Life without a phone

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From Gerry
Life without a phone


In my haste to get out of the house on a combo business/vacation trip, I forgot my phone on the kitchen counter. I have to tell you it felt wonderful. 

The first part of the trip was a long weekend in San Francisco. My wife had all our travel plans on her phone so no problem there. I had to ask people for restaurant advice instead of using TripAdvisor or Yelp. Anyone without a device was fair game for me to start a conversation. I was kicking it old school, talking to people, and using newspapers to find out baseball scores.

The second part of our trip was business - wine country business, but work none the less. I needed my phone for that. I had a couple of friends break into my house and send it along. I had been a little more in tune with life without my hand computer. I now noticed them everywhere. Great speakers are delivering interesting and important information, yet I see folks updating Facebook instead of engaging with the life in front of them. During a cooking challenge, there was more focus on snapping photos than tasting what we prepared. On a bus trip visiting some of Napa's finest local food suppliers, the women next to me ignored the conversation between the food writer from The Washington Post and the keynote speaker. It was great insight by two leaders in the food industry.

I'm no Luddite - I'm on Facebook, Strava and Instagram. How else will I keep up with my darling granddaughter and see how my friends are doing logging miles on their bikes? I use Google every single day for an infinite number of reasons. It's very helpful when you need to know how many grams of protein are in whey solids or what the closest brewery is to Burlington.

I'm off on another trip and my phone is an essential piece of equipment to help me find new bike trails and navigate the back roads of North Carolina. It will be in my pocket when I stop for dinner at the fancy new brew pub I found on Yelp. But when I'm there, I'll try and just talk to the bartender. 

 

Local Food Culture by Julia
American Flatbread and Lareau Farm are as dedicated to the land they occupy as they are to the businesses and guests they host. The primary focus of their gardens is menu use: what will the kitchen do with an entire crop of broccoli? How can salad greens be planted so that there are enough to last the entire summer?

George Schenk, American Flatbread's founder, and his team at Lareau Farm are dedicated to flavor. You can taste that when you bite into a slice of their organic pizza. But the Farm is about more than producing what tastes good. It's designed to look beautiful, to nurture the balance of the local habitat, and soon, to educate.

We know that the Lareau Farm garden contributes to amazing wood-fired pizzas served at American Flatbread. But did you know that your palate can literally sense the nutrient vitality of these uber-local veggies that boost your immune system? Did you know that worms and beetles have a symbiotic relationship with the earth they inhabit, and that their needs and actions change in relation to the earth as it grows crops like tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley? Did you know George has invited you to use the mountain biking trails in his backyard before enjoying a pint at the bar while you wait for a table? And soon, George will unveil his "Interpretive Garden", a series of information plaques throughout the farm that educates us about the many benefits of a local food ecosystem.