Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's like Etsy for Food

Check out Foodzie, an online marketplace for food from small passionate food producers and growers. It has been descibed by some as ETSY for food- it even has a map function that you can use to check out local producers.

Take a bite !

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Heritage Harvest Festival

What a glorious day for the 3rd annual Heritage Harvest Festival, and a beautiful new location at Montalto, Thomas Jefferson's "high mountain" that looks over Monticello and the University of Virginia and Charlottesville below. A collaboration of The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and the PD 10 Master Gardeners, the festival offers a variety of classes and exhibits that support the mission of preserving sustainable gardening practices and heirloom plants.

There were classes and demonstrations all day, such as the sausage-making demo above.

Dozens of varieties of heirloom tomatoes, peppers etc were available for sampling.

Feast, one of my favorite Charlottesville gourmet shops, sponsored a cheese tasting where they paired heritage apple varieties with artisinal cheeses. Had a chance to sample some camembert from Old Chatham Shepherding company in the Hudson River Valley of New York- it's almost as good as the real thing. Susannah and I had visited the dairy years ago. Also had a taste of one of Virginia's better cheeses, the Meadow Creek Dairy's Grayson, from Galax, a raw cow milk cheese from grass fed cows- washed rind creamy goodness.

Tasted some great zucchini bread and squash soup from Local Food Hub and made plans to connect with them about some collaborative Richmond/C-ville events.

And as if my senses hadn't been aroused enough already,it was a great surprise to hear the sweet sound of Devon Sproule's voice wafting through the sun-dappled trees to complete our day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Food Industry Needs Reform Too

Michael Pollan wrote an inciteful op/ed piece in today's New York Times that makes the important connection of healthcare reform and food industry reform. There's no disputing that our misguided agricultural policies have contributed significantly to our nation's obesity crisis. Pollan postures that if the health insurance industry was forced to apply an equal coverage model, it will behoove them to help reform food policy. Over the course of their lifetime, a diabetic costs an insurance company about $400,000.00. no small change. Pollan goes on to say " No one disputes that the $2.3 trillion we devote to the health care industry is often spent unwisely, but the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person as most European countries on health care can be substantially explained, as a study released last month says, by our being fatter. Even the most efficient health care system that the administration could hope to devise would still confront a rising tide of chronic disease linked to diet."

For the skinny, click here

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Heritage Harvest Festival This Saturday at Monticello

About the Festival

Organized by Monticello and the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello is an annual celebration of local food, heirloom plants, and sustainable gardening. Thomas Jefferson championed vegetable cuisine, plant experimentation, and the value of sustainable agriculture and the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello continues that legacy.

The 2009 festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept.12 on Montalto, Thomas Jefferson’s “high mountain,” overlooking his historic home and gardens, the city of Charlottesville, and the surrounding Virginia Piedmont.

There will be fruit and vegetable tastings, chefs demonstrations, informative workshops, talks, children’s activities, and much more – all to promote regional food, organic gardening, and the preservation of traditional agriculture. Local vendors will offer meals and snacks, as well as seeds, plants, garden supplies, etc.

An Old-Timey Seed Swap – where seed savers can share their knowledge, enthusiasm and seeds – will begin at 8 a.m.

Parking is $5 per car; carpooling is encouraged.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Verde is not so green

I was disappointed by the efforts of the new bistro Verde in the west end. Mediocre food with even worse presentation. I hate eating out of plastic, and that's really the only option that they give you.

Read all about it in this week's Style Weekly