I’m pleased to share a lineup of exciting and unique events I am involved with this summer. Mark your calendars for these gems and please if you see me say hello – I’d love to meet some of The Root’s readers!
Maine Grain Alliance’s Kneading Conference and Bread Fair
July 24 & 25, Bread Fair July 26
This is the seventh year of my favorite food-related event. As much as I love the Common Ground Fair (and I do! I go every year), this affair is much more intimate. It’s a chance to connect with people like award-winning food writer Maria Speck and farmer and organic food champion Jim Gerritsen.
I wrote about the conference for the Huffington Post last year. And, here is a link to Whit Richardson’s piece for The Bangor Daily News (if you look closely at the last image that’s me sitting in front at Sam Hayward’s talk “Loaves and Fishes: Telling Maine’s Story with Food”).
This is the first year I will be participating in the conference. I will be moderating the panel Culinary Diplomacy: Culture Defined Around the Table on Friday, July 25 2:15 – 3:45 p.m. Food can communicate a country’s culture and heritage to the world. From Iraqi date rolls to Eritrean spicy chicken to Congolese Mfumbwa, countries are increasingly using gastrodiplomacy (also known as culinary diplomacy) to make statements about national identity.
Having just returned from a trip to Central Africa I will speak briefly about the culinary connections I made there before introducing the distinguished panel members: Dr. Myron M. Beasley, John Brittell, Bob Garver, and Thomas Pisha-Duffly.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Common Ground Country Fair
September 19, 20 & 21
Every year I look forward to the fiber marketplace, food, agricultural demonstrations, and apple tasting with John Bunker. It is exciting to see who MOFGA lines up as speakers every year – so many wonderful opportunities to learn and engage. I posted a few images from the 2012 fair in this post on my personal blog.
I will be giving a talk with my friend Lori Gingras of Roots, Coops & More on how to manage a backyard flock. We’ll cover state laws, resources, breeds, purchasing, space, coop, brooder, health, equipment, daily care, and much more. Last year’s talks were well attended and we got a ton of great questions. The date, time, and location of our talks are still TBD.
Rowan Jacobsen (award-winning author, journalist, and oyster expert)’s new book Apples of Uncommon Character will be released September 2. The book profiles 123 varieties of apples, showcasing the wild and wonderful things the apple genome can create when you give it some free time. For a sneak peak go to Rowan’s site.
Rowan will talk about his new book, show images from his research process, and David Buchanan (author of Taste, Memory: Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter) will be doing an apple tasting. Rowan’s new and past books will be for sale.
Last, but certainly not least…the 2nd Annual Maine Chicken Coop Tour.
Saturday, October 4 (rain or shine) 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. It is free to participate and attend. Full disclosure, I am the founder/one of the organizers. I make zero money off of this event, but I sure do have a lot of fun meeting people interested in chickens and showing off my feathered gals.
What tour goers will see: Different styles of coops including an old farmhouse coop that has been customized, several coops made from unassembled and assembled kits created by the Maine company Roots, Coops & More, and coops created from plans found on the Internet or in a book. Some coops are stand alones, some are built into a barn or other farm structure.