BY ANDREA SCHAFFER
I agree with most of what Gary Romano stated in his October My Shot, with the exception of his statement that the Sunday Truckee Community Farmers Market, run and operated by Slow Food Lake Tahoe, is on the verge of closing, which it most definitely is not. However, his lamentation about the missing local food movement has some merit, though it occurs at a moment when there is actually a delightful increase in access to local food and local food events.
We are fortunate to live in a community with many opportunities to be fed by fresh, local, delicious food. We have multiple summer farmers markets throughout the region, and Tahoe Food Hub has recently expanded to a larger location at the Truckee Tahoe Airport. We also have year-round CSA memberships and local grass-fed meat and line-caught fish deliveries on a weekly or monthly basis.
In addition, we are fortunate to have food education programs. Every spring and summer, Slow Food Lake Tahoe hosts many free gardening classes and opportunities that teach children and adults how to grow food in our challenging climate. Simultaneously, we donate 100% of the organic food grown at the Truckee Demonstration Garden to feed those in need at Project MANA (now Sierra Community House). The Tahoe Food Hub also supports local food education in our public schools through their Farm to School program. Furthermore, both Slow Food Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Food Hub host local food classes and events (including everyone’s favorite, Community Soup Nights). There are more opportunities to support the local food movement than ever before.
In a time when the rumblings (or grumblings) around town and in our country are not always positive and uplifting, when you find something positive happening, I urge you to support it. Our small town of Truckee and those around Lake Tahoe do not yield the population density that guarantees the support of all the good things that are happening here. Your energy, time and money are all voting currency for what you would like to see more of in our area. So, I ask you to spend all three consciously and with purpose. In order for us all to continue to do the good and important work of the local food movement, we do need your support. We need you to show up to our events, to show our local farmers love and to vote with your time, energy and money for our town to have a local food supply, as well bountiful opportunities to learn about and experience local food.
~ Andrea Schaffer is president of Slow Food Lake Tahoe and has served on the board of the nonprofit since 2014. She is also a functional nutritional therapy practitioner helping her clients improve their health through food and lifestyle. For more information, please go to slowfoodlaketahoe.org or notjustbroccoli.com.