Monthly Archives: August 2010

Coming soon: The meaning of RAFT

Photo: Chefs Collaborative

Photo: Chefs Collaborative

This September, Slow Food Seacoast is planning an exciting and elegant educational component to the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner to demonstrate what RAFT really means and why it’s an important initiative. Our hope is that diners will take away from this fabulous fine-dining experience a full tummy, a contented smile, and an appreciation of not only what RAFT is but also what it means.

The goal is to bring each diner’s attention back from the plate to the chefs in the kitchen, to the farmers in the field, and to those who have come before as a way of connecting the dining experience to the significance of the “at-risk” produce varieties featured in the RAFT Alliance and, hence, on the Barn Dinner menu.

Diners approaching the barn at Meadow’s Mirth/Berry Hill Farm for the 4 pm cocktail hour will be greeted by tables displaying the very RAFT varieties that will grace their dinner plates an hour later. They can learn where those produce were grown and by whom, why those produce are historically interesting or significant, and who will be preparing that food for the dinner. RAFT seeds also will be available as give-aways to attendees, who can learn how to save the seeds from one year’s harvest for the next year’s planting—which is not only a frugal practice but also an essential step in preserving the best heirloom varieties.

In the barn, displays will illustrate the many connections underlying the dinner. They will feature photos of the 2010 RAFT Grow-Out farmers, chefs, and produce varieties, accompanied by relevant quotes (from farmers and chefs) as well as descriptions and the significance (historical, agricultural, and gastronomical) of the varieties to us New Englanders. In other words, why have people in New England bothered to save these seeds, grow these crops, eat these foods … then start the process all over again for generations? And in this so-called modern age, why should we continue to do so?

Slow Food Seacoast and co-organizers of the Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner are excited to collaborate on this project and look forward to making the event successful in so many ways! Visit the Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner page for event details and purchase your tickets.

Seacoast Community Eat-In at UNH, 9/12

Seacoast Eat-In

WHAT: 1st Annual Seacoast Community Eat-In

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 12 at 5:30 pm

WHERE: UNH campus behind Demeritt Hall

MORE INFO: UNH Slow Food

Join UNH Slow Food on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 5:30 pm for the first annual Seacoast Community Eat-In.

This potluck event is free and open to the public and will be held on the UNH campus behind Demeritt Hall, just off Main Street in Durham. Bring a favorite dish to share with your friends and neighbors. Please visit the UNH Slow Food website for more details, including directions.

Cooking Classes on Star Island, 9/13-17

Via Cooking on a Star:

Cooking Up History: A Seat at the Islander’s Table

Courtesy Cooking on a Star

Photo courtesy Cooking on a Star

Don’t miss this marvelous culinary adventure! Join Chef Patrice Gerard for an epicurean journey. Enjoy an abundance of edible wisdom and savory fare. The freshest seasonal local ingredients grace our table. The scent of delicious baked goods will sweeten the atmosphere. Our Shoals historian shares lore and legends. Rejuvenate, explore and cook up a memorable experience!

WHEN: Monday–Wednesday, Sept. 13–15, 2010

WHERE: Star Island, 10 miles east of Portsmouth Harbor, one of the Isles of Shoals; sail on the Thomas Laighton out of Portsmouth Harbor

CONTACT & MORE INFO: Email Susan Wallack, (603) 828-3503

Cooking Up Comfort: Goodness and Well-Being from the Kitchen

Appealing and wholesome comfort food is our flavorful focus. Join Chef Patrice Gerard in creating dishes to nourish both body and spirit. Much-loved classics made both delicious and nutritious. The aromas, colors, textures, and taste of familiar ingredients will engage all of our senses as we prepare the recipes. The “demystifying” of how simple components comprise well-made food will increase your sense of competence and confidence in the kitchen. This will be a fun, interactive and delicious experience!

With wellness in mind, using fresh local ingredients we’ll spread our table with regional, seasonal favorites. Enjoy just from the oven treats!

WHEN: Wednesday–Friday, Sept. 15–17, 2010

WHERE: Star Island, 10 miles east of Portsmouth Harbor, one of the Isles of Shoals; sail on the Thomas Laighton out of Portsmouth Harbor

CONTACT & MORE INFO: Email Susan Wallack, (603) 828-3503

One step closer to passing the Child Nutrition Act

Time for Lunch-header

Last year, a big the Slow Food USA was Time for Lunch, a campaign to get good, clean, and fair food into U.S. schools. (Slow Food Seacoast championed Time for Lunch in its 2009 National Day of Action event: preparing and planting salad gardens at Dover High School. Read the recap on our blog!)

Late yesterday, the Senate passed the new Child Nutrition Act. Whether (and how) the revised act will be passed in the House remains to be seen, but read the Slow Food response on the Slow Food USA blog.

Barrington Natural Heritage and Agriculture Fair, 8/28-29

Warren Farm

WHAT: 2nd [Annual?] Barrington Natural Heritage and Agriculture Fair

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, August 28 and 29, 10 am to 4 pm (rain or shine!)

WHERE: Warren Farm, 30 Warren Road, Barrington, NH

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Barrington Natural Heritage and Agriculture Fair website

The 2nd [Annual?] Barrington Natural Heritage and Agriculture Fair will be held on August 28 and 29 from 10 am to 4 pm (rain or shine!) at Warren Farm, a full-time working farm in Barrington, NH.

Start the day with a hayride on a wagon pulled by an old-fashioned mule team from the parking area to the fairground! The Barrington Recreation Department will host family-oriented old-time games, and local farmers will show off their animals and be available to answer your questions. Purchase local goods at the on-site farmer’s market featuring high-end local artisans, maple ice cream and maple cotton candy from Sugarmomma’s Maple Farm, breads and other goodies from Forty-Five Market Street Bakery, breakfast and lunch foods from Figtree Café, fresh fish sandwiches from Seaport Fish, and more. Local musicians will be playing for the crowd on both days.

A few more highlights are scheduled:

  • John Carroll, famed advocate and author of local agriculture, will speak at 12 noon on Saturday.
  • Scott Young will lead nature walks on the 244-acre farm at 1 pm both days. Learn about turtles, frogs, snakes, dragonflies, birds, and more!
  • Beekeeper Amy Antonucci will talk about her work with bees on Sunday.
  • Peter Yarenski and friends will play fiddle music and jam with other local musicians on Sunday.
  • Many educational booths will inspire and propel you towards community sustainability!

The fair organizers need VOLUNTEERS to help before and during the fair (setup, parking) and afterward (cleanup). If you would like to help put on a great local event, contact Heather Warren.

ALSO, Amy Pollard would love to have VOLUNTEERS join her at the Slow Food Seacoast table to talk to fairgoers about good, clean, and fair food. If you can spare an hour or a few, please email Slow Food Seacoast with “I Want to Volunteer” in the subject line.

See you there!