Billie and I just returned from the WAPF annual conference last weekend in Santa Clara. This was my fourth conference and Billie’s second. If you have yet to attend one, I suggest you save your pennies and plan to travel to Atlanta next November. I consider the conference a recharge of my batteries after a summer of gardening, a joyful reunion with friends old and new, a time to learn from world-renowned experts in health and nutrition, and to simply rejoice being amongst so many fellow travelers on the road to optimal health.
There are many interesting exhibitors of food, cooking products, health and beauty items and groups dedicated to food and farming. I always come home with Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund T-shirts (buy 3 get 1 free), fabulous food (Ikura, or wild salmon roe, at a big discount from Vital Choice) and a book or two (the newly published, “The Art of Fermentation” signed by author and conference presenter, Sandor Katz). Attendees receive many coupons for internet and phone orders: how about 25% off all Green Pasture products including their combo fermented cod liver oil/high-vitamin butter oil? WooHoo!
I especially enjoy the annual Monday Farm Tour, an all-day trip to three local farms, including lunch. Billie and I saw beef being rotationaly grazed on grass, pigs enjoying their “pigness” rooting around in the woods, and a very clever mobile milking parlor with attached clean room created in a standard stock trailer. To be welcomed to farms such as these and hear the stories of their beginnings, struggles and successes is always inspirational to me. The farmers and ranchers show such pleasure in welcoming us and in answering our many questions. We are generous with our enthusiasm for their practices which bring wholesome, humanely-raised food to our tables. I salute them all!
To top all this off, the 2012 conference brought an incredible gift to my mother who attended for the very first time. Every year Dave Wetzel, owner of Green Pasture Products, donates a trip for two to Alaska as a raffle prize, ticket sales benefiting the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. As usual, I bought five raffle tickets for $20 and so did my mom. Guess what? My mom won and she is taking me with her to Alaska next summer! We plan to fish for halibut and salmon, visit Denali National Park and generally eat as much wild Alaskan seafood as possible. I can’t wait!
See you next year in Atlanta!