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THANK YOU to all the fine and beautiful guests who came to the cauldron Friday November 3rd for our fundraiser dinner event in downtown Johnson City. This was our second year hosting a shared community fundraiser . This post is simply to say THANK YOU! But that’s not so simple a task…..

Thank you to our financial sponsors: Niswonger Children’s Hospital, who values our work with children and our work in the Appalachian Farmacy coalition; TriCon Builders who values our work downtown with gardens and growing good food with families; and to Food City, who values our work with local growers and gardening with children. Yee-Haw Brewing Company’s beer sponsorship is really important to us and to our guests, for sure, who love a local brew!

Thank you to our cooks and farmers: Eva Becerra and Raul Rendron who came and cooked the Pozole and the tamales. Eva taught us her flan recipe and gave advice on the full menu. The flan and salsa were cooked in the Topper Academy kitchen, overseen by Sheri Cooper and Emily Bidgood, cooked by high school interns as well as a middle school club from Liberty Bell. Farm ingredients came from Pleasant Valley Farm, Serenity Knoll, Sunset Valley, the Moffats, Small Batch Farm, and the teens at Topper Academy.  Seeyle Combs donated his propane set up. Elise Clair & Main Street Pizza helped with catering supplies and serving the pozole hot and tasty good.

Thank you to our volunteers: So many came out to volunteer and make set up and clean us efficient! Thank you to the ARC&D staff Lexy, Rachel and Amy Davis; to Katie Bradley and Ginger Keller-Ferguson of Keller Ferguson Associates. Other community adults came to help out just because they love us: Jen Grant, Jeff Elkins, Brittany Smith, Kiran Sirah, Jessica, Jenni, Liz McCreary, Stella and Hayes. The Foodtopia Interns from Topper Academy did fantastically this year! Dakota, Caleb, Axel, MJ, Dylan, Miranda, Nakyla, Takya, and Madison, were all wearing their tie dye. Sheri Cooper, thank you for skipping band to come and help us!  The Foodtopia red trailer had its debut that night, and the teens almost sold out of all their tie dye socks, market bags and other goodies.

Shae Keane and Taylor Malone brought several helpers — Maria Offield and friends — to made hand pressed cider and sell wreaths to showcase the Food Forest kids programming. Several of the little ones who are involved in this fun educational programming every week, came to talk to guests and make cider too.

Thank you Scott Honeycutt for unveiling your map of the Rambler’s Guide to the Bounty of Northeast Tennessee! We sold several and Nancy Fischman won the auction of the original illustration. More are for sale…stay tuned….

Thank you to our musicians! Live music covers a multitude. Thank you to Amythyst Kiah and to the Empty Bottle String Band, who performed soulfully and entertained all.

AND THANK YOU TO OUR GUESTS! To the 175 people who came, thank you! If you haven’t filled out your survey about the event, please do so, so that we can improve for next year.

More pictures are at the facebook event [https://www.facebook.com/events/193613104329636] but here are a few:

Why Fusion? Northeast Tennessee and our Appalachian home have been a diverse melting pot for 250 years and our future sustainability and prosperity depends on a fusion of old and new: preservation and adaptation, tradition and innovation, community and globalization, expertise and youth. The ARC&D has worked this way for 24 years. Appalachian Fusion celebrates diversity and supports us in teaching farming and business skills to youth and beginning farmers, strengthening markets for local growers, and practicing food justice in northeast Tennessee.