At Sweetwater, Pesto calls for a Festo!

Every year toward the end of season, usually around the first week of May, we get all geared up to have our annual farmer and community celebration.  It’s an “end of season” party, it’s a fundraiser for our vitally important education program, and it’s a community-building experience for all of us.  It’s our biggest and best event of the year.

This year is our big two-O.  TWENTY years of PestoFesto!  It’s a wonderful tradition.  Volunteers and farmers come together the morning before to harvest basil and get it in the cooler.  That evening more volunteers come to the farm to pluck the basil leaves from the stems and prepare it to be made into pesto the next day.  The pasta gets par-boiled and a “test” batch of our soon-to-be-famous Pesto Pasta is prepared and tasted to make sure it is going to be just right.

Saturday morning starts with setting up tables and chairs, cleaning the barn and the kitchen, and getting the grounds ready.  By afternoon volunteers are washing and chopping veggies for the big farm-fresh salad.  Dressings are being prepared using herbs from our garden.  Our “Pesto Crew” shows up and gets busy making batch after batch of pesto and pasta.  Signs and more tables are set up as beer, wine, and coffee folks arrive.  The Urban Gypsies roll in and set up their equipment and say “hi’ to old friends.  Another round of volunteers come in to make the last minute preparations such as decorating tables with table covers and flowers.  Other volunteers get the serving tables ready to go and others head to their volunteer posts to help folks with parking, greeting folks at the entrance, or selling raffle tickets.

Before we know it, 6:00 is near and the first smiling members, visitors, and guests arrive to the farm.  The tables are set, the beer is cold, and the smell of pesto is in the evening air.

Once again our community comes together to work toward the simple, common goal of sharing a meal and supporting this local farm that provides us with fresh and healthy food and a place to learn and to be.  We think that’s reason enough to have a Festo, don’t you?

Hope you will join us, tickets are available online through Friday for $20 or pay $25 at the door.

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