It was a very busy weekend here. Thursday night I heard the first peeps coming from the incubator, we kicked off hatching season with a Delaware chick followed by many more Delawares, some Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons and a few Polish and Blue Cochins. My favorite part of hatching season is opening up the incubator in the morning or after I get home from work. When I pull out the hatching tray, it's just amazing to see little fluffy chicks where solid eggs were just a few hours prior. Even after hatching hundreds of chicks, it never grows old for me. In fact, this is later in the year that we started hatching previously, and I really missed it!
Another successful event this weekend was Friday's Farm to Table conference. We only got a little lost on our way to the convention center! It was great to finally meet Mia from PASA, I feel like I know her since we've exchanged so many emails. She was really great in person, truly excited about local foods, and I look forward to meeting her again. We had samples of my Black Forest Preserves, Carrot Cake Jam, Horseradish Mustard, Ginger-Garlic Mustard, and Thai Dipping Sauce available to all who walked by the PASA table. Although all were well-received, the Carrot Cake Jam was the hands-down winner. My favorite quote from the conference was a woman who not only wanted to buy a jar, but wanted me to make a whole bathtub for her so she could "just soak it all in!" I was amazed, even in a big place like Pittsburgh, about half of the folks who stopped by knew where Tionesta was. We hope to see lots of them at our stand this summer! It was a great place for farmers and other vendors to network as well. Although I had quite a few requests to carry my products at other locations, for now the only place they will be available is at our stand here at the farm.
I was pleasantly surprised by the edible Allegheny table as well. The magazine had contacted me last year about advertising in it. Although it was a bit too expensive to fit into our current advertising budget, I offered to host them if they ever cared to do a story here. I was told that only farms that advertise would get stories published about them This really soured me on the magazine, because it is a beautiful publication that states its purpose as supporting local farms and seasonal eating, but I felt that if they only profiled advertisers, they were misleading the audience about the true availability of local food by ignoring small producers. One of the women at the booth asked if I had heard of the magazine before, and when I relayed this story, she told me that it was not true at all, and that she was in fact the editor of the publication. I gave her one of my cards, and whether or not they ever want to do a story here, I'm excited about the magazine now. I'm looking forward to sitting down with the issue they handed out at the conference and to seeing the subscription come to my mailbox.