It was yet another beautiful day at Sweetwater Farm this past Saturday for our PestoFesto celebration. Despite several challenges, the event went off without a hitch. Sponsors signed on to help our Farm with some of the larger expenses, including purchasing Basil for the first time in our history! We owe the success of the entire event to Mitch and the rest of his wonderful team at Global Organics for sourcing local organic basil and donating 40 pounds of the beautiful greens to our Festo as well as donating much-needed cash to the cause. Cheers to Cigar City beer who was simply amazing again this year. What a gem we have in our back yard and always willing to support our events. And what about our local vendors Java Planet with their stimulating locally-roasted organic coffee – and Chris “the Pizza Guy” with his giant self-made pizza oven (threatening to overshadow the Pesto itself!) We also send big hugs to Erin and Rollin’ Oats Market for being so generous again this year with their donation of rolls, cookies, and a gift basket for our Silent Auction. Speaking of Silent Auction – an enthusiastic thank you! to Elizabeth Murray for being our trusty Outreach/Events/Media and Silent Auction gal this season. It’s amazing what an inspired person will do for veggies. Just around the corner from us, Vigo never hesitates to donate all the non-basil ingredients required for our Pesto feast. They’ve been a Friend of the Farm for years. And so has Uncle Matt’s – another steadfast and admirable supporter of our urban oasis. Gracie and the Sunset Bridge Band were so easy and fun to work with and absolutely delighted us all. I heard at least five times – “where did you find these guys!?” Andy Harris heads up the salad making and demands focus and respect for those lovely veggies he and his team chop, peel, and slice for hours so that we can all enjoy a scrumptious farm-fresh salad. Who makes the best salad dressings on Planet Earth? Well, Heather of course, founder of Raw and Not Alone. (Did anyone else pour a cup of it to drink??) For the ump-teenth year now Chris Healy‘s tribe has created and delighted our Pesto Palettes with their infamous Pesto-making skills and have way too much fun in the process. And I myself am somehow exhilarated and exhausted from the entire experience. Coordinating a party of this size requires a volunteer commitment way beyond the day to day. Luckily, all we have to do is ask and folks always come running. (One such volunteer literally did come “running” after seeing a last minute call-out for help on Facebook Saturday morning when our truck ran late. With her two children in tow – and wearing a skirt and sandals, I might add – she managed to help us set up tables and wipe down chairs and teach her kids a valuable lesson about helping their community!) Our “retired” Founder, Rick Martinez, keeps rockin’ it out. I don’t know how he does it, but I’m starting to feel and understand his pain (fist-bump). And I cannot stress enough how hard our Farmers, Educators, and Board Members work each and every day to bring us all this amazing food and fun. Growing and harvesting food is just a fraction of what they contribute to this Farm. They do it with charm, grace, sweat, and smiles. Love and endless thanks to All of You for keeping our Community healthy, happy, and strong.