The best swag at IFBC


If you didn’t know already, the International Food Blogger Conference is the place to go for swag. Sponsors are around every corner so there’s always a new energy bar, cold-pressed juice or artisan marshmallow under your nose. It’s definitely not a bad thing.

I appreciated how many of the products were of the non-GMO/fair trade/organic stripe and that there were even a few bits of produce floating around. Finger limes were the biggest sensation, tiny cucumber-looking fruits with lime beads inside that you squeeze out; it looks like caviar. I also got to munch on some miniature carrots from Oxbow Farm (that’s their produce, pictured above), a fun thing after reading Edible Seattle’s profile of them in the spring.

But the best swag came in a plastic bag from my friend, Janelle. They were multicolored heirloom tomatoes and I babied them on the train ride home.

Janelle has farm connections, not only because she has a Master Certificate in Preservation (among other talents) and has a fantastic truck, but because she just launched Farmstr, an online marketplace for the direct sale of produce, meat, and eggs to private consumers (that’s you and me).

“Think: now we can find our own farmers and buy direct, not being limited to the few who can make weekly farmers markets,” she says.

I know this is an issue for farmers. They work such long hours that they don’t have time to promote themselves and many end up swimming against a stream of larger or more monied farms who can afford a stall at the farmers’ market. Janelle is searching for a way to connect farmers with people who want their good eggs, their consciously raised pork, their organic sweet corn.


The tomatoes I brought home were grown by Vince at Valley View Farm in Zillah, WA. The farm is primarily a pear orchard and I’m told he’ll be offering pears and tomatoes again on Farmstr in the next few days.

Farmer Vince uses biodynamic farming techniques, a holistic approach that emphasizes a “diversified, balanced farm ecosystem.”

It sure tasted that way. I don’t think we’ll make an equal to this roasted ratatouille until we can bring home more of Vince’s tomatoes.

Visit Farmstr here. (And if you’d like to split a box of pickling cucumbers, let me know.)


This post is the second in a series, an agreement between bloggers attending the International Food Blogger Conference and the sponsors of the event, Foodista and Zephyr Adventures. In exchange for a reduced conference fee, each participant agrees to write three posts about the conference. I’ve determined the content of these posts and have received no compensation for product mentions or links.

5 thoughts on “The best swag at IFBC

  1. Lovely, Jenni! It was wonderful to see you at IFBC. Farmstr is truly remarkable – I picked up some gorgeous blueberries and can’t wait to start cooking. I’ll look for Vince’s tomatoes next!

  2. Those look delicious! So much fun meeting you last weekend! Looking forward to getting to know you better! :)

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