What: Farm Sanctuary Country Hoe Down
Where: Orland, Calif.
When: May 1, 2010
Why: A visit to a farmed animal shelter is wonderful for the spirit
The Scoop: Two weeks in New York weren't enough, nor a full five days back in the office. It's just a two-and-a-half hour drive on a traffic-free Saturday morning from VN's San Francisco home base... why not head up to Orland for the day?
Farm Sanctuary's annual Country Hoe Down combines elements of party and conference into an informal, relaxing day-and-a-half event where one might commune with a cow, pitch a tent with fellow campers, sit in on a cooking class, learn from an eclectic yet balanced mix of knowledgeable speakers, and dine in an open air "People Barn" on a gorgeous late-spring day.
I arrived just in time to catch Chef Tanya Petrovna, founder of Southern California's Native Foods vegan restaurant chain, host a cooking demo. She kept the crowd in rapt attention with tips and humor, and, of course, food samples.
A bit of sanctuary time with the animals preceded the main program back in the P-Barn, where FS's Executive Director, Allan Kornberg, MD, MC'd for the opening acts: authors Jonathan Balcombe (Pleasurable Kingdom; Second Nature), Breeze Harper (Sistah Vegan), and Will Tuttle (The World Peace Diet). The sanctuary's president and co-founder, Gene Baur, tag-teamed with Dr. K to bring on the evening's final speakers, Chef Tanya and the man everyone was waiting for, Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone. Biz's talk, "Compassionate Communication: Using Social Media as a Force for Good," ended with "10 Quick Tips and Best Practices" for using Twitter, which this tech-meister will surely implement very soon.
The vegan dinner feast was catered by Allyson Bedene of Chico, Calif., and then it was back to SF to sleep in my own bed, which I haven't been doing a whole lot of lately.
Check back for more Press Passes this week: Lyndsay and Liz's Millennium adventure, and Colleen and I head back to LA for some food (Seed; Veggie Grill; Cruzers Pizza), fun (The Spork Sisters!), and honors (The Maggie Awards).