Sunday, December 11, 2005

Slow Food PT's 2006 Events and Mission

Around twenty enthusiastic members of the Slow Food Piedmont Triad convivium met at Charlie and Debbie's house on Wednesday evening to write a mission statement for our group and to brainstorm about ideas for 2006. It was great to see that many areas of the Piedmont Triad were represented, including Randolph and Rockingham Counties, as well as Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Kernersville. We hope to serve the entire area around the larger cities of the Piedmont Triad, and welcome input from residents of those counties.

The first item of business was to write a mission statement for our convivium. Steve Tate led us in a fun process, in which we paired off and wrote a mission statement of around ten words or less. Then, each couple wrote each noun, verb, adjective, and adverb in their sentence on separate cards. We placed these cards on a table, and noted the words that were used the most often. Standing around the table, we swapped the cards around until we came up with a simple, forthright statement: "To celebrate and support our local food community."

The second part of the evening was spent brainstorming in small groups to produce ideas for events for each season. Then we came back to the group and decided on which ideas to focus on, and assigned volunteers to work on each event. Here are the anchor events we came up with, subject to change, of course! We still need volunteers for events. Please email Charlie at

Winter - A Slow Food film series at the Scene on South Elm St., accompanied by a potluck that will pick up on the theme of the movie. Dabney, Jill, and Debbie have volunteered to organize this event.

Spring - A Wild Foods event was mentioned. We think that there is already an event set up at Chinqua Penn in late April that we possibly could co-sponsor or at least attend individually or as a group. I will check on this. Another idea was a one day farm tour of 1-3 farms. Would a farm tour be of interest to you? How many farms? Are there any specific farms you are interested in? We would need someone to volunteer to organize this event.

Late Spring - Cherry picking at the Levering Orchard. This is the orchard of Wanda Urbanska and Frank Levering. Gordon, George, and Jan will organize this event, possibly renting a bus to take us up there and back.

Summer - A family picnic at Old Salem that focuses on children (and heirloom gardens). Jill, Beatrice, and Laurie are volunteers for this event.

Late Summer – Sept. 9 is Farm Fest at Rising Meadow Farm. We will join the annual fiber celebration. This could include a pig-picking and feature local meats. Steve and Jan have volunteered.

Other ongoing projects:
  • The Local Food Guide will probably be ready in the spring. There will be a print version and it will be available from our web site. George will program a database for our web site that will allow farmers and food producers to add and change information to the guide so that the most current information is always available.

  • Public Schools Wellness Policy - Donna has already begun working on this project. Charlie, Deb, and Jill are interested in this nationally-initiated Slow Food project as well as working with the local schools in other food and gardening education projects.

  • Monthly informal meet-ups at local restaurants and coffee houses. I'll pick a night (different weeknights per month to accommodate different schedules) and send out a place to meet on the listserv. No agenda, no program. Just good company. Suggestions for places to meet are welcome.

There were lots of ideas for ongoing projects. There was not time to discuss these Wednesday night, and we want to develop these ideas further. Very briefly, these include community dinners, a Slow Food challenge to local restaurants, a connection between the Piedmont region of Italy and our Piedmont region, and a "food of the month" to be featured on the web site with recipes and sources.

We would like very much to get your feedback on these ideas, and hear any ideas that you might have for our convivium's work (and play) in 2006. What specific goals would you like to see our convivium accomplish in 2006? What role would you like to play in implementing these goals? We need volunteers for the coming year's events.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A Slow Food Thanksgiving

George had an epiphany about food this year. A Master of Arts of Liberal Studies student at UNCG, he has been writing about his slow food journey since this summer on his blog, Dirty George and I, along with about a dozen other listmembers, were in Charlie Headington and Steve Tate's "Slow Food in a Fast Food Nation" class this semester. I think that I can speak for all of us that we are very sad that the class is over, but we are all immensely richer for the experience.

The following is George's post about his first Slow Food Thanksgiving. He also writes about liberal politics and environmentalism on his blog, if you would like to check it out. The original post is here.


I'm really proud of this apple pieWell, Thanksgiving went REALLY well. I ended up cooking the free range turkeys myself, which I didn't know I was going to have to do (I've never done it before), but they came out great! Here are the photos.

my brother John cleaning one of the turkeysThere were about 40 people at my family's Thanksgiving meal this year. I have a HUGE family between my dad's family and my mom's family, and we usually combine them at my parents' house for Thanksgiving. I decided, after learning so much about the slow food movement and organic and local food, that I wanted to do a really healthy, environmentally sound meal this year. Slow food is all about food and family, right? So what's a better way to celebrate food and family than Thanksgiving?

mmm... free rangeWe got two Ebelry Poultry free range, organic turkeys from Earth Fare, and most of the vegetables, fruits, eggs, and even cheese and butter from the Farmers Markets in Winston Salem and Asheville. It was so cool that my mom got so into it! Even without much prodding from me, she called to reserve the turkeys without my even asking her to, and she and a few of my aunts and my grandmother spent several hours at the farmers market! She pulled out all the stops; I couldn't believe it when I got into town and she showed me the butter and farm cheese!

sauteed onions with curry powder for pumpkin soupI cooked for basically 24 hours from Wednesday to Thanksgiving day, if you don't include the 5 or 6 hours of sleep I had in between... and the breaks I took to enjoy some beer and whiskey with my brother and cousin. I cooked two turkeys, curry pumpkin soup (freakin' yum), two pumpkin pies, an apple pie, and a squash casserole. My dad and my brother John helped me clean the turkeys, and john actually made the pumpkin pie filling once I had the pumpkins cooked and the meat scraped out.

pumpkins ready to be prepped for pie and soupAside from a few ribs from my uncle about the meal being a "Hippy Thanksgiving" and another cousin joking about me "burning my bra," everyone loved the meal. Other family members got into the thing, even though I didn't want anyone to think that what they brought had to be any different than usual. One cousin's new wife, Brandee, brought an organic broccoli casserole. One of my aunts made an organic Greek salad. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few details, but the really great thing is that everyone got into the spirit, we had some good food and family time, and I planted some seeds in their heads about sustainable food. My mom especially surprised me. The whole thing was great.

Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska - Saturday

We hope you will join us for this program.

Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska
Saturday, December 3rd 10:30 – noon
Kathleen Clay Edwards Library
1420 Price Park Dr. Greensboro 336-373-2923

Wanda Urbanska host and co-producer of the Simple Living TV series on public television stations nationwide, now in its second season will share excerpts from the series about simple and sustainable living along with interviews with people about simple living in a program at the Kathleen Clay Edwards Library on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10:30 to noon. Wanda is coauthor with Frank Levering of Nothing’s Too Small To Make a Difference, Simple Living, and Moving to a Small Town and other books. Wanda will share her experience of simple living in Mount Airy where she is co-owner/operator of Levering Orchard. Her presentation will also offer ways for you to simplify your life around the holiday season.

The Simple Living Program airs on UNC-TV (channel 4) at 6 p.m. on Sunday nights.

Melanie Buckingham
Environmental Resources Librarian
Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch Library
1420 Price Park Dr.
Greensboro, NC 27410

Volunteers Needed for Deck the Hall Day on Dec. 3

Subject: Friends of the Market Update/Volunteers Needed for Deck the Hall Day on Dec. 3
From: "Alfano, Geraldine E."
Date: Mon, November 28, 2005 6:49 pm
To: "Alfano, Geraldine E."

I hope that you all have continued to enjoy the Farmers' Market as the seasons have progressed. Even though winter is approaching, there is still local produce available at the Market, as well as baked goods and handmade crafts. As always, it's a wonderful place to meet with and talk to the vendors as well as the other customers. After the first of the year, I will be scheduling a meeting of the Friends of the Market. I hope that you will be able to attend and contribute your ideas, as well as your talents, for making our market even better and more successful. This Saturday we will be having Deck the Halls Day at the Market. It will feature a pancake breakfast with apple cinnamon sauce prepared by Alex Amoroso of Cheesecakes by Alex (proceeds to benefit projects of the Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market). We need your help to serve the pancakes (Alex will handle the cooking), beginning about 7 am until 10:30 or 11. Please let me know if you are willing to help out for an hour or two between 7 am and 11 am.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Planning Session

All members of Slow Food Piedmont Triad are invited to be part of a planning session at Charlie Headington’s home, December 7, 2005, Wednesday night at 7:00 pm.

We have had a good first year and we need to build upon it. How? That’s for us to decide!

We would like to talk about 1) activities and events for 2006 and 2) create several committees to oversee and do the work. We also could talk about 3) our mission and our priorities.

Please consider coming, talking, and taking a role in defining and realizing our vision of Slow Food. We need your input and energy if we are to be a sustainable organization and presence. We need representatives of all our Triad, and both city and rural communities. Together we can find creative ways to enjoy one another, the land and good food.

Contact Laurie to RSVP at She'll send it on to Charlie.

Eggs From Happy Chickens

Scientific proof that eggs from happy chickens make you happy too!

Check out the new Chicken and Egg Page hosted by Mother Earth News:

It includes a study on the nutritional content of free-range vs. confinement eggs.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Farms in Decline

The New York Times recently published an article about the difference between organic and sustainable farming practices which mentioned a dairy in upstate New York about twenty miles north of my hometown.

As a native of the Hudson Valley, where Ronnybrook Farm Dairy is located, it is shocking to visit and see the demise of the family farm. As a child in Dutchess County many of my friends were from dairy farming families. Most of these were very small affairs where one of the parents also held an outside job. Others were owned by the very wealthy who hired farm managers for the day-to-day business. Less motivating than the tax write-off was the desire for their children to grow up with the farm experience--hard work with intrinsic rewards that offset privilege. One notable gentleman farmer who always gave me a thrill when I saw him in town was James Cagney. He retired 'upstate' and personally raised Scottish Highlanders on his small farm. Another 'wanna-be' farmer was Meryl Streep. She bought a dairy farm near Amenia specifically to expose her children to a more healthful lifestyle. Within a month she sold all her stock. In a magazine interview she explained, 'I didn't realize that cows have an odor.' (That comment didn't make her very popular at the local grocery store.) To her credit, she does support the Connecticut Farmland Trust which is decently upwind from her NY property.

Notably, all of these farmers (excepting Meryl Streep) used some sustainable practices. A bike ride through the county from early spring to deep into the fall showed expansive hillside pastures dotted with meandering cattle, their black and white hides contrasting sharply with lush green or bright autumnal backgrounds. Cows, by the way, are incredibly resilient creatures. On warmer days in the winter and especially during the January thaw, they slogged through mushy snow and mud to soak in fresh 'dairy- air' and sunshine. (You can imagine, the Far Side was a favorite comic strip of my peers.)

While my mother was wary of 'raw' milk, my favorite dairy beverage was a fountain drink. We would line up in the barn--kid, cat, kittens, kid, waiting for an obliging older brother or cousin to shoot us a stream straight from the udder before hooking an ever-so-patient cow to the milking machine. My mother, by the way, was a wiz with laundry.

Because of its proximity to NYC, Dutchess County is now overrun with the affluent overflow of that megalopolis. With the influx of upper middle class professionals, the value of real estate skyrocketed. This had a two-fold effect on family farms. Acres of pastureland became hugely desirable to developers who cut up plots of land into tiny checkerboards of fractional acre lots. A small home in a bedroom community can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Secondly, the time intensive, backbreaking labor and financial costs of running a farm with a marginal profit at best became less attractive as the family farmers aged. Ronny, who took over Ronnybrook's Farms from his parents, is in a small minority. Very few children of farmers can afford to stay in the area.

I see the same thing that began in the Hudson Valley over twenty years ago happening right now in Guilford County. While I understand that financial health is very important and the availability of jobs that pay a living wage is necessary, at what cost? The old Dutch farming families from Dutchess County are gone--died off, their birthright sold, their children drifted away. I am just now appreciating how privileged I was to grow up healthy and strong from the wonderful foods and outdoor lifestyle my parents so graciously provided me. It's crucial that we pull together and support the local farmer, sustainable practices, and the agricultural lifestyle before it becomes so much dirt before the bulldozer.

~Jacqueline Oates

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"3 Day Weekend"

Early in the summer I read that Turner South would be in the Triad filming their popular cable series, "3 Day Weekend". My first thought was that they should visit the Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market. The love and dedication for this unique market is shown by the farmers that show up before dawn and the early bird shoppers that follow shortly after. It's also where I would take an out of town guest that is visiting Greensboro.

My thought had become a memory until I heard from Mark File, Marketing Director for Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants & Hotels. As host to the Turner South crew, Mark emphatically suggested that they visit the Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market on a Saturday morning.

Now, thanks to Mark and others at Quaintance-Weaver who support the market, Turner South will be filming at the Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market on Saturday November 12, 2005. What a wonderful opportunity to spotlight our community jewel that has long been a tradition to many families in the Triad.

Though the filming crew of Turner South has missed the busy summer season, the market is filling up with a bountiful fall harvest as well as local artist gearing up for the holiday season. I hope you will mark your calendar to visit us at the market and help us turn on the southern hospitality, naturally!

*Filming scheduled to begin at 7 a.m.

Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market
501 Yanceyville Street
Greensboro, NC 27405

(336) 574-3547


All year long.
6 am - noon

June - December
7 am - 1 pm

Simple Kneads Open House

Thursday, November 10, 6-9 pm.

Simple Kneads Bakery is having an Open House this Thursday night. Bill Snider has been baking luscious bread for the Piedmont community and wants to share his bakery with others for this night.

Simple Kneads is at 227B South Elm, down the alleyway next to Anne Marie's gift shop. There will be a sign on South Elm indicating the way.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Fast Action From Slow Foods

Last Friday I received my first issue of the Snail, one of the perks of being a member of the Slow Food Piedmont Triad Convivium. It could not have arrived at a better time. Located in the center of the magazine was a full page, black and white photo of a child looking straight at me. The opposite page began "YOU." Me? I read more.

"Congress is requiring that every public school district in America form a Wellness Committee and adopt a Wellness Policy by June 30, 2006," I had to read more.

"If you write the standards, you can ensure that children in America's schools will eat the healthy foods they deserve. If you don't write them, who will?" And now I am loosing sleep.

It was on the Center for Ecoliteracy website that I learned about the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorizing Act 2004 that would require
"local wellness policies designed and implemented at the local level, and authorize the Department of Agriculture to provide technical assistance, if requested by the school or school district, in implementing healthy school environments. The content of local wellness policies would be decided by local parents, teachers, administrators, school food service, school boards, and the public."

On Monday morning I went to the Guilford County Schools to inquire about our own, local Wellness Committee and Wellness Policy and by Friday I had a clear understanding of where WE stand in the process of creating a better nutritional future for our children.

After speaking with Nancy Routh, School Board Member At-Large and head of Policy Development, she explained that at this time the Guilford County Schools have created two new policies concerning medication distribution and peanut allergies. These were state mandated and the schools have yet to create the Wellness Committee or the Wellness Policy that is required by the federal government. I have two children in the Guilford County school system and have not received any information on parental or public input on the Wellness Policy. During my conversation with Mrs. Routh she encouraged me to contact Robin Bergeron-Nolan, Curriculum Specialist, and volunteer for any committees that might be formed. After contacting Charlie Headington, President of the Slow Food Piedmont Triad, Charlie offered full support from our local convivium to support the Wellness Policy.

I was able to pick up a copy of the Wellness Policy requirements and guidelines that local schools will use to assist in this exciting endeavor. The Center for Ecoliteracy has also created guidelines that can be used to help meet the new requirements.

For years we have been reading, hearing and watching the rise in childhood obesity and the onset of adult related diseases in today's youth. It was recently stated that the upcoming generation will be the first not to out live the last.
My son brought home a book about dinosaurs last year titled, The Monsters Who Died, by Vicki Cobb. It was frightening to read,

"Dinosaur eggs also show the decline of dinosaurs. Eggs 70 million years old and older have thick shells. The shells from the last 5 million years got thinner and thinner. Dinosaurs were not as healthy and it showed in their shells. Their egg shell did not provide good protection. Many young dinosaurs never hatched. The poor health of the parent affected the young."

This is a very crucial time for today's youth and for generations to come. It is important for those of us who have been supporting our local agricultural resources, whole foods, and our cooking heritage to stand up and support the needs of today's children.

The Slow Food Piedmont Triad Convivium will soon hold a meeting to address the Wellness Policy in our local schools. If you would like to receive more information and become an active participant in addressing the nutritional needs of our children, please send an email to If you are reading this from elsewhere in the United States EpiCourier would love to hear what your local, public schools are doing in regards to the Wellness Policy.

Our children depend on US!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Food and Farming Film Festival in Durham

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association as part of its annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference, November 4-6 in Durham will be featuring a selection of films on Friday night, November 4 at 8:30. The conference and films will be at the Durham Marriott at the Civic Center. For more information about the conference itself, go to

Details about the films below:



WHEN: Friday, November 4th, starting at 8:30 pm

WHERE: Durham Civic Center Marriot Hotel, next to the Carolina Theatre, rooms 105-108

WHY: CFSA is holding their 2005 annual meeting in Durham, November 4-6, and small-scale sustainable farmers from throughout North and South Carolina will attend. Slow Food is looking for ways to work with existing groups in our area to support sustainable farms and good food.

WHAT: Three longer films will be screened along with several shorts. The three main films (all documentaries) will be shown simultaneously in three different rooms. Discussions will follow the screening for those who are interested.

COST: Free for registered attendees of the Sustainable Agriculture Conference, donation of $10 to Carolina Farm Stewardship Assoc. for others.


The Future of Food (88 minutes)
Directed, Produced, and Written by Deborah Koons Garcia

The Future of Food offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade. This film gives a voice to farmers whose lives and livelihoods have suffered the consequences of this new technology. The health implications, government policies and push towards globalization are all part of the reason why many people are alarmed about the introduction of genetically altered crops into our food supply. Shot on location in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, The Future of Food, examines the web of market and political forces that are changing what we eat as huge multinational corporations seek to control the world's food system. The film also explores alternatives to large-scale industrial agriculture, placing organic and sustainable agriculture as real solutions to the farm crisis today.

* * *
Voices of American Farm Women (40 minutes)
Directed by Cynthia Vagnetti
& The True Cost of Food-animated short (15 minutes)

Voices of American Farm Women is based upon more than 40 videotaped oral history interviews done by photojournalist and videographer Cynthia Vagnetti. In the past, our views of farming and its influence on American life and culture have focused on the roles that men have played as farmers, while women's contributions to agricultural production were largely ignored, perpetuating the stereotype of the "farmer's wife." This film presents a contemporary perspective on women in agriculture. Cynthia Vagnetti has documented women from across the United States whose farming techniques promote environmental responsibility, economic stability, and community well being. Through their voices and presence, the women express the components of sustainable food systems and farming practices.

Cynthia Vagnetti is an independent documentary photographer and video producer. She specializes in collecting comprehensive oral histories of farmers and ranchers across America

* * *
Broken Limbs (57 minutes)
Produced by Jamie Howell and Guy Evans
& The Meatrix-animated short (4 minutes)

Wenatchee, Washington, the "Apple Capital of the World", prospered for nearly a century as home to the famed Washington apple. But the good times have vanished. Apple orchardists by the thousands are going out of business and many more await the dreaded letter from the bank, announcing the end of their livelihoods and a uniquely American way of life.

After his own father receives just such a letter, filmmaker Guy Evans sets out on a journey to find out what went wrong. Over the course of filming, Evans witnesses small farmers struggling to compete against the Goliaths that populate today's global food industry, only to be ultimately forced off their land. The future looks grim for the Apple Capital although Evans does discover a new breed of successful small farmers, practitioners of a model called "sustainable agriculture".

Broken Limbs explores these hopeful stirrings within agriculture, outlining ways in which any individual can play a role in saving America's farmers.

Elizabeth Gibbs
Educational Programs Coordinator
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
P.O. Box 448
Pittsboro, NC 27312
Phone 919.542.2402
Fax 919.542.7401

Amory Lovins Lecture at UNCG

Amory Lovins, author of Soft Energy Paths: Toward a Durable Peace (1977) and Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovations for Profits, Jobs, and Security (2004), will be speaking at UNCG on November 15 th and 16 th as keynote speaker for this year's Harriet Elliott Lecture Series, the third in a series of lectures entitled "Are We Energized?: Politics Energy, and the Environment."

Lovins rose to prominence during the oil crises of the 1970s when he challenged conventional supply-side dogma by urging that theUnited States instead follow a "soft energy path." His work today focuses on transforming the car, real-estate, electricity, water, semiconductor, and several other manufacturing sectors toward advanced resource productivity.

The Nov. 15 th keynote evening lecture will be held at 7:30 pm in the Science Building Lecture Hall and will be entitled "Are We Energized?: Winning the Oil Endgame." A series of programs on "Politics, Energy and the Environment in North Carolina ," with Lovins as discussant, will follow Wednesday morning in the Elliott University Center Auditorium.

Detailed information on times and locations is available online:

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Catawba Center for Environment on PBS Program

You will enjoy this show (see below) since it combines simple living and sustainable living. The Center at Catawba College is breathtaking; it is the first and best green educational building on the east coast. Wanda Urbanska continues to explicate the meanings of simple living. Remember, she is also part of the Levering family of Levering Orchards in Virginia where many of you go to pick your own fruit!


The Center for the Environment at Catawba is an excellent environmental education program. And the show, "Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska," is putting out a very compelling message. This will be well worth watching; this Sunday, Oct. 30th, at 6 pm UNC-TV. Enjoy!

Watch for Catawba Center for Environment on PBS Program

Catawba College’s Environmental Science Program and Center for the Environment will soon be featured on PBS’s “Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska.”

The TV crew filmed footage on campus in April for the fall program. Ms. Urbanska, the host and co-producer, said she and Frank Levering chose to feature Catawba’s Center for the Environment because “it offers one of the premiere environmental education programs in the nation in an amazing physical setting – both the green building that houses the center and the adjacent nature preserve.
“What’s more, I’m impressed with the degree to which the entire Catawba College community takes environmental education seriously,” she says. “Green teams advise the administration about ways to make the campus environmentally friendly.”

The program is scheduled to run on PBS stations across the United States. It will air in North Carolina on UNC-TV Sunday, Oct. 30, at 6 p.m. and on WTVI-TV Saturday, Nov. 5, at 4:30 p.m. Those living outside North Carolina may contact their local PBS station and request the date and time of “Simple Living” Program No. 205.

We hope you’ll make every effort to view it. We also hope you’ll encourage the students and teachers in your area to watch it as well.

For more information on the Center for the Environment, please visit


~Charlie Headington

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Beef and dairy petitions to FDA and USDA

I'd like to call your attention to two worthy petitions being collected by two consumers' organizations. One calls for the FDA to end feeding of all mammal remains to cows (and prevent the spread of Mad Cow disease) at, a site sponsored by Consumers' Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports.

The other is sponsored by the Organic Consumers Association, and it also concerns cattle, and again, misleading labeling. Some leading "organic" dairy producers are guilty of confinement animal feeding practices. You can read about it and sign the petition at, but I've copied the actual petition below for your information.

"We call on the USDA to:

1) Heed the advice of your own National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)
and clarify the National Organic Standards to negate the current
practice of raising cattle on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
(CAFOs) whose products are marketed as "Certified USDA Organic." The
organic regulations (§ 205.239) clearly state farmers must "maintain
livestock living conditions which accommodate the health and natural
behavior of animals, including…access to pasture for ruminants." The
practice of producing "organic" dairy on CAFOs puts family farmers at a
strong disadvantage with corporate agribusiness, violates the spirit of
the organic standards, and is misleading to consumers.

2) Put an end to the practice of allowing organic dairies to increase
their herd size by continually importing young calves from conventional
farms. This clause in the standards was implemented to help family
farmers make the conversion from conventional to organic production.
This was meant to be a "one-time" allowance. CAFOs are now using this
loophole on a regular basis to increase herd size and production by
cheaply, regularly, and continually converting new conventional herds
into "organic" production without having to go through the trouble and
expense of breeding true organic animals. This should be a one-time
clause, after which the ruminants should be bred from organic livestock
on that farm or purchased as organic.

3) Allow the NOSB to make a final ruling on this matter at its November
2005 meeting. There have been five years of public comments on this
issue, all resulting in an overwhelmingly strong majority support of
the above two points. It is time for a final NOSB ruling and for the
USDA to implement actions based on that ruling.

4) Release the names of current NOSB candidates. The NOSB will be losing
five of its current board members after this meeting. Historically, the
board has been made up of appointees chosen by the USDA along with
input from the overall organic community. In the past, the USDA would
release the names of candidates, which ultimately led to an open
process of choosing the most qualified candidates. The USDA has
currently refused to release the names of appointees. It is very
important that the names be released so the organic community can be a
part of helping the USDA choose the best possible appointees."

Your emails and calls do make a difference. In response to attempts in
recent years to undermine organic standards, public outcry has stopped
industrial lobbyists in their tracks. For example, the recent rider to
add synthetic ingredients to the organic standards has been withdrawn
(perhaps, temporarily) due to public response.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Slow Food DC Ark celebration

(from the Slow Food DC convivium):

Don’t forget to sign on for what’s shaping up to be our first ever Slow Food ARK celebration. Lots of friends of Slow Food will be joining us to learn more about the Native Sweet Sisters, (pawpaw, persimmon and strawberry). Also attending; Neal Peterson and Jim Davis (growers of pawpaw); Jerry Lehman, Director of the largest persimmon farm in the US; Dr. Richard Uva, Cornell University, specialist in the another sweet sister, the Beach Plum; Richard Hetzler; executive chef of Mitsitam Café at the National Museum of the American Indian; Rebecca Adamson, Founder of First Nations; and our good friend Nora Poullion.

We’ll learn about fruit cultivation, the lore of these fruits, experience some traditional and modern dishes that salute these native fruits.

Full posting follows:

We are delighted to invite you to a celebratory Thanksgiving brunch at Majestic Cafe on Sunday, November 6 to launch the Three Sweet Sisters: The American persimmon, pawpaw, and strawberry.... all recently boarded on the Slow Food Ark of Taste. Come taste these three delightful foods which are essential to American history and heirloom cookery. Although the Three Sisters of N/native culture--corn, beans, and squash- have been given much attention, First Fruits such as the Three Sweet Sisters are making new waves in heritage cuisine, and Slow Food is happy to be a part of this culinary renewal.

Chef Joe Raffa of Majestic Cafe (Morrison-Clark Inn, Equinox, and Cafe Atlantico trained at L'Academie de Cuisine and brings his culinary expertise to a unique menu, designed for this special occasion, that features N/ative foods: persimmon, pawpaw, corn, black walnuts, maple, greens, shagbark hickory, duck, chilies, and spicebush berries.

Guests will also have the opportunity to try rare Persimmon brandy and pawpaw wine from the Ohio River Valley.

Join us to launch this exciting experience of the Slow Food Ark with what will prove to be a unique three-course meal especially designed for this occasion.

Pawpaw glazed shrimp with corn and chili

Main Course
Confit of persimmon duck on polenta with microgreens

Persimmon Flan with lemon syrup and cream
Black Walnut Tart with Pawpaw Ice Cream

Special guests will offer presentations about Slow Food Presidia work and our new culinary adventure. In addition to experiencing this unique menu, guests will receive a copy of a Persimmon Cookbook; Three Sweet Sisters information booklets with recipes:a gift bag of handmade delicacies using N/native foods. (Persimmon truffles anyone?)

Sunday, November 6, 10:30 AM

Majestic Cafe
911 King Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
(703) 548-6681

$45.00 for Slow Food members
$50.00 for non-members

Please respond by October 30.

Mail checks to:
Marsha Weiner
3686 King Street
Alexandria, VA. 22302

Upon receipt of your checks, you will receive an email confirmation.

For more information, please contact:
Katherine Dillon
(301) 299-0651

as is our standard practice; members can bring one guest at member rate, all other guests at non-member rate; there are no refunds but reservations are transferable, we just ask to be informed as to who is coming your stead

Vintage Virginia Apples’ Annual Apple Harvest Festival and Slow Food Tasting Workshop

(From the Slow Food Old Dominion convivium):

Vintage Virginia Apples’ Annual Apple Harvest Festival and Slow Food Tasting Workshop
November 5, 10am-5pm, Rural Ridge Orchard, North Garden Virginia

Vintage Virginia Apples’ Annual Apple Harvest Festival expands this year to include a Slow Food Tasting Workshop where local food growers present a variety of grass fed meats, herbs and vegetables, and locally produced foods and food products.

One of the major goals of Slow Food International, USA and the local Old Dominion Convivium is to link producers with consumers. Slow Food has organized an event in collaboration with Vintage Virginia Apples that celebrates and promotes producers who grow delicious foods in ecologically friendly ways. In addition to those who produce USDA grass fed meats—beef, lamb, ostrich, pork, bison and goat--there will be other producers of local food products sharing their knowledge of fruits and vegetables available locally. Though the local growing season is nearly over, there are still fresh vegetables and herbs to enliven daily menus.

Seminars scheduled for 11am, 12:30 pm and 2pm will include Pairing Cheese and Apples with Kate Collier, owner of Feast, a leading expert in the world of cheeses and Tom Burford, orchardist and nursery consultant; a presentation on Winter Salad Gardens by botanist, Margaret Shelton and woman farmer, Ramona Huff, woman farmer will speak on Advantages of Heritage Breeds and Grass Fed Meats.

Chef Howie Velie of Magnolia Restaurant, a member of Slow Food, will be on hand talking about incorporating locally grown and seasonal foods into daily menus. The majority of the exhibitors are experienced growers eager to share their knowledge and provide product samples through out the day long festival. The Tasting Workshop is a hallmark activity of the Old Dominion Convivium that brought you two cheese festivals and an apple festival in 2003 and 2004, several Food and Film events and a Farm Tour in 2005.

Vintage Virginia Apple Harvest Festival is the place to learn about apple growing, tree selection and planting, apple cider and apple butter making. It is an apple tasting event unequaled in this area, hosted by the Shelton family. For an extensive look inside this family apple operation go to The Cove Garden Ruritans partner with Vintage Virginia Apples each year making Brunswick stew, apple butter, providing hayrides, featuring history and craft displays demonstrating Southern Albemarle’s agricultural heritage and holding a bake sale.

These activities are provided by folks who practice sound principals of biodiversity, care about the future of our food supply and feel a responsibility to share their enthusiasm and commitment for locally grown fresh food with you. This event is presented free of charge to the public.

Rural Ridge Farm is located on Route 29 South of Charlottesville in North Garden, Virginia. From Charlottesville, 8 miles south of I-64. From the south, .8 miles north of the Crossroads Store (Route 692) See website for map

Friday, October 07, 2005

Discovery Day and Dairy Open House This Weekend

Here's a reminder about Discovery Day tomorrow, and also remember the
Goat Lady Dairy open house is on Sunday.

See the events page at http://www,


Please join us for these upcoming coming events at the KCEF Library:
Discovery Day (if raining, it will still be held " lots of activities
indoors) Saturday, October 8th, 10 " 2 p.m. KCEF Library

*Birding Basics " 10:30 " Noon

How to identify birds, where to look for birds, when to go birding, and
how to attract birds to your back yard. Great for adults and children

Wetlands/ Water Program 12:30 - Noon

Join the Haw River Program as they show you the tiny animals
(macroinvertebrates) that live in our creeks and are important for
water quality. Fun program for kids and adults.

Plus face painting, nature crafts, how-to use binoculars and field
guides to search for birds, interactive forestry and water activities,
and live animals.


Thursday, October 13th Want to learn more about butterflies. Join us
for Senior Strollers 1:30 " 2:30 as Dennis Burnette, past president of
the Carolina Butterfly Society shares information about types of
butterflies and how to attract butterflies.

Interested in seeing some beautiful nature photography. Come to the
Audubon program on Thursday Oct 13th 7 p.m. and see the beautiful
photos taken by Melissa Whitemire. She will explain how she uses the
digital camera and scope to take photographs and show how to use
general and digital editing to improve the composition and appearance
of photos.

Astronomy Night at the Library Monday, October 17th 7:30 " 8:30 p.m.
Night sky viewing by Stan Rosenburg, Greensboro Astronomy Club.

Need some gardening tips for the fall Monday, October 24th 7 " 8 p.m.
Karen Neill, Urban Horticulture Extension Agent will offer tips on
preparing your garden for winter, information about cover crops and
composting. Come with your gardening questions. Enter a drawing for
gardening prizes.

Want to learn about owls and other nocturnal animals Thursday, October
27th 12 " 1:00 Bring your lunch, see and learn about owls and nocturnal
animals from the Schindler Wildlife Rehab Center from the NC Zoo.
Register to attend this program

Need CEUs or credit towards the EE Certification or would like to learn
about land ethics, natural journaling and observation. Leopold
Education Project Friday, October 29th 10 " 4 p.m. Come to this
environmental education workshop about the famous conservationist, Aldo
Leopold and learn more about his book A Sand County Almanac and
activities related to natural journaling and observation, land ethics
and more. $30 for workshop materials. Register to attend this program

CFSA Sustainable Ag Conference Coming in November

November 4-6, 2005
"From Field to Fork, Creating a Blueprint for a Sustainable Food System
in the Carolinas"
20th Annual Sustainable Ag Conference
Durham, NC

From the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association announcement:

"Every year we choose a theme intended to provide a focus for the
conference and define where we are in our journey of creating a
sustainable agriculture system for the Carolinas. This year’s theme,
“From Field to Fork, Creating a Blueprint for a Sustainable Food ystem
in the Carolinas,” will focus our attention on the mechanics of the
food system and what it will take to restructure it to be good for our
families, our farmers, and our environment. Agriculture’s impact on the
environment, human health, and local economy are often underappreciated
by our local and State governments. The current conventional system of
agriculture promotes global markets, genetic engineering, and
confinement livestock management. We need to learn to make the strong
case for a local and organic food system .

This year’s conference will delve into every component of a healthy food
and farming system, from soil to markets, from insects to herbs, from
flowers to fruits, from field to fork. Together, as farmers,
gardeners, researchers, consumers, teachers, and advocates, we will
create a sustainable food system that takes care of the environment and
all of the members of our communities."

Please go to CFSA's website at for
details and registration.

Slow Food Research Triangle will host an event there Friday night.

Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska

Please save the date for this event at the KCEF Library:

Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska
Saturday, December 3rd 10:30 - noon

Wanda Urbanska host and co-producer of the Simple Living TV series on public television stations nationwide, now in its second season will share excerpts from the series about simple and sustainable living along with interviews with people about simple living in a program at the Kathleen Clay Edwards Library on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10:30 to noon. Wanda is coauthor with Frank Levering of Nothing's Too Small To Make a Difference, Simple Living, and Moving to a Small Town and other books. Wanda will share her experience of simple living in Mount Airy where she is co-owner/operator of Levering Orchard. Her presentation will also offer ways for you to simplify your life around the holiday season. The Simple Living Program airs on UNC-TV (channel 4) at 6 p.m. on Sunday nights.

Slow Food Class Banquet

Our class, Slow Food in a Fast Food Nation, had a slow food banquet with each student preparing and presenting a dish. We ate for three hours and had a wonderful and informative time. The cuisines reflected many student's past, Greek, Italian, Caribbean. Wow!

Here's the article.

Charlie Headington

Sunday, October 02, 2005

slow tomato sandwiches

Sliced French bread from Simple Kneads, drizzled with olive oil from Deep Roots, topped with sliced Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter tomatoes from out back, "Sandy Creek" goat cheese from Goat Lady Dairy, shredded fresh basil from my garden, a little salt and pepper, and placed under the broiler for one minute.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Feast from our Fields - Local Foods Benefit

Feast from our Fields
Women's Resource Center in Alamance County, NC

Women’s Resource Center invites you to a
Feast from Our Fields

Featuring locally-grown & raised foods
Grass-fed beef from Braeburn Farms
Pork from Cane Creek Farm
Organic Vegetables from Timberwood Organic Farms
Wine from Irongate Winery
Goat Dairy Products
Catering by Marg of Sonny’s Catering
Desserts by the Women’s Resource Center

Special guest Tony Kleese of Carolina Farm Stewardship

Come enjoy great local food at our Historic Depot located at 200 S. Main Street downtown Burlington and learn why local is so important in our global world

Saturday, October 8, 2005 7:00 - 9:00 P.M.
$40 per person Casual Attire
Limited Seating Reserve today PH 336.227.6900

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Chard with Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

I have been trying to acquire a taste for cooked greens in the last couple of years. Particularly rainbow chard, because it is so lovely in the garden and has such a long growing season. The first time I planted chard, it lasted through the summer, through the winter and into the following year.

This recipe, adapted from Deborah Madison's instructions in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, may have helped me reach my goal. Don't be put off by the seemingly high cost of pine nuts. A small amount packs a lot of flavor and they are very lightweight. If you buy a little at a time in bulk, it is definitely worth the money.

Chard with Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

About 12-15 large chard leaves, washed
2 T olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
several basil leaves, slivered
handful of cherry tomatoes (I used Sungolds)
1 T pine nuts
salt and pepper

Trim the stems from the chard leaves and discard (or use for another dish if you like them). Chop the leaves and boil for 5 minutes in salted water, 8 minutes for older, tougher leaves. Drain.

Heat olive oil, garlic, and basil. Add chard, whole tomatoes, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are warm and toss together well.

Serves 2-3.

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Taste of Floyd

My partner and I went to Floyd, Virginia on Saturday to a Slow Food event called "A Taste of Floyd." After tasting samples of delicious local foods and wines from Villa Appalachia and AmRhein, you could then go inside a wonderful store/gallery/cafe, Harvest Moon, and purchase the items of your choice. There was music and interesting conversation - in other words, it was a terrific event.

Foodies line up to taste farmstead cheeses from Meadow Creek Dairy and egg salad from happy hens at Copper Hill Farms.

My favorite apple was the Jonagold.

Apples from Blue Ridge Cider and Good Food, Good People may seem to have ruled the day, but there were peppers and pears from Five Penny and Mood Indigo Farms, goat cheeses from Ladybug MicroCreamery and Lotsa-Cedars, "ewe"gurt from Icelandic sheep at Sunny Hill Farm, buffalo jerky from Brush Creek Buffalo, tomato sauce, sausage, coffee, and local honey as well.

After all this, hubby was still hungry! On a great tip from Billy the Blogging Poet, we headed to Oddfella's Cantina for a late lunch. I was full from the Farmer's Appreciation Day breakfast at the Greensboro Farmer's Curb Market and apple slices and goat cheese,
so I just had a pint of Newcastle and took in the ambience of the place. Sandy had a chicken chimichanga, which was one of the best I've ever tasted.

Oddfella's states on its menu that "our ground beef and our greens are organic, and, in season, we make extensive use of local, organic growers." Everything on the menu looked wonderful.

The wooden floors, old storefront windows and doors, and lovely patio in the back added to the relaxing atmosphere. We were especially charmed that all the tables and chairs were different, many of them vintage. The owner, Rob, told us that he'd been asked why he doesn't open another Oddfella's in another town, such as Christiansburg. He said that he would not be able to furnish it in the same way because of health regulations - for example, the drop leaf table at which we were sitting would probably not pass. What a shame! This is not the first time I've felt that the government has lost sight of what is important in regulating food and food production.

A small curtained stage in the corner provides a venue for old-time, blues, jazz, classical guitar, Irish music, and other performances, such a Spoken Word event in which Floyd bloggers Fred and Colleen will participate Sunday, Sept. 18.

Add food, beer and dirt, and I'd say that pretty much adds up to everything I need. We didn't go here; that will have to wait for next time. I hope that "next time" will be soon - three hours is not enough time to savor the atmosphere of Floyd.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

September 10 - a BIG Slow Food Day!

On Saturday, September 10, three great farm and food events are happening! What to do, what to do? Well, I suggest that we all get up early, eat breakfast and shop at "Farmer's Appreciation Day" at the Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market. Then, either head south for Rising Meadow Farm's "Farm Fest" in Randolph County, or north to Floyd, Virginia for "A Taste of Floyd." Or, if you're a fast slow foodie, maybe you can catch all three!

Farmer's Appreciation Day, Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market
6 am-noon

The market opens at 6:00 AM with a breakfast of locally raised foods being served at 7:00 AM. Take some time this morning to hang out with others that love our farmers as well as the market. There will be information booths, live music and great fellowship! Contributors include Neese's Country Sausage, Old Mill of Guilford, Simple Kneads Bakery, Phillips Brothers Country Ham, and Alex Amoroso of Cheesecakes by Alex will be the chef. For more information, go to Epicourier.

Farm Fest at Rising Meadow Farm
All day event ($5 per person) with demonstrations, food, artisans and music. See for more information. (It's just down the road from Goat Lady Dairy.)

A Taste of Floyd
Floyd, Virginia
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“A Taste of Floyd” will take place on the grounds surrounding the Harvest Moon building located on Rt.8. It will feature offerings from the local farmers and store suppliers plus samples from the new Over the Moon Bakery & Coffee Shop.

Local wineries, including Villa Appalaccia, Chateau Morissette, and AmRhein, will be participating along with the area's four premier cheesemakers: Meadow Creek Dairy, Lady Bug Microcreamery, Lots-a-Cedars, and Sunny Hill Farm. Fresh artisan breads from Sweetwater Baking Co. and Austin's Fresh Bread will be available for sampling as well as fresh roasted coffees imported by the Honduras Coffee Company. Tastings from Bright's Beef and Brush Creek Buffalo, eggs from Copper Hill Farms, organic produce from Good Food-Good People, and sauces from Hooper's Specialty Foods will round out the local products available. Come spend the day exploring all the delicious tastes they have to offer, and become inspired to slow down and take time to savor the bounty of the land that surrounds you.

Tickets for the tasting are $3.00 with all proceeds going toward Slow Food. They will be raffling off two baskets stuffed with locally produced foods. All proceeds will benefit the Floyd County Food Bank. For more information please call the Harvest Moon at 540-745-4366.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Sustainability Fair at CCCC

Saturday, September 24, 2005
Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro Campus
Saturday Workshops & Exhibits (8:00 - 4:00)

Register for the workshop by 9/9/05 and save $25. Early registration for Saturday workshops $35 - price includes lunch. Walk-in registration $60.

The Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) Sustainability Fair will demonstrate and explore many areas of sustainability through Workshops & Exhibits. Exhibits on the Pittsboro CCCC Campus will feature a variety of sustainable products, processes and hands-on demos. On Saturday, also, you can register to attend a series of half-day workshops exploring sustainable practices in agriculture, building, transportation & land/water conservancy.

Attend the Saturday Workshops and you will learn:
* Sustainable Agriculture-Urban permaculture, organic compost
* Sustainable Transportation & Renewable Energy--biofuels & electric cars
* Sustainable Building--green building & natural building
* Land and Water Conservancy

Sponsored by:
* Central Carolina Community College
* Piedmont Biofuels

Who should attend the Sustainability Fair?
* Student & teachers
* Families & community members
* Renewable energy & biofuels supporters
* Farmers and gardeners
* Builders, architects, contractors & landscape architects
* Engineers
* Parks, recreation & wildlife organizations
* Land & water conservation groups
* Environmental professionals & businesses
* Local businesses, civic groups & non-profit organizations

Registration Fees:
$60 Saturday Workshops (includes lunch)
$75 Friday Tour & Saturday Workshops (includes lunch)
$25 Friday Tour only (includes lunch)
Free: General Admission is FREE to the outdoor Fair Exhibits

Exhibit Space and Sponsorship Opportunities are Available!
The cost for exhibits is $25 per booth. Event sponsorships are available
at Green $100, Blue Sky $250 & Global $2,000 levels. If your organization
is interested in this unique opportunity to advertise your services and
products, please contact our office to reserve an exhibit space or to
arrange a sponsorship.

To register for Workshops & Tour
& for more information on Exhibits & Sponsorships, contact:
Sandra McMahon,
919-542-6495 ext 224 or
Continuing Education Office at CCCC
919-542-6495 x223

Tate is Chosen for Cheese 2005 Fair in Italy

Every two years, Slow Food International hosts a Cheese fair in the
historic town of Bra,Italy. There will be two hundred cheese vendors
from all over the world. This year, one of our own was invited by Slow
Food to participate! Steve Tate of Goat Lady Dairy is one of only five
artisan farmstead cheesemakers from the United States chosen to attend
the event. Additionally, all five chosen are from the southern U.S.,
and all are members of the American Presidium, a Slow Food organization
formed to promote and protect the production of traditional raw milk

Slow Food USA members received a booklet about Cheese 2005 last month.
I've copied excepts from the booklet about the event below:

"The fifth edition of 'Cheese', to be held in Bra from September 16-19,
2005, marks an important stage in the history of the event. As of this
year, in fact, it has been officially recognized as an international
fair in acknowledgment of its importance and capacity to attract the
interest and attention of exhibitors, visitors and media from all round
the world. With the support of Italian and European production
cooperatives, 'Cheese' provides a unique opportunity to taste all the
European Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected
Geographical Indication (PGI) cheeses. Another important feature is
the vast number of top-quality artisan cheeses on display at the stalls
of the Market, where small producers, affineurs, cheesemakers, and
graders will all be present. Shepherds, on the other hand, will have a
whole street to themselves, and a section will also be devoted to the
cheeses of the Slow Food Italian and International Presidia.

"...The main focus at 'Cheese 2005' will be on goat cheeses, and a
special space will be dedicated to their extraordinary diversity. The
House of Goat Cheeses...will be a large-scale point of sale with
display counters featuring goat cheeses from the over 100 products on
the 'cheese list', complete with full details about origin, type, aging
and price. Cheeses will come from the major producer countries such as
France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece, as well as from emerging
countries such as Britain, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany.
'Guest stars' from the USA, Japan, Australia, and Cyprus will also be
making special appearances.

"Not that the House of Goat Cheeses (staffed by the cheesemakers
themselves, who will assist you in your selections) will only be a
place to shop; here it will also be possible to taste and learn.
Educational activities (guided and free tastings) and cheesemaking
demonstrations will be presented at set times, and the tasting program
will be supplemented by contributions by experts, production
technicians and the cheesemakers themselves."

The event will also include wine tastings, artisan breads, and other
food delights that pair well with cheese.

Congratulations, Steve!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Ten Tips for Better Bread

I found a terrific blog recently that I think you will all enjoy called Farmgirl Fare. Susan writes about her experiences as an organic farmer and artisan baker in Missouri. The photography is lovely and the writing is about Slow Food at its best.

In particular, I recommend that you read her article, Ten Tips for Better Bread. If you're a baker, you'll love it. If you appreciate what bakers do, you'll love it. If you don't bake bread, you'll want to start! I haven't tried to knead bread in years because of my tendinitis, but I think I might try it again this coming weekend.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

naturally and humanely raised meat

Richard the Pig hangs out with his buds at Goat Lady Dairy farm

All right. I did it. I bought some baby back ribs this morning from Back Woods Farms at the Greensboro Farmer's Curb Market. Wes Peterson changed the name of his business to avoid confusion with a Peterson who is selling conventionally raised meat at the Piedmont Triad Farmer's Market at Sandy Ridge Road.

To understand the significance of this, you should know that I have boycotted pork since around 1996. I am enormously concerned about the effects of huge industrial hog farms on our state's environment and quality of life. Plus, I had a mind-meld with a pig on a truck in which he was in a complete panic. I won't tell you what he told me. It was a private thing just between us, and can't be articulated in human words anyway.

In the past year, as I have become aware of the changing conditions of our food supply, and the importance of buying locally on the economy and the environment, I have finally come to this conclusion. I am going to support the small farmers who make an effort to provide us with healthy, humanely produced meat, poultry, egg, and dairy products. As much as I would like to become a vegetarian, it is not going to happen any time soon. And if I can eat something that used to breathe, what's the difference between eating seafood and beef? Or pork? Or chicken? As long as these animals are raised in a pleasant environment in natural conditions and taken care of, they are better off than in the wild. My reasoning was that we'd be better off without pigs altogether than for them to be raised in horrible conditions. I still believe that is true, but it is not a practical solution. It won't happen. But we do have choices now.

Until recently, you couldn't get humanely farm-raised pork with no antibiotics or growth hormones unless you were buddies with a small farmer who raised his own. Now, with large companies like Niman Ranch and small farmers like Wes Peterson getting into the game, you can. It's a different market these days. More and more consumers are demanding meat products that aren't raised in filthy, disgusting conditions. You can also buy chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb. Deep Roots Market and Earth Fare carry organic, free-range, and antibiotic/hormone-free meats if you can't make it to the farmers' markets.

Now, I don't know if I'll be able to make myself eat these ribs. I've conditioned my mind against it for about nine years now, and you can convince yourself of anything if you work hard enough at it. My brain says, don't eat a pig. It's an intelligent creature whose only purpose in life is to suffer for our gain. But Wes is doing us, and pigs, a service here, and if I don't eat these, my husband will be happy to have them all to himself.

I highly recommend that everyone watch The Meatrix. What will it be for you, the red pill or the blue pill? The video starts up when you open the page.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

4th Annual Farmers Appreciation Day

Slow Foodies,

Mark your calendars, it's just around the corner!!

4th Annual Farmers Appreciation Day
Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market
Saturday Sept. 10, 2005

The market opens at 6:00 AM with a free breakfast of locally raised foods being served at 7:00 AM. Take some time this morning to hang out with others that love our farmers as well as the market. There will be information booths, live music and great fellowship!

We still need volunteers to help out. Call or email me for more information, Donna Myers 273-4371.

And don't forget, bring a friend!!

Donna Myers

Sunday, August 14, 2005

garden macaroni and cheese

My garden is a little behind the times - while others are harvesting tomatoes, peppers, corn and eggplants, I'm still harvesting broccoli! In this recipe, you can use whatever you have on hand from your garden or the farmers' market. Corn, mushrooms, and zucchini would all be good.

First, this note: please understand that since I can't follow a recipe, my own recipes often contain a certain amount of guesswork. For example, I buy my macaroni in bulk, so for this dish, I cooked twice as much macaroni as I thought I needed, used enough of it in the recipe to fill up the casserole dish, and the rest went into the fridge for another dish. Such is life in my kitchen. If you make this and think that it needs a little more or less whatever, it probably does!

3-4 c. cooked macaroni
3 T. butter
1 T. flour
1 c. milk
1 c. extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c grated Parmesan
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. salt
black pepper to taste
About 3 c. finely chopped vegetables - I used:
2 c. broccoli
1/4 c. green pepper
1/4 c. carrots
1/2 c. onion
4 large leaves of basil, chopped
a stalk's worth of parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt 2 T. butter. Mix in 1 T. flour until smooth, and cook for a minute. Mix in the milk until smooth, and bring it up to boiling slowly, stirring often. Add the cheese and seasonings, saving some cheese for the top. Take it off the heat.

In a skillet, saute the chopped veggies and herbs in the remaining 1 T. butter for about 5 minutes, until bright and crunchy. Mix in the macaroni. Put the combination macaroni and vegetables into a buttered casserole dish. Pour the cheese sauce over it and mix it all thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Here's a little tip: if you buy butter or margarine in sticks, save the wrappers to grease pans and casseroles. These work especially well for muffin pans.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Local Foods Dinner Supports Piedmont Land Conservancy

Forever These Flavors…a dinner event to celebrate over 11,000 acres of special places protected by Piedmont Land Conservancy. Come celebrate the intersection of the missions of the Piedmont Land Conservancy and Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants by attending a dinner of North Carolina foods, Piedmont-brewed beer and Yadkin Valley wines. Quaintance-Weaver buys over half of its produce from local sources and Piedmont Land Conservancy protects working farms so more farmers can keep their land in production.

The event will be held the evening of Sunday, August 28th at 6:00pm at the O. Henry Hotel and will feature a wine and beer reception followed by a three-course meal, remarks and dessert. The cost of $125 per couple will support PLC’s farm land protection efforts. Guests will choose in advance from a list of three entrées – Carolina Mountain Trout, Niman Ranch™ Spare Ribs, and Vegetarian Strata. Please call PLC at 336-691-0088 for more information or to reserve a spot (space is limited).

Lynne Dardanell
Piedmont Land Conservancy

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Local Harvest Dinner

August 25, 2005 (Thursday)
Local Harvest Dinner
6:30 p.m.
Tickets $100 per person
Advanced Reservations and Payment Required
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association invites you to the first Local Harvest Dinner. Celebrating sustainability in the field and on your table.

Come enjoy a splendid 5-course meal prepared by local chefs using the freshest of local ingredients served on location at Hickory Nut Gap Farm in Fairview, NC. This event will be one to be savored and remembered. Be a part of it!

Featured Chefs: Hector Diaz of Salsa, Laurey Masterton of Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, Mark Rosenstein of the The Market Place, John Stehling of Early Girl Eatery, Anne Everitt formerly of Elaines on Franklin and Lantern.

All proceeds to benefit the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to the support and expansion of local and organic agriculture in the Carolinas.

Please RSVP by contacting the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association at (919) 542-2402 or If emailing, please include your name, address, number in your party, vegetarian meals if requested, and a phone number where we can reach you during the day.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Symposium Cancelled, More Events Planned

As you know we have been working hard to plan our Slow Food Symposium on Oct. 1st. Please note the Symposium steering committee has decided to cancel this event this year. We will analyze and redesign it and offer a new and improved version in the future. We did not get enough early registrations to warrant going ahead with the original plan. But we think we have some ideas how to make it better and more attractive to a wider audience in the future. In the meantime we have already had some great Slow Food events and our chapter leaders have many more in the works. Watch for news of fall and winter events.

Mark your calendars now for these two: Saturday, September 10 FARM FEST at Rising Meadow Farm (see an all day event ($5 per person) with demonstrations, food, artisans and music. And Sunday, October 9 GOAT LADY DAIRY Fall Open House, 1 to 5 pm. Free. Both events are great fun and educational for the whole family.

Steve Tate

Friday, July 29, 2005

Goat Lady Dairy wins 1st Place for raw milk Gouda

Slow Food Friends,

Thought you would enjoy celebrating some great news with us. Last week
my sister Ginnie (the Goat Lady) and our cheese-maker associate, Carrie
Bradds attended the American Cheese Society meeting in Louisville, KY.
A part of this annual event is a national cheese competition. This year
over 120 cheese-makers from all over N. America entered 749 cheeses. We
are thrilled to announce that Goat Lady Dairy won a 1st place in the
American Made: International Style category for our Goat Lady Gouda, a 3
month aged raw milk cheese we make in 6 to 8 lb wheels.

Hand made, traditional raw milk cheeses have become an important part of
the emerging local food revival across the country. We are proud to be
a part of this important change.

Take care,

Goat Lady Dairy

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Montessori Produce Market Today 10 am to noon!

According to the News and Record this morning, Greensboro Montessori School is having their "fifth annual 'Montessori Market' today. Proceeds from the sale of produce grown in the school's gardens will buy school supplies for underprivileged students in Guilford County. The sale will be from 10 am to noon at the school, which is on Horse Pen Creek Road in Greensboro."

Edible Schoolyards in action!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Biofuels Presentation

A couple of weeks ago the Kathleen Clay Edwards Library branch hosted an informative lecture on the use of biofuel to power personal and professional vehicles.

One of the presenters, Andrew McMahan, has provided a copy of his discussion slides so that members unable to attend can review at their convenience. He did a great job putting them together and they are a quick study guide on the topic.

They are formatted into slides in a word document so won't work well for the Slow Food web site, however, I would be happy to email them to anyone interested. Email me directly at if you'd like the file. No special software is needed to view, they open in any version of Word.

Master Gardeners Demonstration Site Photos

Master Gardeners Demonstration Site

Today I visited the Legacy Demonstration Gardens behind the Guilford County Cooperative Extension offices. They are located on Old Burlington Rd., near the intersection of East Bessemer. The gardens are beautiful and include many examples planting techniques. There is over an acre of plants, shrubs, trees and pathways.
The site even includes an apiary. Adjacent to the gardens is the Community Gardening Project which allows individuals to lease space for plantings. 10% of the plantings go to programs that help feed the hungry. The link to the web site featuring all cooperative extension programs is

These gardens are worth a visit. Here is the link to the photo album:

Monday, July 25, 2005

Recipes galore

Ben Hwang of Lux.Et.Umbra sent us a recipe database that he's been working on, and he invites everyone to contribute to it. He's got a few in there already that look pretty tasty. Ben says that the BBQ Meat Loaf is his favorite. It's pretty cool - check it out!

Plus, Donna at Epicourier is always looking for recipes to add to her list. Click on Recipes at the right.

We'll eventually add a recipe section to our blog and/or web site. It's coming...probably around the same time we put up the Local Food Guide information. If you'd like to contribute a recipe that uses local, sustainably produced food, or relates to Slow Food in some way, please email Laurie at (Substitute @ for AT when you email.)

Students Flock to Campus Organic Farms

Great article about connecting universities with local farms:
Why not UNCG?!

Students flock to campus organic farms

Miranda Roberts

Chinese Vermicelli

Chinese Vermicelli

1/4 cup sesame oil

1/4 black soy sauce (must be black-it is much thicker than regular soy sauce)

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons hot chili oil

2 Tablespoons black vinegar

1 pound vermicelli (I used rice vermicelli for the pot luck)

1/2 cup toasted sasame seeds

1 cup green onions, thinly slices on the diagonal, for garnish

In a large bowl, whisk together sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, chili oil, and vinegar.

Cook vermicelli in boiling water until barely tender. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. With your hands, immediately toss the pasta with dressing, making sure pasta is completely and evenly coated. Add sesame seeds and continue folding the dressing through the pasta, literally "wiping" the bowl with the vermicelli. Remove to a shallow dish, top with green onions, and serve at room temperature.

For the pot luck, I topped with additional toasted sesame seeds and black caraway seeds.

You can use your imagination by adding some color to the border of the plate with carrots, grape tomatoes, parsley, etc.

This dish can be made up to two days in advance, but add the green onions only shortly before serving.

Beatrice Schall

Monday, July 18, 2005

Farmers' Appreciation Day 2005

Slow Food Enthusiast,

I am very excited about the upcoming 4th Annual Farmers Appreciation Day to be held Saturday September 10, 2005 at the Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market. Although most of us celebrate farmers appreciation day everyday, this day has been set aside to let our local farmers know how much we appreciate all that they do for us, our families, our community and the world.

As in the past our farmers will enjoy a breakfast of locally produced food that includes Neese's Country Sausage, grits from the Old Mill of Guilford, fresh baked biscuits from Simple Kneads Bakery, and country ham from Phillips Brothers Country Ham. Alex Amorosa from Cheesecake's By Alex has agreed to prepare the breakfast this year that will include other menu items such as sausage gravy, red-eye gravy, and fried potatoes. And no breakfast would be complete without a good cup of coffee donated by Carolina Coffee & Tea. Later in the day our farmers can grab a quick lunch of homemade pimento cheese sandwiches made by David Wright of Real Catering. And though this is a celebration of our farmers we don't plan on keeping all of this good food a secret. Market patrons will also be able to enjoy the festivities. Farmers Appreciation Day will be held out on the lawn where everyone can have breakfast, listen to live music, and talk with local organizations that support our farmers, healthy eathing, and a heathy community.

I am also excited that the Slow Food Piedmont Triad convivium will be present for Farmers Appreciation Day. There as been a lot of great energy since the convivium was started and Farmers Appreciation Day will be a fabulous avenue to share with others our common goal.

We could use your help in other areas as well. If you are or know of local musicians of the folk and bluegrass genre that would like to donate their talents that day we would greatly appreciate their participation. Musicians may sell their cd's or tapes and will also receive a complimentary breakfast.

Other areas of participation as well as contact information are located on the EpiCourier website.

I hope that you'll mark your calendar and bring your friends to the 4th Annual Famers' Appreciation Day!

See you at the market!
Donna Myers

Saturday, July 16, 2005

A Fast Slow Lunch

It was a very warm muggy morning at the Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market. Fortunately the July weather also brings us delicious vegetables and fruits that require little or no cooking!

My husband and I prepared the following lunch, all from local farmers and food artisans, organic when possible.

  • Blue cheese/leek tart (from Nora Glanz)
  • Corn on the cob (from unknown farmer at GFCM)
  • Sliced tomatoes (from farmer who parks a produce truck at UNCG on the honor system)
  • Boursin cheese (from Goat Lady Dairy)
  • French bread (from Simple Kneads)
  • Shredded basil (from my garden)

    We warmed up the tart for a few minutes in the oven and boiled the corn. That took care of all the cooking.

    We spread the soft goat cheese on bread slices, sprinkled them with shredded basil and topped them with sliced tomatoes. I also tried a little goat cheese and basil on the corn. Yum!

    This lunch might have been fast and easy to prepare, but we savored it slo-o-owly.

    See, you don't have to sweat for slow food! But the farmers do, so please remember their hard work the next time that you're at the market.
  • Friday, July 15, 2005

    High Country Farm & Garden Tour

    From the CFSA mailing list:

    High Country Farm & Garden Tour

    July 23 & 24th 1 – 5 PM

    Whether you are coming from out of town for a blissful retreat to the High Country or a native of the area celebrating summer with your local farmers, the High Country Farm and Garden Tour is the event for you! Visit 9 farms on July 23rd and 24th and see apple orchards, an apiary, 20 different varieties of garlic, and so much more! You’ll get great ideas for your own gardens and your kids will thoroughly enjoy seeing barnyard animals roaming happily on pastures! It’s an event that no one should miss!

    Make a vacation out of it if you are coming from out of town. There are so many peaceful places to stay and fabulous restaurants where you can dine, just check out or for ideas! If you have never been to the High Country, you don’t know what you are missing!

    Volunteer! By volunteering at one farm on either Saturday or Sunday of the tour, you can take the tour the other day for free! Volunteers are needed to help greet visitors and collect money at each farm – what a great way to get to know a local farmer too! Just contact Siri McDonald for more details and to get signed up: 828-265-3278 or sirimcdonald @ yahoo. com.

    This is your last chance to enjoy a farm tour this year:

    WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, July 23 & 24, 1 – 5 PM

    WHERE: 9 Farms in beautiful Watauga County - Just pick up a map at a Boone area store or the Watauga Extension Office (828)264-3061, download one from the CFSA website:, or call (919) 542-2402 and we’ll mail you one! Then you can choose which farm you’ll visit first and plan your weekend!

    COST: $5 per car per farm - OR $20 per car for all 9 farms – buy an admission button at the first farm you visit - OR $15 in advance – buy your button from the Watauga County Farmers Market the next two Saturdays to receive a $5 discount to take the whole tour!

    • Visit 9 Watauga County farms!
    • Breathe the fresh High Country air!
    • Celebrate summer’s bounty of fruits, vegetables and honey!
    • Support your local and organic farmers!
    • Support the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association!

    See Things Made

    Charlie and I have realized we have several YEARS of programming ideas based on “See Things Made” i.e. demonstrations of local food production. A beginning list includes: molasses (we can go to HartRich Farm, a farm north of Winston – Salem that makes Molasses with horses!), apple butter (our family makes apple butter every fall outside over the fire in a big copper kettle), cider making, vegetable canning (tomatoes, etc.), fruit canning (peaches, etc.) winemaking, hoophouse vegetable growing, grass fed meats (beef, pork, poultry, etc.)

    We need to figure out a way we can take our “show” on the road to farms that do not have the public facilities like we have here at Goat Lady Dairy. Perhaps we could go out in a bus (solving the parking problem and saving fossil fuels and having a fellowship time on the ride out to the farm), taking our pot-luck with us, maybe even a tent we could set up at each farm, or more simply take blankets for a pot-luck picnic. This allows the farmer to focus only on the demonstration. We realized after Sunday that a much easier way to do the potluck would be to have everyone bring their own plates, cutlery, cups etc. and then take it home to wash. This solves the dishwashing problem without creating massive paper waste for the landfill!

    If we do something like this, we could have a photographer document the demo to add to our “See Things Made” section on the website. We have already planned to turn our cheesemaking slideshow into a stand alone presentation with captions. It IS amazing what can be done with digital cameras and photo software! I’m sure offering this on the web-site would generate lots of interest in future farm visits for demonstrations. To me this is among the best Slow Food activities we can offer because we bring ‘eaters” out to the farmers and make it easy for the farmer to share their craft and philosophy. This is the kind of interaction which inspires slow food loving urban folks to really care about their local farms!

    Goat Lady Dairy

    The Splendid Table

    The link below is a GREAT resource for food. It is for THE SPLENDID TABLE, a public radio show that comes on 91.5 FM WUNC at noon on Sundays (or check your local station schedule) On the home page you can sign up for the “Weeknight Kitchen” and Lynn send you a FREE recipe each week based on great SLOW ingredients but designed for weekday use when you don’t have a lot of time to cook!

    Goat Lady Dairy

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    Potluck at Goat Lady Dairy- Recipe Request

    Hello all. The potluck food was so good! Thanks Goat Lady Dairy for hosting and Steve for giving such a great presentation.

    The variety of foods was wonderful, and I'd love to be able to recreate some of dishes. Anyone willing to share the recipe for the dish they brought? And maybe a couple of notes about any key SlowFood ingredients?

    Here's ours: We brought fresh picked blueberries from Honey Sweet Farm in Reidsville, and hot sausage from Phillips Brothers in Asheboro (purchased from Donna Myers of EpiCourier at her booth at the farm market).

    Thanks much!

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    Poughkeepsie Farm Project

    I just returned from a yearly sojourn up the coast and
    wanted to share with you a project in the Hudson

    Poughkeepsie NY is not a pretty town. Like many urban
    areas, it is in a constant state of decay and renewal.
    While Vassar College is certainly a lovely place, the
    surrounding neighborhood has gone through the usual
    flux of affluence and poverty. A five block walk in
    any direction repetitively demonstrates the 'two

    Last week my sister drove me through some grubby
    streets then hooked onto a narrow dirt and gravel
    drive into a stand of trees. Beyond a bend there were
    a couple of tiny buildings--and seven acres of
    thriving fields. Tucked between city streets, Vassar
    College, and office parks is the Poughkeepsie Farm
    Project. On land leased from that college, a group of
    people devoted toward a just and sustainable food
    system for the Mid-Hudson Valley have reawakened
    farmland not only for the use of members but to
    provide fresh and local produce for local soup
    kitchens and shelters and as an experiential learning
    arena for students and community members.

    My children headed for the strawberry fields where
    they turned over little leaves to find tiny sparkling
    sweet berries--nothing like the fat fruit we see in
    markets (the ones that emphasize the 'straw' not the
    berry). A local baker set up his goodies on a plank
    under the spreading canopy of a maple tree just before
    the distribution building, a cool cave of brick with
    barely room to walk through the crates and shelves
    stuffed with greens, garlic tops, zucchini, broccoli.
    They are still in the late spring season--salads,
    young and mature greens, peas, and the beginning of
    cucumbers and squashes. The ten pound weekly
    allotment is ample for my siter's family of four.

    A few steps out of the doorway brings you to the herb
    garden which is protected by chicken wire and a woven
    vine fence. Paths separate the different beds with
    bee balm brightening the entrance. The oregano was
    so pungent you could find it in the dark and the
    basil! In the center is a small gazebo-meditation area
    built by members.

    It was so beautiful that I cried.

    If you are in Upstate New York up until November, I
    encourage you to stop by. The people, of course, are
    wonderful and the project is inspiring.




    These Fruits Can Take the Heat

    Lane Brown sent an article to the list about grilling fruit:

    These fruits can take the heat

    By Mary Ellen Rae
    Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    via the Baltimore Sun

    Sunday, July 10, 2005

    Pictorial- Pollinating Insects & Their Flowers

    Next time you swat at a flying insect, take a moment to think about this....Without beetles, bees and wasps much of the foods and flowers we know of (as well as the animals that eat them) would cease to exist. They are some of the most important contributors on our planet.

    Here are a few pics of these wonderful little creatures hard at work. You'll notice a few pests too! Look for the wood bee slicing open the nectary of the flowers without pollinating them and a few Japanese beetles munching away. These photos were taken at the Greensboro Arboretum and Bicentennial Gardens.

    Simply click on this link and then use the "Play" button or arrows to view the pictures.
    Pollinating Insects and Their Flowers