Date Night: Bringing Locals and Farmers Together

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What do hibiscus, bison short ribs, and wheat berries have in common? They were all part of the delicious, all-Arizona grown meal served at this year’s Speed Date Your Farmer, hosted by Your Farm Foods. The founder of Your Farm Foods, Kerry Bashi, is passionate about connecting Arizonans to the people who grow their food. They propel this mission of connecting consumers directly to farmers through events like Speed Date Your Farmer and a online marketplaces where food producers and farmers can directly sell their products to Arizonans.

We host Speed Date Your Farmer because we believe when consumers and farmers connect they can grow in their personal and business lives. Consumers are able to understand the farmers’ story and growing practices to make more informed decisions about the food they purchase. Farmers can understand their markets needs and wants to make more informed farm and business decisions.
— Kerry Bashi, Your Farm Foods

Speed Date Your Farmer is one of the annual events that Your Farm Foods puts on to bring together farmers and consumers to meet and eat together. This year, the dinner was located at Agave Farms and included produce and meat from Soil and Seed Garden, Crooked Sky Farm, Superstition Farm, Date Creek Ranch, Ramona Farms, and Adam’s Natural Meats along with beverages from Pillsbury Wines and Helio Basin Brewing. The food was crafted into a meal by Chef Brett Vibber of Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine in Cave Creek.

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I’m involved with Your Farm Foods and this event because Kerry really wants to help mainstream Arizonans learn and know more about local foods. I love that. Plus, all of my friends are here.
— Chef Brett Vibber, Cartwrights AZ

What sets this event apart from traditional farm-to-table meals is the focus on the people behind the meal. After they “speed-date” with each farmer to learn about their operation, attendees get the chance to share a meal with those farmers and experience the taste of truly local food. By keeping farmers and food producers at the table, the event creates a space where attendees can connect to their food in a new way by asking questions, sharing stories, and learning about the work behind the food. “The people coming to this event are like-minded and interested in local foods, so this is a really natural partnership for us,” said Billy Anthony, farmer at Soil and Seed Garden.

Consumers at Speed Date Your Farmer ended the evening with a renewed appreciation for the people behind their food and knowledge about where to find and how to prepare local produce and meat. In case they needed more inspiration, attendees had the chance to take home extra ingredients and try their own hand at cooking an all-Arizona meal. What better way to start eating local?

My favorite part of the event is watching people from different backgrounds and knowledge converse, educate and inspire each other.
— Kerry Bashi, Your Farm Foods
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Your Farm Foods hosts events throughout the year and will be launching its online marketplace soon! For more information and updates, visit yourfarmfoods.com.