Friday October 05, 2012 | 01:12 PM

Roger Doiron, the Maine-based founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, will give the keynote address at the upcoming Slow Food conference in Orono. The 9th Annual ESTIA Conference on "Slow Food: A Model for Sustainable and Healthy Living" takes place Oct. 26 to 27 at UMaine's Wells Conference Center.

The conference will explore the health benefits and value of local, sustainably produced food. It will also address food policy and present success stories from Maine institutions and businesses.

Doiron, who spearheaded the campaign to start a kitchen garden at the White House and subsequently won Hearst Media's Heart of Green award, delivers his address at 7:15 p.m. on Oct. 26. His talk is titled "Sow It Forward: How Gardens are Slowing Us Down and Cultivating Change from the Ground Up."

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, will deliver a talk titled "Food Policy – Incorporating the Slow Food Model into the Maine Economy" Oct. 27 at 11:45 a.m. Pingree is married to S. Donald Sussman, majority share owner of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

Other speakers include Walt Whitcomb, commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; Mark Lapping, distinguished professor of public policy and management at Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine; and Russell Libby, executive director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. All three will take part in a panel discussion titled "Food Policy - Incorporating the Slow Food Model into the Maine Economy" at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 27.

Carolo Petrini, the founder of the International Slow Food movement, is scheduled to attend the conference.

Tickets to the event cost $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Students pay $25 in advance and $30 at the door. For more information or to register, visit The registration deadline is Monday, Oct. 15.

Earlier in the month at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Professor Davis Taylor will deliver at free talk about the economic realities of starting a small farm in Maine.

Titled “Dirt Under the Nails: Experiencing the Old and New Economics of Small-Scale Farming in Maine," the talk takes place Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 4:10 p.m. in McCormick Lecture Hall.

Taylor, who is an economics professor and owns Daybreak Farm in Washington, will discuss start-up costs, first year production and marketing and pricing decisions. He'll also talk about the importance of business clusters, networks and cooperation.

For more information about the talk, contact Taylor at 288-5015.

About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or
On Twitter: @meredithgoad

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