Brentwood: Outstanding in the Field
Over the hills and past the wind turbines of Vasco, the road I traveled led me to Brentwood CA in the East Bay. Once past all the traffic-jammed on 580 I breathed a sigh of relief and some fresh country air before nabbing my seat (and the many excellent appetizers) at this year’s Outstanding in the Field event hosted by Knoll Farm.
If you’ve never heard of it, Outstanding in the Field an organization dedicated to fostering greater connection with the land and those who nurture the food grown on that land. After a short intro by the OITF founder and an overview of the farm from Rick Knoll we were seated at a long table right in the orchard with the setting sun.
The dinner we were treated to was vegetarian and all dishes were prepared onsite by local chef Leif Hedendal. With most ingredients just-picked and wine flowing the dinner courses moved along as easily as the conversation with our table mates. I have to say that this is an event where the animated guests almost compete with the star(s) of the show – the super-fresh food – because everyone has a passion for food and an opinion about favorite places to indulge that passion.
With the sun almost set and a chill in the air I began to walk out of the orchard and back to my car. The host – Rick – walked with our group and chatted about the farm, food and Brentwood. He too seemed as passionate about the food he grows and the land we were standing on.
As we talked I thought about the fact that we should give more importance to people like him, people responsible for feeding us and ensuring our food basket is healthy and sustainable and the land is productive for generations to come. With that revelation I gave a hearty thanks to Rick -and ALL farmers – then pulled out onto the busy country road for the trek home.