A little back story here. I never, EVER, wanted to come to Davis for college. I had big plans to move to the east coast, attend a small liberal arts school, brave the snow and cold (silly, because I don’t handle extreme weather well) and watch the leaves change with the seasons. Davis was the last thing on my mind when applying to schools – my dad went there, and was very pro-AG. I was going through my difficult teen years (sorry, Dad!…again) and was feeling very defiant. I applied only as a safety, and only because it could be included on the rest of the UC application.
Well, long story short – I ended up choosing to attend UC Davis (much to my father’s justification). But you already knew that part of the story. What you don’t know is what an amazing place Davis is. It is pretty hard to describe why this place is so special, but one of the main reasons is the overwhelming sense of community here. People are just NICE. Sometimes to the point of being overly so (ex: Trader Joe’s employees – you people freak me out), but for the most part everyone is just genuinely happy, friendly and maybe even a little bit of a hippy.
In August I was lucky enough to win two tickets (lucky for Andrew!) to the Davis Village Feast – an event that perfectly demonstrates the Davis spirit of community. Huge shout out to the Davis Food Co-op for hooking it up. I am just blogging about this now due to, well I’m not really sure why, but I can assure you that this entry is worth the wait. The Village Feast takes place every summer in Central Park. It is a fundraiser for Davis Farm to School (another reason Davis rules – constant emphasis on fresh and local food! Click the link to learn more, it’s actually pretty awesome) put on by Slow Food Yolo (an equally awesome organization). 300 people sit at long tables under strategically placed umbrellas (it was HOT), enjoying an insanely delicious family style meal with locally produced and grown food.
While Andrew and I were definitely not the target demographic of this event, we had the BEST time. Before the actual meal was a silent auction, live music, appetizers (AMAZING pizzas, and some olives that I annihilated) and (for a newly 21 year old this was huge) free beer and wine.
We sat down for lunch at a huge table, surrounded by strangers. While this could have been awkward (especially for me, as I have been known to enhance awkward situations exponentially), the people we were sitting with were great. We talked about food, Davis life, travel, my blog – it all felt very sophisticated.
As for the food – it was incredible. From heirloom tomatoes, to fresh baguettes, to lamb, to roasted vegetables, everything was delicious and you could seriously TASTE the freshness. The highlight of the meal (for me) was this FANTASTIC aioli. I am NOT kidding I was basically drinking the stuff by the end of the meal.
It was a wonderful afternoon that reminded me of the reasons Davis is so great (and why I am so lucky to come here!) and I was seriously sad when it was over. If you are ever considering coming to this event PLEASE do not hesitate. I would do it in a heartbeat if I could again, plus it helps a very cool cause 🙂