The Living Green Village was part of the larger Celebrate Mesa event. There were bouncy houses, and food vendors, and sound stages with children performing everything from Taekwondo to hula dances. Unfortunately for me, I never had a chance to walk around and see anything. I was just too busy all day. In the Living Green Village, the emphasis was on Earth Day and sustainability. The activities included Mother Nature telling stories, a tree hugging photo booth, art from recycled materials, clean water, desert plants, and much more.
Right in the middle of the action was our booth for solar cooking. I demonstrated the Solavore Sport solar oven and had two on site. We baked 8 pans of brownies. We gave out sample size bites and couldn’t keep them on the table. As fast as they came out of the oven, they were gone. The smell of baking brownies could be smelled all over the park, drawing people in for a closer look. One or two people had a solar oven (but it was in the closet not being used), a few people had made a solar oven as a school project when they were kids, but most people had never seen or heard of a solar oven. They were absolutely amazed. The one comment we heard most that day – beyond astonishment that the box could cook – was “These brownies taste just like regular cooked brownies — only better”. People expected the food to taste different, but it doesn’t.
Several people said they saw me on Channel 12 TV morning show earlier in the week. One woman said she saw me on TV and had come to the event just to meet me and to see the solar ovens. She said she was very poor and really needed something to help lower her electric bill. She said they cooked outside on the grill a lot to help keep down the utility cost. So our discussion turned to how to make a homemade oven using recycled materials that she probably already had at home. When she left, she was excited about making and using a solar oven to improve her situation.
I loved watching the children’s reactions. Most were very polite and would only take one brownie bite. One young man, about 12 or 13 years old, came by. We offered him a brownie sample. He asked if he could take one to his friend and we agreed that he could. So he took two samples and headed off to find his friend. Eating his bite, he looked around and called for the other boy. Called him once, called him twice, called him three times. Then he looked at the brownie in his hand, popped it into his mouth, and headed off to find his friend. 🙂 I think I might have eaten it sooner.
We had a great day and are looking forward to next year’s event. Did you go to Celebrate Mesa? What was the funniest thing you did? Did you stop by for a bite of brownie? Leave me a note.