With my babe snuggled against me in his Baby K’Tan and my four-year-old daughter holding my right hand, my kids and I stared in wonder at the surprising view that opened before us. We’d just walked around the corner of a somewhat dodgy-feeling building adorned in 70’s style brown and lime green and were amazed to find a rustic, yet beautiful farm. A farm, right here in Reno! Sunflowers towering overhead, plants bursting with colors, pumpkins reminding us of the rapidly approaching harvest, and clucking chickens strutting around – it was a sensory sensation and my daughter giggled as she ran towards the beckoning young teacher waiting for her. This was her first day at Urban Roots’ Farm School.
That was four years ago, yet remains with my daughter and I as a vibrant first observation of the place we now call home. Since then, my children have been eager participants in all of Urban Roots’ educational offerings: Farm School, Farm Camp, and even in-school and school-garden-based classes – all taught by the incredible educators at Urban Roots. As for me, I have the privilege of frequently listening to giggles and witnessing awe-struck first-timer smiles reminiscent of our own as I’ve found my professional self fully rooted at the Farm as their Executive Director. Suffice it to say, our family kind of likes this place.
If you haven’t yet heard of Urban Roots, we are an education non-profit dedicated to growing healthy minds, bodies, and communities in northern Nevada. Located on the corner of West Fourth Street and Summit Ridge Drive, we host school field-trips, homeschool and parent/child workshops, community events, and Farm Camps when school is out of session. We also work at schools in classrooms and at school gardens to increase academic engagement, using the garden as a lens for learning. We help introduce children to healthy eating, facilitating answers to the question, “Where does our food come from?”
As a non-profit, we rely on our community for support. If you’d like to see our Farm firsthand, consider joining us for our biggest fundraiser of the year, a dinner called Art, Food, and Roots. This year’s event, sponsored in part by Dolan Automotive Group, provides guests with Farm to Fork culinary creations, tours of our teaching farm, local art for auction, raffle baskets galore, and fun photo opportunities.
Orchestrated by the celebrated chef Mark Estee, we’re proud to include appetizers provided by Chef Stefanie Teeter of Liberty Food & Wine Exchange and courses from Chefs Whitney and Josh Deri of Blend Catering, Chef Amy Simpson of Jack Rabbit Moon, and Chef Chris Cowell of BFF Café, as well as dessert from Chef Jessica Shapiro of The Cheese Board. All ingredients will be sourced from local farmers and tailored to the bounty of the season. Each course will include wine and we will also serve three unique cocktails incorporating local juices and honey.
Art, Food, and Roots is the closing signature event for Reno Bites Week and takes place on Sunday, October 16th. Hosted outdoors on the Urban Roots Teaching Farm, guests should bring jackets to accommodate our high desert evening temperatures. Tickets are $75 and the event is from 4:30 – 8:30 PM. Arrive early and park at the Mountain View Mortuary. Shuttle services from Reno Tahoe Limousine will transport guests to and from the Urban Roots Farm. For more information on the 7th annual Art, Food, and Roots, visit http://www.urgc.org/art-food-and-roots-2016, like us on Facebook, or call us at 775.501.5570.
While many things have changed on the Farm over the last four years (good-bye brown and lime green paint!), one thing remains the same: this is a special place for children and a hidden gem in our community. We’d love for you to join us for dinner and help support this little non-profit doing big things!
This post was sponsored by Reno Moms Blog community partner Dolan Automotive Group.
A Reno transplant, Fayth moved from a no-stoplight town in rural Utah in 2006. She’s happily married to an IT genius and has three children ages 12, 8, and 4. Fayth is the Executive Director for a Reno-based non-profit focused on garden education called Urban Roots and proudly serves on the boards of the Nevada Women’s Fund and the Sierra Chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals. When she’s not working or volunteering, carpooling three kids to three different schools, or doing endless amounts of laundry, Fayth loves hiking, watching horror flicks, drinking Mommy juice, and singing while cooking (much to the chagrin of her tween). Fayth embraced life in the biggest little city and, despite the multiple stoplights on her daily commute to work, loves living in Reno.