Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Slow Food Nation

So Slow Food USA has launched their idea for their version of Terra Madre: it's called Slow Food Nation, and it's set for May 1-4, 2008 in San Francisco. I have been mulling over this idea, and I still think that if Slow Food USA would like to create a nation-wide event to celebrate our heritage foods and food traditions, then it should be held in every USA Food Nation, and we should simulcast it on The Food Network around the globe! OK, so maybe I have grander visions than what is immediately possible, and I guess having something in San Francisco is a start, at least.

So, what is Slow Food Nation? Here's the blurb from the Slow Food USA site:
How is a heritage turkey different from its factory farm counterpart? What is a Blenheim apricot and why should we preserve it for posterity? How can we all enjoy local, affordable, and sustainably produced food? The answers will be apparent at the first Slow Food Nation, a celebration of American food organized by Slow Food USA for May 1-4, 2008 in San Francisco.
San Francisco is poised to be at the center of a movement with global implications. Experts such as Alice Waters and Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, are anchoring the task force planning the four-day celebration, which will embody the values of the Slow Food movement and illustrate how food and agriculture form a complex global tapestry of cultural, political, and environmental issues. In addition to education through taste, the event will offer a wide range of activities for all ages, including talks, forums, workshops, and films that will teach people the importance of preserving traditional foods and production techniques—and alert them to the broader implications of their eating choices.

A marketplace of over two hundred farmers and artisans from across the country will showcase the range of traditional American foods. Attracted by the simple pleasures of the table, participants will leave having learned how American food production affects global issues, including greenhouse gas emissions, childhood obesity, famine in the developing world, and the disappearance of the small farmer. Attendees will emerge with a broad-based vision of the life-enriching benefits of a sustainable approach to food and life, as well as the tools and personal connections to implement that vision.

Questions about Slow Food Nation? Please contact the Slow Food Nation office:
The Dante Building1606 Stockton Street , Mezzanine San Francisco , CA 94133

At any rate, it should be interesting to see what kind of producers they get from other parts of the nation May 1-4.... stay tuned for more updates about this incredible endeavour!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Slow Food, Slow Winter

After a long hiatus filled with family obligations, three blizzards in our home state of Colorado, cross-country road travel, and lots of holiday eating, we have finally returned to Vermont, and Vermont has finally returned to winter. I must admit, it is so nice to finally have some snow here in Vermont - now we can snowshoe, x-country ski, and calmly search through those seed catalogs without feeling the urgency of those 50 degree days that felt like Spring. No, we're definitely here, the dead of winter. But, ever since December 20th, we have been marching slowly toward the light and winter doesn't feel so bad. It's also conference season here in the world of farming, and we've just finished attending a NOFA sponsored marketing conference, and are heading to PA for the PASA Farming for the Future conference February 1-4. We're giving 3 talks this year, which we're excited about. Even more exciting is the Terra Madre Reunion Dinner being held at Mary's at the Inn at Baldwin Creek on Thursday, February 8th.

This reminds me of the very exciting Slow Food Movement, which continues to build momentum. Tuesday, January 23rd, I'm meeting with the Vermont Fresh Network folks to help plan the first RAFT (Renewing America's Food Traditions) picnig to be held this summer, which will be leading the way towards a huge national RAFT picnic held in 2010! I'll post my notes here after the meeting, and after the idea has been fleshed out a bit more. Delicious food and exciting events await!