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Some of you who are new to raw foods may be happy to learn that there are festivals for individuals interested in the raw foods lifestyle! They are a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded friends. For those of you who attended the Raw Spirit Festival in 2008, seeing images from that event may stir the magical memories you collected while there.

Below is part one of a two-part guest piece by Rawbin Anderson, in which she recounts her 2008 Raw Spirit Festival J.O.B. experiences of working in the kitchen. Rawbin is now the Raw Spirit Festival East Coast Manager and can be reached at Rawbin [at] rawspirit.com.

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I first read about Raw Spirit Festival fall of 2007, and found I had just missed it! I was new to the raw scene. Hadn't even heard of Give It To Me Raw so I thought I might learn something from a gathering like this. I saw that another Raw Spirit Festival would be happening in 2008. I found out I could volunteer to save money on a ticket. I imagined that there would be a few hundred raw people with raw lives sharing raw food telling their raw stories all in one small area. The energy there should be magical! I reserved a room at the Radisson because I knew that would be the first thing to fill up. I registered as a volunteer and soon was accepted. Then I was given choices! Did I want to work in the kitchen, children's area, registration, recycling? I thought about my healing journey. It all started with the food, right? I thought, I can't cook, I'm not very coordinated with a knife, but I can make a mean green smoothie. Without a doubt I wanted to be in the kitchen. I wanted to rub shoulders with the masters! Then I thought, why just go 3 days. Why not immerse myself in the whole thing? I said I'd do a week. Come early, stay late...

By the time September came I had become quite comfortable as one of those strange raw foodies. I like myself. I'm capable in the kitchen. I was EXCITED!!!

WEDNESDAY September 10, 2008:

The first thing I did with the rental car was to stop by a market. I was worried there wouldn't be anything for me to eat there (silly me)! I had my vitamix and a set of knives in my suitcase (yes, I had to check my luggage). That afternoon, I stocked my fridge and set out to work at Living Springs kitchen on a 5 to 10 shift. I met Frank Giglio, one of the cute chefs in charge.

There were about 20 of us stoked with excited happiness! There was a downpour and a thunderstorm, we had a fire burning in the fireplace.

As we awaited our first orders, we cleaned and sanitized the kitchen. We watched the reefer truck back down a steep, dark, muddy driveway in the dark.

Head Chefs Bruce Horowitz

and Cosmo Meens had arrived.

This is when the action really began. We unloaded dozens of cases of avocados, colorful peppers, cukes, and carrots.

Next step was to throw together a tasty salad to feed all the hungry workers. Once fed, we pre-prepped all the veggies, sort good from bad. We were all armed with long sharp knives, and we knew how to use them.

We had great tunes playing at all times. I'd say often it might have been some kind of reggae music, but what do I know? I'm sure it was just the groovy feeling we all had working together with all that fresh live food that made me feel we must be someplace warm and tropical and completely different from my plastic/canned world back home.

We sliced then chunked pineapples and peeled then diced mangos for a marinade, and snatched bites of things for "quality control." *wink* We had fruit covered hands and time to stop for sustenance. Others would walk by with a bottle of Kombucha to tilt into our mouths, keeping us happy and moving. I had my first cacao bean as we peeled hundreds of juicy mangos. Soon it was midnite and I decided that although there was still much to do, I had to get sleep. I wasn't tired but I knew I should be!

THURSDAY September 11, 2008 3 hours sleep:

The next day I was up early, excited and ready to go. Before my 12 to 5 shift, worried I wouldn't have time to eat, I had lunch at Cafe Raw Bliss before leaving for Living Springs kitchen again. I couldn't wait to be there with my new raw friends (and there were so many!!!). As soon as I got there someone offered me a durian/noni shake in exchange for my vitamix. It was in my car... I was amazed at the giant tub of green powder we were mixing up for dinner!

Then everyone stopped for lunch. Cosmo made a huge salad with greens and veggies topped with hemp seed/hemp oil and I happily ate again!

We began preparations for making a huge batch of Cosmo's tahini dressing. I admired jugs olive oil and larger buckets of raw tahini butter. We had Zepher taking turns with many others across the counter from us juicing out thousands of lemons.

Tahini Dressing

1 cup raw tahini

1 /2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cup water

1 tsp salt

Blend, pour into 5 gallon container, repeat. Shift change. New crew comes in, I leave for evening parties.

[*To be continued in Part II*...]

Got Raw Spirit Festival memories of your own ? Write them up, post them somewhere (blogs, photosets, videos, etc.), and make sure to share the link on the All Raw Directory's special "Raw Spirit Memories" section!

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On February 5, 2009, KombuchaCHIC wrote:

Wow. I've always wondered what it would be like to go to one of these festivals. Look at all those avocados! :) I must have been amazing to be with so many like minded individuals.

-Heather

On February 5, 2009, debbiedoesraw wrote:

Oh girl, that was when I first got to meet you at RsF, I remember you running off to do some more work in the kitchen! Can't wait for part two Pippi Raw Stocking!
love you
deb xoxoxo

On February 5, 2009, rubyvroom wrote:

I adored being at Raw Spirit Festival with Rawbin, Wendi Dee, Bunny Berry, Angela Thomas and all of the other amazing friends that descended on Sedona last Sept. This post brings a flood of beautiful memories back and it ignites my desire to be part of Raw Spirit Festival on the East Coast this coming August. I can't wait to embrace all of my dear raw friends once again! (Yeh...Frank Giglio is really cute too)
I LOVE YOU Rawbin Anderson!!

On February 6, 2009, Sunshine wrote:

I love how you write about it. I can feel the excitement and if I close my eyes, it's like I'm in the kitchen with you! :D Can't wait for part two! :D

On February 6, 2009, MindXdreamz wrote:

It looks like such a beautiful place, and all the food looks so yummy! I love Sedona AZ and sure wish I'd have figured out a way to go last year, but there's always this year!