Sunday, February 6, 2011

year of idaho food seed swap & story telling

this saturday at the basque center there will be a big gardener get-together for swapping seeds and stories. you don’t have to bring seeds to participate, but if you do, they should be open-pollinated (not necessarily heirloom, just not hybrid.) here’s an article with more information about the swap/storytelling. there’s also another swap, the 2nd annual “seedy saturday seed swap” at the capital city public market, happening april 16.

this event is part of the “year of idaho food,” a new push for local food featuring numerous events scheduled throughout 2011 with different themes for each month (february’s theme is “growing food.”) anyone can contribute to the project online by submitting stories, photos or videos about idaho food and agriculture; here are the submission guidelines.

northwest food news is such a fun and interesting site to browse around--give it a look, especially the calendar of events. there are dozens of classes, movie screenings and workshops coming up.

since this “year of idaho food” thing is so damn exciting, i’m just going to copy and paste the whole page of details:

2011: The Year of Idaho Food

Northwest Food News is hosting an exciting new collaborative project beginning in January.

2011: The Year of Idaho Food is a grass-roots, year-long, statewide look at the surprising variety of foods grown in Idaho — and not simply focusing on the foods themselves, but also on the social, economic and environmental significance of those foods.

That’s a lot to put on one menu. It’s why the Year of Idaho Food is asking for help from individuals and organizations all over the state. Anyone can contribute stories, photographs, video — anything that explores a connection to food and agriculture in Idaho. Appropriate grass-roots content will be presented on Northwest Food News and accompanying social networking sites throughout 2011.

Here are some of the groups that have already pledged to participate:

  • The University of Idaho
  • Idaho Preferred
  • Sandpoint Transition Initiative Food Group
  • Idaho’s Bounty
  • Rural Roots
  • Slow Foods Teton
  • Idaho Office of Tourism
  • The College of Idaho
  • The Treasure Valley Food Coalition

Since we all eat — and are therefore experts on food in our unique ways — the Year of Idaho Food is eager to have just plain people submit stories and content too. Farmers, ranchers, restaurateurs, restaurant patrons, gardeners, home cooks, lovers of county fair corn dogs and anyone else who eats and/or grows food in Idaho are welcome to contribute.

Themes and Events

Along with the open-ended stories and projects, The Year of Idaho Food will also incorporate several structured events and projects:

•The Day of Idaho Food: On Labor Day, September 5, 2011, everyone in the state will be encouraged to include at least one food on their plate that is grown by someone they know in their local area.

The Months of Idaho Food: Monthly themes are planned to promote community discussion and civic engagement around the subject of food.

The Boise Weekly and Boise State Public Radio will offer weekly stories throughout the year on Idaho food and agriculture in partnership with the Year of Idaho Food. These stories will also be available on Northwest Food News.

Organizers and Contacts

The Treasure Valley Food Coalition conceived and will launched the Year of Idaho Food, but will not control content. The project is designed to function as a truly grass roots, non-partisan expression of food and agriculture in Idaho with no single organization or agenda excluded from the conversation.

Year of Idaho Food is made possible in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Northwest Food News, in turn, will provide a web-based platform for the Year of Idaho Food and, where appropriate, contribute editorial content related to the project.

• For general questions regarding the Year of Idaho Food and information on how organizations and individuals can put together events, etc., contact Janie Burns at or Amy Hutchinson at

• To submit Year of Idaho Food stories, photos and video content to Northwest Food News, contact Guy Hand at


Bumble Lush said...

You know, on Fri. afternoon I came across something about a Saturday seed swap on near me too, and I wanted to check it out but couldn't b/c of another commitment. It's the first I've heard of such a thing! pretty cool. And the Year of Idaho Food project sounds really interesting. Makes me wish I lived in Idaho so I could participate!

GoneferalinID said...

Wow, that is great news. Thanks for sharing, I'm going to try to go on Sat.

Emily said...

bumble lush--i wonder if there will be more seed swaps near you, maybe you can catch the next one. i'm excited, i've never been to one so i don't know what to expect as far as attendance and what sort of seeds people bring. should be cool no matter what though!

goneferal--awesome, i hope we run into each other.