Slow Food Seacoast Brings in the Harvest
On September 15, 2007, Slow Food Seacoast invites the public to a Harvest Supper featuring the best of the season from local farms, bakers, cheesemakers and more. Celebrate the natural abundance of a New England autumn with a chef-prepared meal, guided tastings, and an old-fashioned contra dance for all ages. Held in conjunction with the Garden Harvest Festival at Strwabery Banke Museum, the event celebrates the Eat Local Challenge month of September by bringing the harvest home to Portsmouth. It’s a time when the year’s hard work is rewarded with enjoyment, and it’s the perfect way to bid a delicious farewell to summer and welcome the transition to fall.
A multi-course meal , prepared by the chefs and students of the Atlantic Culinary Academy, will present the best of the season in classic New England dishes updated with contemporary flair. The evening begins with guided tastings of regionally made New England cheeses and breads and concludes with an old-fashioned harvest frolic, featuring a contra dance with Craig Edwards and the Rhythm Method String Band.
The public is invited to join in the sit-down outdoor supper, to be held under comfortable tents amid the gardens of Strawbery Banke Museum. Menu items include Breezy Hill Farm pork, Silvery Moon cheeses, Meadows’ Mirth farm produce, and much more. Greeting, guided tastings, and appetizers begin at 5 PM; 6 PM supper, followed by dancing until 9:30 PM. Tickets for the entire evening’s entertainment – educational speakers, tastings, harvest meal, and music and dance – are $25/adults ($20 for Slow Food members)/$10 kids. Reservations are strongly recommended; to reserve, please contact Slow Food Seacoast at SlowFoodSeacoast@GMail.com or
Early fall is a time of great natural abundance in the Seacoast. The last of the late-summer produce – tomatoes, peaches, corn, blueberries, cucumbers, zucchini — shares space on our tables with the first earthy flavors of the fall harvest, such as apples, dark leafy greens, pumpkins, cranberries, leeks, parsnips, and beets. For generations of New Englanders past, the greatest range of flavors of the entire year was present at this time, truly cause for celebration. But they didn’t get to simply relax and enjoy the bounty – late summer was a time of frenzied activity as tfarmers, gardeners, and home cooks worked to stay ahead of the harvest by preserving food to last well into the winter. A long tradition of fall harvest celebrating and socializing developed around necessary rituals like corn shucking and shelling, canning, butchering, drying, smoking, and curing meats, shelling beans, and preparing the house and land for winter.
With a community already gathered to share work at a time of year when a wide variety of delicious, freshly harvested food was available, good times were bound to happen. A good day’s work done, people celebrated with meals featuring the best and freshest. After-dinner entertainment was usually music and dance, particularly New England’s own regional dance form, the contra dance. Anyone can dance in this family-friendly tradition – dancers face each other along two lines, performing simple moves with instructions called out loud. No experience, partner, or special skill is needed! Accompaniment from Craig Edwards’s string band will keep the crowd stepping.
This educational event, sponsored by Slow Food Seacoast, aims to revive harvest time traditions, re-connect the Seacoast with its agricultural calendar, raise awareness of the quality products of local farmers and food producers, and celebrate the joy of the harvest. Slow Food Seacoast is an educational nonprofit organization working to bring greater awareness of local foods, regional food heritage, and the enjoyment of honest quality back to the table. This is one of many events offered for Slow September, including a potluck and presentation on the Eat Local Challenge on Sept. 2nd, a Flatbread Pizza Company fundraiser night on Sept. 4th , and a Barnes and Noble Family Night on Sept. 27. Contact Slow Food Seacoast for further details.
Harvest Supper is held in conjunction with Strawbery Banke Museum’s Garden Harvest Festival,offering an array of garden-themed programs over the weekend of Sept 15-16. It’s a time when hard work is returned with good fortune, and the perfect way to bid a delicious farewell to summer and welcome the autumn.
Slow Food Seacoast
Seacoast Eat Local
Eat Local Challenge
Garden Harvest Festival at Strawbery Banke
Craig Edwards, Music