Monday, November 17, 2008

The Veggie Queen attends The Green Festival in San Francisco

This past weekend I went to The Green Festival in San Francisco. This was my second time but the first time I went with my husband and son who rushed me through the place in about 1 1/2 hours. It was record time and I really didn't get to do what I wanted. So, this time I went alone. And it took me twice as long and I did get to see what I wanted, maybe more than I wanted, and also less.

The Green Festival is definitely consumer oriented. I would say about half the booths are green and eco clothing. Now, we all need to dress each day but it seemed like too many clothes for me. I got about halfway through and felt burnt out. I did see my favorite friends from Indigenous Designs, and bought a cute organic cotton hooded sweatshirt from No Enemy (gotta love the name) in purple. And I almost missed the No Enemy guy but saw Adam, the kombucha guy wearing another No Enemy shirt and he sent me packing back down the aisle.

Adam's hibiscus kombucha (I will get the name of the company which I believe is Kombucha Botanica) was the best tasting that I have ever had. My farmer friend Larry of Triple T Ranch and Farm, here in Santa Rosa, is a kombucha fan. (That reminds me that Larry never returned my glass jar that contained kim chi, so he doesn't get any more until he does.) Generally, I don't care for kombucha and get my fermented food in other ways. But back to the Festival.

The area for the speakers is not big enough so I missed seeing Amy Goodman and Van Jones. Oh well. And Andy and Amy Berliner of Amy's Kitchen were going to be on at the end of the day, when I was long gone. So, mostly I walked through the booths.

There was raw food to sample but at some of the booths, they seemed to target younger people, and I obviously wasn't one and was almost ignored. That was disturbing.

I bought an Ahhh Natural mineral bag system for my hot tub so that we can give up chemicals. I can't wait to get it going so that the tub no longer makes me itch.

Rainbow Grocery was in attendance, handing out apples and pears. There were other food samples but many of them were from companies such as Organic Valley and Earthbound Farm. Clif handed out bar samples and there was a whole tasting area where if you donated $1 to Farm Aid you could taste all kinds of things, including Sunshine Burgers, which has a very tasty Southwest burger, but that wasn't being sampled that day.

If you like chocolate then the Green Festival would be a good place to go. And magazine samples were in big supply ranging from pubs like The Nation, Ode, Good to Vegetarian Times and my favorite VegNews.

The highlights for me were the new Choice pyramid tea bags that are biodegradable, an herbalist who had travel packs and To-Go Ware's stainless lunch carriers. Also, Fungi Perfecti had a booth with their mushroom kits and Paul Stamets was going to be there at 2 p.m. but I was trying to leave to get back to Sonoma County.

Interesting trip but I can just as easily be green right here. I also had to make a choice between the Green Festival and the Farmer's Market. The market seems much greener to me, with far fewer clothing and chocolate choices -- overall more mellow and less crowded. Staying close to home has its benefits.

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