Friday, October 8, 2010

To the gorge!!

This weekend was a mobile one, with Lettuce Link posters, Marra farm produce, and even a few staffers packed into a Prius and shipped eastwards.  The occasion for this expedition down I-90?  Jack Johnson, acoustic guitar & philanthropic superstar, was playing a show at the Gorge Amphitheater.  And though his To The Sea tour has crisscrossed the nation's biggest venues, Jack has consistently prioritized sustainability, locally-sourced materials, and connecting his fans to nonprofits in their communities.  Through the fiery determination of Solid-Ground outreachers, Lettuce Link & Apple Corps (an Americorps team focused on educating kids about healthy lifestyles) were chosen to table on Jack's "Village Green". 

Sandwiched between a surfing/beach cleaning organization and a kids+arts+nature group, Meredith & I engaged with hordes of JJ fans about food: its justice, affordability, cultivation, nutrition, and education.  We spoke with people about our work in schools, community gardens, urban farms, food banks, and private backyards, and discussed the connections between these programs and domestic food policy.  We connected teachers with composting resources, greeting-card-writers to lovely Marra harvest cards, and eaters to new vegetables (bok choi! paddy pan squash!).  We urged people to take personal actions: donate to Lettuce Link (: , support farmers markets, and educate themselves on the Farm Bill so that they can speak out for fairer ag policy.  All donations were matched by Jack & Kim Johnson's charitable foundation- including the money we raised from selling tickets that they'd donated. What's more: 100% of profits from the tour go back into this foundation, to continue supporting nonprofit work.  I'm sounding like a total Jack Johnson speaker box here, but frankly, I wasn't expecting to be so darn impressed.

And all this while we were dressed up as a carrot and a pea pod!  Unfortunately we were still inflating Meredith's peas when Jack Johnson himself stopped by our booth, so he didn't get quite the whole experience.
So huge thank yous go to everyone involved with the tour and the orchestration of our trip.  Most importantly, though, we felt so honored to be promoting Lettuce Link & Apple Corps' work and clients.

-Amelia Swinton

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