If you have not seen it already, I can’t recommend enough Michael Pollan’s “Farmer in Chief“, an open letter to the next President which appeared in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine. Pollan outlines the connections between current problems with our food and farm systems and the much more visible (at least right now) issues of energy, security and health. He rebuts some common arguments against sustainable, organic agriculture (e.g. “it can’t provide enough food to feed the world”), and offers a plan for radically revising the way we produce, consume and think about food. For those of us who follow these things, many of these ideas are familiar and often already a part of our lives, but Pollan manages to boil it all down to a concise and powerful manifesto. So please read it and pass it on.
Slow Food Portland and Rabelais Books present an evening with author, food and farming advocate, conservationist and folklorist Gary Paul Nabhan. Gary’s books include Coming Home to Eat, Renewing America’s Food TraditionsSaving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods, and the forthcoming Where Our Food Comes From -Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine. The event will be held at Space Gallery, Friday, September 19th, at 7pm. $5 admission.Space Gallery is located at 538 Congress Street, Portland, ME. More information to come soon.
This month we are reading Robbing The Bees, A Biography of Honey by Holley Bishop.
In order to learn more about the culture and history of honey, Bishop apprenticed herself to Donald Smiley, a beekeeper in the Florida Panhandle. Robbing The Bees intersperses her experiences working with the winged insects with the science and lore of honey.
Michael Pollan says about the book, ” Holley Bishop’s love affair with honeybees combines natural and social history with gastronomy and memoir to produce a delicious reading experience.”
We will meet at Rabelais to discuss the world of bees on Tuesday October 7th from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. The book is now available at Rabelais. The book is $14 and there is a 10% discount for Slow Food members.
Come one, come all!
86 Middle Street between India and Franklin
This Sunday, 9/14 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, Dr. Roberto Rubino, Slow Food Italy member and renowned cheese maker will be visiting Nezinscot Farm in Turner for a Slow Food Portland gathering.Come sip wine and nibble on some of Maine’s best artisanal cheeses with the authority on Italian traditional cheesemaking and grass farming If you’ve got questions about making cheese this is an amazing opportunity to speak with a master.Celebrating the English version of his book Cheesemaking: A D.I.Y. Manual and Guide to Making Wonderful Cheeses at Home (translated from the Italian Formaggio Fai Da Te) the day before at Pinelands, this is an opportunity to meet & greet the Slow Food way … on Gregg & Gloria Varney’s stunning farm with a glass of wine in hand.Slow Food Portland is thrilled that ItalTrade Partners (through Constance Wark) was able to convince Roberto to extend his stay so that we could invite our Slow Food community to sit & visit with him in this informal manner.The event is free and the Varneys are looking forward to our visit.Directions:From Auburn:Go North on Route 117 from Route 4 for 1 mile. Nezinscot is the first farm you come to and has a white barn with red trim on the right and a house and store on the left. It’s midway between Turner Center and Turner Village.From Augusta:take 133 into Wayne, 219 to N. Turner, 117 south for 7 or 8 miles. The farm will be on the top of the hill.
The next meeting of the Slow Food Book Group has been re-scheduled due to a cooking conflict. So we will meet on Thursday September 3 from 6 to 7:30pm.
The title we are reading this go around is Little Heathens, Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish. It’s a fantastic read, so pick up your copy today, there’s still time to read it.
The meetings are held at Rabelais Books – 86 Middle Street, Portland, and are open to all. Slow Food members receive a 10% discount on the Book Group selection.
The next selection by the group is
The Geography of Wine, How Landscapes, Cultures, Terroir and the Weather Make a Good Drop by Brian J. Sommers.
This time we get to talk about terroir and wine and some agricultural perspectives. Come out and join us at Rabelais, 86 Middle street, on Wednesday, July 16th from 6-7:30.
The book group is open to any and all. Turn out for the last discussion was at an all time high. Come on down and join us! The more the merrier!
Geography is $16, there is a 10% discount at Rabelais for Slow Food members. The book is available now.
Sunday June 1st from 4 – 7, SFP will be holding our 4th annual celebration of spring, Fiddlefest!
Local chefs will be presenting tastes of spring foods including the eponymous fiddlehead fern. We will also be holding a mead tasting that will include Fiddler’s Reach Merrymeeting Mead and Shalom Orchard mead. Poor Valley Salvation Society will be performing LIVE from 5 – 7 for our entertainment. If you haven’t heard them yet, they are a fun rockabilly, gospel, old-timey ensemble. Kid’s activities will be held throughout the event. Peak Organic Ales is a sponsor of the event this year. There will be a cash bar with hand-chosen wines in addition to Peak Organic Ales.The event is being held at the Dining Hall at SMCC in South Portland, overlooking the ocean.
Tickets are 20/15/5 (adults/members/kids) and are available at the door or in advance at Rosemont Market, Standard Baking, Aurora Provisions or Rabelais Books. Hope to see you there!
Just a heads up that the next meeting of the book group will be Wednesday, May 14th from 6:00 to 7:30 PM at Rabelais, 86 Middle Street. This month we are reading The Warmest Room in the House, How the Kitchen Became the Heart of the Twentieth Century American Home by Steven Gdula. There will be a special treat this month as just a couple days after we have our meeting to discuss our ideas about the book, Gdula will be coming to Rabelais to speak and sign copies of the book. So we will all have a chance to speak directly with the author while the book is fresh in our minds. Slow Food Members get a 10% discount on the book at Rabelais.
Please remember that the book group is open to any and all, the conversations are lively and spirited, the company engaged and the book selections thoroughly democratic. Our next read will be In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. The meeting for that discussion will be set at this next gathering.
If you are mulling over joining, dive in, the water’s fine!
The Slow Food Portland April Potluck will be held at Maple’s, not Rosemont Market and Bakery as originally planned.
Updated information is listed below:
DATE: Wednesday, 9 April
TIME: 7-9 pm
LOCATION: Maple’s Gelateria
151 Middle Street
Presenter: Kristie Green of Maple’s
Come savor the tastes of Puglia with us!
Slow Food Portland, Aurora Provisions, Caiola’s Restaurant, Rabelais Books and Vias Ltd. invite you to join Nancy Harmon Jenkins, Maine’s expert on all things Italian, and Paolo Cantele of Cantele Vineyards in Salento, Italy, for an extraordinary culinary experience in two parts.
At 4:30 Aurora Provisions and Rabelais Books will host an informal wine tasting and book signing with Nancy and Paolo. This will take place at Aurora Provisions and is free and open to the public. 64 Pine street, 871 9060.
At 6:30 we host our Terra Madre dinner at Caiola’s to raise funds to send two Maine delegates to Slow Food’s world wide food conference in October. Terra Madre is a biennial gathering of food producers from around the globe, sponsored by Slow Food in Turin, Italy. This is your opportunity to help us raise awareness of Maine’s heritage foodways and expand our representation on the world stage.
Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Paolo Cantele will share this meal with us and lead us through the delicious culinary experience of Southern Italian food and wine. Chef Abby Harmon will interpret the flavors of Puglia paired with the wines of Cantele for a memorable meal.
The price is $125 all inclusive, which after food/wine costs goes entirely towards airfare for Slow Food Portland’s two delegates. Please join us to both indulge in some great food and wine and support a good cause. Seating is limited to 35 so please call Caiola’s at 207 772 1110 soon to secure a place at this table.