The Guide is the result of months of effort by many people. It was originally inspired by the Eat Local Food Map produced as part of the Ft. Collins Be Local Coupon Book published in September 2006, the inspiration of Gailmarie Kimmel. When we saw that map, we knew instantly that we needed to create something similar for Boulder County.
A team of Boulder Valley Relocalization volunteers ("foodies" to the core) jumped in to do the initial legwork. We quickly found that no comprehensive lists of growers and other food sources had ever been developed here, and went to work contacting farmers and restaurateurs directly to get their information. It became an overwhelming task, and the list grew to immense proportions--way too many sources to fit on a map! That ultimately led to our decision to publish the list in a magazine format, and now we are pleased to launch the accompanying website.
There were many unexpected challenges we encountered along the way. For instance, how could we tell whether a restaurant was really serving locally-grown produce? How much of their food had to be local to include them in the list? To help make the tough decisions, we asked chefs to tell us what growers they bought their produce from. And we coordinated with the Boulder County Farmers' Market "Restaurant Fresh Connection" program to find out which restaurants were actually acknowledged by growers and got their "farm vote."
It's inevitable that we've left some sources off the list who should be here and have included others who might be questionable. And that's part of why this is the "fall preview edition." We know that the first annual edition, which we plan to publish in early spring, will naturally be more comprehensive and accurate. For that, we depend on your feedback. If you know of someone who should be listed in the guide, please email us (email@example.com).
Meanwhile, we want to convey our heartfelt thanks to all the people who helped pull this Guide together:
- The volunteers who gave countless hours making calls and visits (including Elaine Andrews, Eric Kampe, Linda Cornett, Dave Carlson, Karl Hanzel, Erik Johnson, Barbara and Dick Mueser, Kelly Simmons, Cindy Torres, and Amie Weinberg);
- The EAT LOCAL! Steering Committee (Adrian Card, Nancy Clarke, Jennifer Johnson, Patrick King, Mark Menagh, Shanan Olson, and Adam Reed), who offered wise guidance and insightful counsel;
- Laura Ruby ("Many Hats"), who uncovered many sources we had missed and compiled massive spreadsheets of data;
- Our BOULDER COUNTY GOING LOCAL! sponsors and the advertisers in the Guide, who supported this effort with hard-earned dollars;
- The many writers who contributed articles and others who provided wonderful images (we couldn't fit them all in these pages but will include many more on the coming website);
- Lynette Marie Hanthorn, who provided crucial quality control and an eye for thoroughness;
- Carol Rufenach, who created the beautiful cover painting;
- Gene Malowany, our gifted and immensely patient art director and designer;
- The myriad community members who encouraged us to keep going when the project seemed beyond our ability to manage it.
Most especially, we want to express our gratitude to the people listed in the Guide, who are the heart of our local foodshed and our community. Please get to know them. Buy from them and support them, of course, but find out why they work so incredibly hard to bring their awesome bounty to our tables. They know something. And please join us in the effort to strengthen our local food system.
Boulder County Going Local