Slow Food potluck to feature Sierra Valley Farms presentation |

Slow Food potluck to feature Sierra Valley Farms presentation

Melissa Siig
Special to the Sun
Courtesy photoGary Romano, owner of Sierra Valley Farms, has bunches of information to present at Slow Food Lake Tahoeand#8217;s potluck.

UC Davis asked Sierra Valley Farms owner Gary Romano to take part in a unique endeavor and#8212; a digital storytelling project about the Sierra Valley. The project, called and#8220;Passion for the Land: Personal Stories from the Sierra Valley,and#8221; is a collection of 12 stories, told through narration and photos, about the challenges to agricultural viability and rural community life.

Romano will show his segment, and#8220;Is Sustainable Attainable?and#8221; at the Slow Food Lake Tahoe winter season potluck Jan. 28 at the Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee, 4-7 p.m.

The force behind the digital storytelling project is Jesikah Maria Ross, director of the UC Davis Art of Regional Change, which focuses on media projects that address community needs. Holly George, the livestock and natural resources farm advisor with the UC Cooperative Extension Plumas Sierra Counties, and Ross wanted to improve dialogue between Sierra Valley farmers and ranchers and public officials.

and#8220;Most ranchers and farmers want to have a greater voice in the decisions that impact their land, livelihood, natural resources and way of life,and#8221; Ross said.

This is not a passive documentary. Each rancher or farmer was a co-producer of their segment, responsible for writing scripts, selecting images and giving direction on the edit.

Romanoand#8217;s segment tells the story of his farm, which has been in his family for 100 years. Once a thriving 3,600-acre cattle ranch, by 1990 the farm was on the verge of being sold off. Romano bought the remaining 65 acres, and started an organic farm.

Romano hopes his film segment will convey two messages: the need to support small farmers, and the need to prevent potential farmlands from being eaten up by development.

and#8220;I want people to understand that you donand#8217;t need 5,000 acres to make a living; there is a need for farmers with 5, 10 or 60 acres,and#8221; he said.

Even though the 12 three-minute videos have different messages, Romano believes they all share a common theme: and#8220;This is a lifestyle that canand#8217;t be forgotten.and#8221;

In addition, the SFLT potluck will feature Chris Kerston from Chaffin Family Farms, who will talk about raising goats and provide goat meat samples, as well as olive oil, jam and oranges. Susan and Rick Reynolds, owners of Sierra Pacific Coffee Roasting, will be on hand with tastings.

SFLT members, friends, children and those interested in learning about Slow Food USA, are welcome to attend. The theme is winter, bring a dish to share. Call 582-7498.

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