strategies for overcoming our limited growing season, getting the most out of our energy and capital investment in tomatoes, and seed saving woes, nerves from everyone in attendence were touched. I felt an intergenerational connection with them both. This is what we needed to overcome Montana's ides of March. Bring on the soil.
Several rockstars from Great Falls came to enjoy the chili-off! The next day I ran into them at the Best of the Bioneers conference where they were spreading the Bokashi composting gospel and telling stories of lobbying for city-wide composting services. They weren't just obstructionists or passive dreamers. They had perfected an anaerobic form of organic digestion, and they helped to spread it to elementary schools across town. But the most exciting message they revealed was that groups of student leaders are maintaining these bins. They understand the importance of doing so--not to mention, they're proving that it's cool to do so! Check out their inspirational work and a blog-post about their time in Bozeman!
Finally, thanks to the two other student groups for hosting this year's Seedluck and Chili-Off--NECO and Friends of Local Foods! I can't wait to co-organize another food-centric event . . . perhaps when the harvesting begins?