I was skeptical at first, having read some pretty disparaging reports from past events in other areas of CA, but this one seems to have real possibilities, not to mention that it's a third to a fourth of the price of those other venues. (Note that it is put on by Slow Food Madera, but is being held just south of Fresno in the community of Easton)
Here's the PR from Fresno MindHub:
Contact: Patricia Hopelain (559) 877-3455
or Sharon Alexander (559) 486-8329
Slow Food Madera presents:
Meals in the Field: Eating at the Source Mao Family Farm Saturday September 19, 2009 4:00 PM
3607 West Central Ave., Easton, Calif.
Adults: $35 Ages 12-16: $15 Ages 5-11: $5 Come Dressed For The Harvest
August 15, 2009 (Fresno, Calif.) In its efforts to highlight the Central Valley farming communitys rich ethnic diversity, Slow Food Madera presents Meals in the Field: Eating at the Source. The first of these unique series of dinners will take place Saturday September 19 at 4PM on Maos Family Farm in Easton, California and will celebrate Hmong food, dance and culture.
Tickets for adults attending the dinner cost $35, ages 12-16 is $15, ages
5-11 is $5 and will be available through www.brownpapertickets.com. Children age 5 and under are free.
Mao Farms, owned and operated by Mao and Cheng Thao, will feature a celebration of traditional Hmong produce, cooking and culture. Mao will prepare traditional Hmong dishes with ingredients from the Mao Farm, as the featured centerpiece of the evening. Attendees will also be able to pick fresh vegetables that will be available for sale later at an onsite farm stand, so please dress farm friendly. Hmong cultural traditions will be celebrated with costumed dancing by Hmong students. The evening will be rounded out with the captivating story of the Thao Familys hazardous journey, following the Viet Nam War, from Laos to Thailand to a safe, fresh and productive life in Easton.
The Mao Farm combines the spirit of Central Valley agriculture with the traditions of farming in Southeast Asia. Cheng and Mao grew up in the same Laotian village. They married, had six children all of whom worked on their familys farm. In the dark days after the Viet Nam war, they escaped to Thailand and, ultimately, migrated to the United States where they had four more children. In 1996, they established the 230 acre Mao Farm in Easton where they are fourth generation farmers teaching the fifth generation the joys and hardships of working the land.
The Meals in the Field series offers an opportunity not just to observe but also to experience another of the Central Valleys rich cultures through its food at the source. For more information please visit www.slowfoodmadera.org.