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Locavore Lit Fest: Loving Local Foods
CHESTERTOWN, MD—The third annual Locavore Lit Fest will bring national and regional writers to Chestertown March 21-24 for a series of talks on how local foods can be catalysts for healing the environment, boosting health and building community.
The weekend kicks off on Thursday, March 21, with a wine and cheese sampling, cheese making demonstration, and a talk by Jim Weaver, author of Locavore Adventures: One Chef’s Slow Food Journey. The sampling begins at 6:30 p.m. at Evergrain Bread Co. in downtown Chestertown 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, and Weaver, chef and owner of Tre Piani Restaurant in Princeton, N.J., will follow with a talk on incorporating local foods into his menus. The wine and cheese event is a fundraiser in support of the festival; donations are suggested at the door.
Friday night on the Washington College campus, keynote speaker Shannon Hayes will present “Real Cows in a Parallel Universe,” a talk that draws on sustainable farming sensibilities and lighthearted story telling as it explores how we can move from an “extractive economy” to a life-serving one. 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.
Hayes writes and farms with three generations of her family on Sap Bush Hollow Farm in her native West Fulton, N.Y. The family raises all-natural grassfed lamb, beef, pork, and poultry. Hayes holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Binghamton University, and master’s and doctorate degrees in Sustainable Agriculture and Community Development from Cornell. The talk will begin at 7 p.m. in the College’s Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, and will be followed by a Q&A session and a small-scale farmers’ market featuring fresh local produce.
The festival continues Saturday at the Bookplate, 112 S. Cross Street, where a cadre of writers will offer insights into the connection between local food and community. The day begins with a panel of local-food advocates at 11 a.m. Join them to find out how locally produced foods are already helping to strengthen communities in our region.
At noon, poet Nathaniel Perry will read from his work. Perry serves as editor of the Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review and lives with his family in Virginia’s rural Southside region. Perry’s Nine Acres (APR/Copper Canyon, 2011) won the 2011 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize. Recent poems appear in Orion, Kenyon Review Online, Cincinnati Review, and Subtropics. His talk is co-sponsored by the Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College.
The day finishes at 1 p.m. with a 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 jobs, preserving cultural traditions, building local knowledge about growing food, and educating schoolchildren.
On Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m., Colchester Farm CSA invites the public to an open house and tour of its farm operations. 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 also in educating the public and strengthening relationships among farmers, the community and the land. RSVPs (to email@example.com) are appreciated, though walk-ins are welcome.
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, Town Creek Foundation, the Rose O’Neill Literary House, Colchester Farm CSA, Future Harvest CASA, the Sassafras River Association, the Chestertown Spy, Adkins Arboretum, 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. For more information, contact 410-778-7295 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.washcoll.edu/centers/ces/center-events.php.
Thursday, March 21
Kickoff Event: Sampling and demo at 6:30 p.m.; talk at 7:30 p.m. Wine and cheese sampling with Chef Jim Weaver, author of Locavore Adventures: One Chef’s Slow Food Journey, and cheese-making demo by Chef Sabrina Sexton. Location: Evergrain Bread Co., 201 High Street, Chestertown
Suggested donation of $10 at the door.
Friday, March 22
7 p.m. – “Real Cows in a Parallel Universe,” keynote talk by Shannon Hayes, author of Radical Homemakers and Long Way on a Little, followed by Q&A and a
small-scale farmers’ market. Location: Hynson Lounge, Washington College.
Free and open to the public. Saturday, March 23
11 a.m. – Panel of local food advocates from our community.
12 p.m. – Nathaniel Perry, poet and author of Nine Acres
1 p.m. – Tanya Denckla Cobb, author of Reclaiming Our Food Location: The Bookplate, 112 S. Cross St., Chestertown.
Free and open to the public.
Sunday March 24
3 to 6 p.m.
Spring Open House at Colchester Farm CSA. Guided farm tours, music, wine sampling, and activities for all ages.
Location: 31285 Georgetown Cemetery Rd., Georgetown (just outside of Galena).
Free and open to the public.