Locavore Lit Fest Returns!
The weekend kicks off on Thursday March 21 with a wine and cheese sampling, cheese making demonstration, and talk by Jim Weaver, author of Locavore Adventures: One Chef’s Slow Food Journey, at Evergrain Bread Co. in Chestertown. The sampling begins at 6:30 PM and will feature wine from Crow Farm, Cassinelli Vineyards, and Salisa Winery, as well as a selection of cheeses from Eve’s Cheese and Chapel Country Creamery. Chef Sabrina Sexton will demonstrate basic cheese making during the sampling, while Chef Weaver will follow with a talk on incorporating local foods into his menus. Weaver is the chef and owner of Tre Piani Restaurant in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the cofounder of Slow Food Central New Jersey and has served on the board of directors for the New Jersey Restaurant Association. The event is a fundraiser in support of the festival; donations are suggested at the door.
Friday night, keynote speaker Shannon Hayes will deliver a talk entitled “Real Cows in a Parallel Universe,” which draws on sustainable farming sensibilities and lighthearted story telling as a way to explore how we can move from an extractive economy to a life serving economy. Hayes is the author of four books including Radical Homemakers and Long Way on a Little: An Earth Lover’s Companion for Enjoying Meat, Pinching Pennies and Living Deliciously. She writes and farms with three generations of her family on Sap Bush Hollow Farm in West Fulton, NY, where she grew up. The family raises all-natural grassfed lamb, beef, pork, and poultry. Hayes holds a BA in creative writing from Binghamton University, and a Masters and PhD in Sustainable Agriculture and Community Development from Cornell. The talk will begin at 7:00 PM in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, on the Washington College campus and will be followed by a discussion and mini-farmer’s market featuring fresh local produce.
The festival continues Saturday at the Bookplate in Downtown Chestertown, where a cadre of writers will offer insights into the connection between local food and community. The day begins with a panel of local community heroes at 11:00 AM. Join them to find out how local foods are already helping to strengthen communities in our region.
At noon, poet Nathaniel Perry will read from his work. Perry is the author of Nine Acres (APR/Copper Canyon, 2011), which won the 2011 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize; this past fall he was named an Honorable Mention/Finalist for the Virginia Literary Awards. Recent poems are appearing in Orion, Kenyon Review Online, Cincinnati Review, Subtropics and elsewhere. Perry is the Editor of the Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review and lives with his family in rural southside Virginia. This talk is co-sponsored by the Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College.
The day finishes at 1:00 PM with a rousing talk by Tanya Denckla Cobb, author of Reclaiming Our Food: How the Grassroots Food Movement is Changing the Way We Eat. Cobb is also the author of The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food. She is an environmental public policy mediator and teaches food system planning at the University of Virginia. Cobb will conclude with a discussion on how local food projects are strengthening communities by creating valuable jobs, preserving cultural traditions, building local knowledge about growing food, and educating schoolchildren.
On Sunday, Colchester Farm CSA invites the public to their open house and to tour the farm operations from 3 - 6. There will be music, a wine sampling, food, demos, and activities for all ages. Learn how a community-supported farm can become a leader not only in creating a model for alternative, small-scale agriculture, but in educating the public and strengthening relationships between farmers, the community, and the land. RSVPs are appreciated though walk-ins are welcome. RSVP to email@example.com.
The Center for Environment & Society at Washington College sponsors the Locavore Lit Fest and supports the free exchange of ideas. Other community sponsors include Chestertown Natural Foods, the Rose O’Neill Literary House, Colchester Farm CSA, Future Harvest CASA, the Chestertown Spy, Sassafras River Association, Adkins Arboretum, PASA, and the Kent County Arts Council. With the exception of the wine sampling at Evergrain Bread Co., all events are free and open to the public.