August 4, 2010

Natural Foodie: A few events worth noting on the August calendar

By Avery Yale Kamila akamila@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

With August here, it can be tough to find time between barbecues, family reunions, garden weeding and endless house guests to take advantage of our state's fabulous food happenings. Most nights, just getting dinner on the table becomes a triumph of multitasking.

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This Saturday at the Portland Farmers Market, you can buy extra produce and donate it to the Preble Street Resource Center in a drive organized by Animal Rights Maine.

Press Herald file

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Holly Mead created the artwork for this year’s Common Ground Country Fair poster. Friday is the deadline to submit artwork for the 2011 poster.

DID YOU KNOW?

COMMON GROUND LOOKS AHEAD

In what has become an annual tradition, the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association is holding its artwork contest for next year's Common Ground Country Fair poster. The winning artist gets his or her artwork featured on the posters and in "The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener" newspaper, as well as $1,000 in prize money. Artwork must be submitted by 4 p.m. Friday. For full contest details, visit www.mofga.org or call 568-4142.

YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE MARKET

The American Farmland Trust is once again soliciting votes to find out the best farmers markets in each state. You can vote for as many markets as you'd like, but you can only vote for each market once. The contest closes Aug. 31, and after that, a small, medium, large and boutique market in each state will be named America's Favorite Farmers Market. Right now, the Damariscotta, Kennebunk and Skowhegan markets are the top vote getters in Maine. Visit www.farmland.org to cast your vote.

WEDDING OF SEASON GOES VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE & GRASS-FED

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton's wedding to Marc Mezvinsky this past weekend kept the news networks and the blogosphere abuzz with rumors about the venue, the guests, the decor and the menu. Those reports included speculation that guests would dine on grass-fed beef and vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. While much remains speculation, wedding planner Bryan Rafanelli did confirm in a New York Times interview that the cake was gluten-free, as were the cookies in the welcome bags. Since the bride prefers vegan eats, we can be certain that plant-based fare was in abundance at the extravaganza.

But if you can squeeze a few extra hours out of your busy schedule, here are a handful of events you're sure to enjoy.

 

PRESERVING THE HARVEST WORKSHOP – 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. today; Windham/Raymond Adult Education, 406 Gray Road, Windham.

This hands-on workshop teaches the basic steps for canning and freezing fresh produce. Kate McCarty shows how to use pressure canners and water bath canners with pickles, jams and vegetables. Produce and jars provided. Bring a potholder. The cost is $14. Call 892-1819 to register.

 

MAINE GAME DINNER – 6 p.m. Friday; Raven Hill Orchard, 255 Ossipee Hill Road, East Waterboro.

Unless you raise it yourself, it can be tough to find meat that isn't filled with antibiotics, fattened up on corn or a product of the feedlot system. One way to ensure your meat didn't come from a factory farm is to hunt it in the wild, which is what the New England Farm 2 Fork Project did for its latest dinner. Chef Sebastian Carosi creates a meal using moose, elk, black bear, duck and deer. He'll even mix in some cattails and milkweed pods. The cost is $55 per person, and reservations are required. Call 459-4271 to save a seat.

 

PORTLAND FARMERS MARKET FRESH PRODUCE FOOD DRIVE – 7 a.m. to noon Saturday; Deering Oaks park, Portland.

Animal Rights Maine plans to staff a monthly food drive at this busy market, and kicks it off this Saturday. Purchase a few extra vegetables or fruits from one of the farmers and then drop it off at the Animal Rights Maine stand. All the fresh produce will be donated to the Preble Street Resource Center, which serves 6,000 meals a week to people in need. For more details or to volunteer, call 409-5322.

 

LIVING FOOD PICNIC – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12; Fort Halifax Park, Winslow.

Whether you're a dedicated raw foodist or just want to avoid heating up your kitchen, assemble a raw vegan dish using fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts or whole grains and join this free potluck. For more info, call 873-7404 or visit www.livway.org.

 

FORAGING AND PREPARING WILD EDIBLES – 9 a.m. Aug. 29; Newforest Institute, 66 Monroe Highway, Brooks.

Enjoy breakfast followed by a morning walk with Jim Merkel, who will show how to identify and process a dozen common edible plants found in Maine. The cost is a sliding scale of $5 to $25. Call 722-3625 to reserve your spot.

 

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at: akamila@pressherald.com

 

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