Chocolate for Food Day!

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Hugo Chavez Ayala

October 24 is nationally designated as Food Day—a day to examine how to improve our diets, our foods, and food policies—and Washington College this year is taking on a sweet subject: Chocolate. Hugo Chavez Ayala, co-founder of Agrofloresta Mesoamerica, will discuss cacao cultivation and how the choices we make as consumers of chocolate can affect the people, landscape, and cultures of the countries that grow cacao.

The event at 6:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge is free and open to the public and will be followed by a chocolate tasting.

Ayala will explain the logistics of cacao cultivation and how the agroforestry system where it grows can have positive social and environmental impacts. He will also discuss the difference between mainstream versus artisanal chocolate, and how the consumer choices can make a difference in the producing countries.

Ayala is an agronomist with a master’s degree in sustainable rural development. After working in academia for several years, he launched Agrofloresta to prove the thesis that it was possible to have a sustainable cacao business in Southern Mexico. Currently, Agrofloresta is working on its second cacao season, exporting fine flavor cacao to the U.S. and Europe, and is exploring the sustainable trade of other products, while benefiting more than 200 farmers with better prices and capacity building.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Environment & Society and the Student Environmental Alliance.

 

Easton Hosts Craft Beverage Summit

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Join Easton Economic Development Corporation on October 17, 2017 for an informal discussion of the economic and community impact of a brewery, distillery, or winery in the town of Easton, MD. Mayor Bob Willey will host a panel of professionals including Kevin Atticks of the Brewer’s Association of Maryland. Panelists will give an overview of the craft beverage industry in Maryland and answer questions regarding successful projects across the state.

A representative of the Maryland Comptroller’s Office will also be there to provide an explanation the state’s new “Reform on Tap” initiative. The task force is developing legislative proposals based on extensive review of Maryland’s beer laws and other states’ laws. The goal of the program is to facilitate the growth and success of Maryland’s craft beer industry and other independent businesses.

The summit will be at the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, 114 S. Washington Street, Easton, MD. If you are a local brewer or distiller and would like to have a complimentary table to showcase your products, please call Pam Skillings, 410-690-7348. The event is free and open to the public.

About the EEDC
Easton Economic Development Corporation was launched in 2013 to drive economic vitality, smart redevelopment, and business creation in the historic Town of Easton, Maryland to foster a healthy quality of life for all generations. The EEDC works toward managing Easton’s continued growth as a diverse and healthy “smart town,” leading innovation where the land and water meet. http://eastonedc.com/

About the Reform on Tap Initiative
In response to the passage of House Bill 1283 during the 2017 Legislative Session and with the goal of modernizing Maryland’s beer laws and promoting economic growth across the State, Comptroller Peter Franchot established “Reform on Tap” Task Force in April 2017. http://comptroller.marylandtaxes.com/

About the Brewer’s Association of MD
The Brewer’s Association of Maryland (BAM) founded in 1996, is the non-profit trade association of Maryland brewing companies. The mission of BAM is to grow, promote and protect the Maryland craft beer industry. http://marylandbeer.org/

Permaculture Profits: Integrating Specialty Crop Production & Livestock Management

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Future Harvest CASA in partnership with the Eastern Shore Resource Conservation & Development Council is offering an on-farm education day on April 28th, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Join us at Perennial Roots Farm, 23345 Decormis Street, Accomac, Virginia, to learn about permaculture, specialty crop production, and integrated pasture management. Owners Stewart Lundy and Natalie McGill will share their experience raising vegetables, flowers, eggs, and meat for local markets. VSU Extension Agent Patrick Johnson will discuss his research utilizing permaculture in intensive vegetable production. We will also offer an optional hands-on barrel composting workshop. Be prepared for hands-on work with gloves and muck boots. The educational program will be followed by a potluck lunch.

Tickets are $10 for FHCASA members and $15 for non-members. Register online at prfieldday.eventbrite.com or by contacting Niamh Shortt at niamh@futureharvestcasa.org. For scholarship information, contact Josephine: 757-710-7266.

Local Winery Takes Awards at 2016 Maryland Governor’s Cup Competition

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0d1a6199Governor Larry Hogan presented awards to the winning wineries for their entries in the 2016 Governor’s Cup Competition. Among the winners was Crow Vineyards of Kent County, with their estate grown Barbera Rose, capturing both Best in Class and Double Gold medals.

“This 2015 varietal was produced in the saignee method which results in a more intense presentation,” notes Judy Crow, “and has been a particular favorite with our customers.” Shown in the picture are Governor Larry Hogan, Judy and Roy Crow, owners.

Crow Vineyard (www.crowvineyardandwinery.com) is located in Kennedyville, MD, and the tasting room is open from 12 noon to 5pm, everyday.

Author and Chef Hank Shaw Returns to WC on Dec. 3

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hankshawAuthor, blogger, and chef Hank Shaw returns to Washington College on Saturday, December 3, to talk about his new book Buck, Buck, Moose, and to discuss the best ways to prepare that deer you bagged for your table. Following his talk he will demonstrate how to prepare underutilized parts of a deer, and he’ll be on hand to sign copies of his book.

The event at 3 p.m. in Litrenta Hall is free and open to the public.

This will be Shaw’s second visit to Washington College, following his talk in April 2015 that was based on his first cookbook, Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast. Shaw has published three books, including Duck, Duck, Goose: Recipes and Techniques for Ducks and Geese, both Wild and Domestic, and now Buck, Buck, Moose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Deer, Elk, Antelope, Moose and other Antlered Things. Shaw has also published stories in Food & Wine and Field and Stream magazines.

His website/blog, the Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, won Best Food Blog by the James Beard Foundation in 2013 and was nominated in 2009 and 2010. He also won the Bert Greene Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals for Best Food Blog in both 2010 and 2011.

The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Environment & Society and the Department of Anthropology. For more details, go to https://www.washcoll.edu/live/events/12248-buck-buck-moose. For more information on Hank Shaw’s work visit http://honest-food.net/.

Feast and Famine: The Food System of the Mid-Shore on Oct. 24

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Living on the Eastern Shore, it’s impossible to ignore the fields and crops that make up a third of all of Maryland’s farmland. But did you know that one in ten residents on the mid-shore struggle to get enough to eat?

neoma-rohman-headshotStartling facts like that, and the issues surrounding our local food system, are central to a presentation by Neoma Rohman, “Feast and Famine: the Food System of the Mid-Shore,” marking National Food Day on Oct. 24. The talk at 6:30 p.m., in Hynson Lounge on the Washington College campus, is free and open to the public.

National Food Day is a celebration and movement for healthy, affordable, sustainable food. Though we all need to eat, most Americans buy their food at the store and think very little about where it comes from, the people who grew it or made it, and the journey it traveled before it arrived on their table.

Rohman is a local-food activist who is deeply involved in food-system issues, especially those of food equity, food justice, locally grown foods, and sustainable growing practices. She and her small family maintain a tiny urban homestead. In her talk, she will address the perceptions and reality of the food system on the mid-shore, where she lives and works, exploring the realities of life here on the shore, how the “system” really works, and what you can do to help. After her presentation, stick around to talk more with Rohman and taste smoothies made from local aronia berries.

Feast and Famine: The Food System of the Mid-Shore is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College, the Chestertown Environmental Committee, Phi Beta Kappa Theta of Maryland, and Figg’s Ordinary. For more information on the workshop, visit the event page at http://www.washcoll.edu/live/events/12245-feast-and-famine-the-food-system-of-the-mid-shore. For more information on Neoma Rohman’s work visit http://eleventhhousesolutions.com/.

Food Friday: Back Into the Kitchen

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Summer ended last week. It is time to reacquaint yourself with the pots and pans and woks and cast iron skillets and cookie sheets that are going to be your seasonal life savers. Turn up the heat and welcome back to the kitchen.

I have some favorites that will be coming back into rotation now that I can’t foist most of the evening grilling on Mr. Friday. And I am relying on one of my favorite food resources, The New York Times.

Some folks have headed back to college, and have gone off their comfortable meal plans, and are fending for themselves for the the first time. There is more to life than ramen noodles and cold pizza. The rest of us come crawling into the kitchen each night, and wonder what on earth we can possible make for dinner without feeling totally keelhauled. Before heading directly for the cheap white wine (although it will be time to switch up to a nice inexpensive Malbec soon!) I want to point out that here are some basics that work without much risk of disappointment or failure.

These are easy peasy, as we are wont to warble. Throw that chicken in the oven and let the Slate Culture Gabfest podcast amuse you with their take on the intricacies of modern culture. And now you can have some wine. http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/culturegabfest/2016/09/slate_s_culture_gabfest_on_don_t_breathe_high_maintenance_and_harry_potter.html

Fettuccine Alfredo: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/9025-elaines-fettuccine-alfredo?smid=fb-nytdining&smtyp=cur

If that seems too fancy, here are eight, 8, ways to make mac & cheese: http://cooking.nytimes.com/68861692-nyt-cooking/961504-amazing-ways-to-do-macaroni-and-cheese

Salmon, for the fish eaters: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/5703-salmon-roasted-in-butter

Cast Iron Pan Steak: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016334-cast-iron-steak

Bearnaise to go with that fine steak: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017389-bearnaise-sauce Because if you are going to hell, you might as well go in style. Yumsters.

Because you really could have spaghetti every night.
Spaghetti: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016833-spaghetti-and-drop-meatballs-with-tomato-sauce

It took me years, YEARS, to get rice right. Here is a never fail approach: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016673-cant-miss-rice

Craig Claiborne’s Beef Stew: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1321-craig-claibornes-beef-stew It is going to get chilly, honest.

Even easier is a good meatloaf. Although if your household is anything like ours, you have some ancestral meatloaf recipes in place already. Still, does yours count pancetta among the ingredients? Doubtful. http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1012686-fancy-meatloaf

And here is the definitive list of the New York Times’s 50 most popular recipes: http://cooking.nytimes.com/68861692-nyt-cooking/3238216-our-50-most-popular-recipes

You are on your own for salads and desserts. For this week, at least. Next week – breads!

“No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires so much attention.”
-Christopher Morley

ESLC 17th Annual Planning Conference Request for Proposals

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The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s 17th Annual Planning Conference, “Food Fight! Healthy? Sustainable? Realistic?” will be held November 10th at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, Stevensville MD.

This conference will take a fresh look at one of the most basic human needs: food!

We welcome proposals for speakers who want to engage attendees in highly interactive sessions to evaluate how we are planning for a better, more equitable, food system built upon Eastern Shore agriculture. As the Eastern Shore’s #1 land use and our region’s biggest economic driver, agriculture continues to play a pivotal role in how the region prospers.

Who benefits from the current food system? Can Shore agricultural or behavioral shifts improve human, societal, and environmental health? What changes to our food system are realistic?

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-4-22-04-pmTopic areas may include:
– How we define “local” foods
– The reality of GMOs
– Crop diversity on the Eastern Shore
– Food deserts, injustice in the food system
– CAFOs and how the industry meets consumer demands
– The environmental impact of large scale agriculture vs. small scale
– Value-added agriculture and artisanal foods
– Aquaculture, urban agriculture and other innovative practices
– History of Eastern Shore agriculture
– Organic and sustainable farming
– Soil health
– Ability to feed the growing global population
– Mechanized labor vs. manual labor in food production

Ideal proposals will be short, but provocative – setting aside time for vigorous audience participation and interaction. More can be found on the event registration page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ 17th-annual-planning- conference-tickets-27078772337
If you are interested in submitting a sketch proposal for the 17th annual conference please submit your application no later than Friday, September 16, 2016 to Rachel Roman at rroman@eslc.org.

Environmental Series Announces Shore Homesteading Series

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How do we value food? North America alone throws away billions of dollars worth of food every year- from farms, retail operations, and the back of your refrigerator.  Statistics show that nearly 50% of food is wasted. Follow “Just Eat It” filmmakers Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin in a story that is equal parts documentary and delicious entertainment. The film will be shown on Thursday, September 1, 6:30 pm at Sumner Hall, 206 Queen Street in Chestertown. You will never look at shopping cart in the same way.

11x17-Just-EatIt-poster

“Just Eat It” has won numerous awards, and was a finalist for the James Beard Awards.  It is part of the new Shore Homesteading Series, presented by the Chestertown Environmental Committee, and designed to inspire lifestyles to support the ecological health of our community. The series consists of films, how-to talks, workshops, and foodie events, and will be held at different locations. For a listing of events, and for more information, visit  http://www.chestertown.com/environment.

The Shore Homesteading Series is free and open to the public. It continues September 20, with, “Growing and Cooking with Herbs,” a talk on spicing up local food, 6:30 pm at the Chestertown Town Hall, 118 North Cross Street. The series is curated by Margo Bailey, and Shane Brill, and is sponsored by the Town of Chestertown.