Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve Inc. 2006
TreeHugger is a fan of Farm Aid, the annual concert put on by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews and more; the festival's mission has become increasingly TreeHugger-oriented over the years, as their efforts to make family farming more viable here in the US have begun to include appeals for more local food production (and resulting support of farmer's markets and overall decrease in food miles). This year, they've taken it a step further: for the first time at a major concert event, their goal is to serve 100 percent local, organic, humanely-raised and family-farmed food. The event, scheduled for September 9 at Randall's Island (a 480-acre island located in the East River between East Harlem, the South Bronx and Astoria, Queens), has also updated its branding to reflect the changes; this year, it's called "Farm Aid 2007: A HOMEGROWN Festival," lest anyone forget the importance of eating fresh, seasonal foods from their local foodshed.
In New York (as we noted before), there are 36,000 farms in New York, with the main crops being dairy, greenhouse plants, apples, cattle and hay. Of those farms, 428 are certified organic, and they grow 330 certified organic crops on 26,955 acres of farmland, and it's fairly easy (and getting easier) to get your hands on this bounty: New York City has 76 farmers markets, of which 16 are open all year 'round. Hit the jump for more details on the event, including the lineup and where and how to get tickets. ::Farm Aid 2007
From the Farm Aid press release: "Artists representing a variety of genres are slated to join Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews on Sunday, September 9 at Randall's Island in New York City for the day-long festival. The show will promote food from family farmers and raise funds for Farm Aid's work throughout the year to strengthen family farm agriculture.
Among the artists who will perform at Farm Aid 2007: A HOMEGROWN Festival are Tim Reynolds, who will join Dave Matthews, The Allman Brothers Band, Counting Crows, Matisyahu, Guster, The Derek Trucks Band, Warren Haynes, Supersuckers, The Ditty Bops and Montgomery Gentry. Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds and The Allman Brothers Band are scheduled to play full sets.
'Thanks to a warm welcome from Mayor Bloomberg and New Yorkers, Farm Aid is bringing the annual concert to New York for the first time in 22 years,' said Carolyn Mugar, Farm Aid's executive director. 'With inspiring music from generous artists and a menu of family farm food, Randall's Island will be transformed into a music festival to be remembered.'
Farm Aid 2007: A HOMEGROWN Festival will feature a full day of music, an abundance of family farm food vendors, and hands-on, interactive exhibits with farmers and activists that inspire living a homegrown life."
Tickets for Farm Aid 2007: A HOMEGROWN Festival are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.com, or by calling (212) 307-7171, (631) 888-9000 or (203) 624-0033. Ticket prices are $52 for general admission, $102 for reserved seats and $302 for VIP reserved seats. The VIP package includes catering in an exclusive area and other amenities.
A limited number of premium seats and VIP packages are also available for charitable sale at tickets-for-charity.com. Fans may access these seats at face value plus a donation, which is directed to Farm Aid.
Farm Aid fans also have the chance to win front row seats, airfare and hotel accommodations for Farm Aid 2007: A HOMEGROWN Festival at www.topofthehaystack.com.