March 16, 2011

Soup to Nuts:
Eat, write, say

Essayists impress in Slow Food Portland's inaugural Young Food Writers Competition.

By Meredith Goad
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

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Ali Perkins with her grandfather, Dave Getchell, before reading her winning essay.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Ellie Sapat enjoys baking and helping her mother in the family garden.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below


Eliot Bramble, a third-grader at the Breakwater School in Portland, took second place in the Grades 3 to 5 category for his colorful, richly detailed account of a trip to an apple orchard. Wilson Haims, a fourth-grader at the Merriconeag Waldorf School in Freeport, got an honorable mention.

Louisa Hetzler, a sixth-grader at Gray/New Gloucester Middle School, took second place in the Grades 6 to 8 category for her essay on Maine's seasonal foods. Honorable mention went to Julia Haskell, a home-schooled sixth-grader from Portland.

Emma Sapat, a 10th-grader from Falmouth High School, won second place in the Grades 9 to 12 category for an essay on her love/hate relationship with the slow food movement. Honorable mention went to Gaelyn Lindauer, a 10th-grader at Bonny Eagle High School.



Read the winning essays by clicking here.


Suddenly his eyes caught something else on the side of the trail. He walked up to a large bush and plucked a leaf. "Now try eating this." he said offering it to me. Considering the fact I was chewing on tree sap, I decided there was nothing left to lose and ate the leaf. It tasted so clear and fresh, like nothing I had ever tasted. Chomping on the gum and leaf, I gave my grandfather a thumbs up.

"Great for your breath," he said. "Eat that before a date, and the guy will be at your front door step the next morning." As my grandfather turned away to proceed down the trail, I stuffed a few more leaves in my pocket. The last two miles of the hike flew by. We stopped every one once in a while to try another leaf or split open an acorn to try. The hike was filled with non-stop story telling of hikes and foods my grandfather had experienced before. My hunger had completely left me, and by the time we got back to camp I didn't want anything more but to share our experience with the drivers. The hike that began as an annoyance, became the highlight of my summer. Even in September, I was still telling my friends of the true scenes and tastes of Maine that I had shared with my grandfather.

Zoe Popovic, grade 4, Congin School, Westbrook

Zoe took the grand prize in the Grades 3 to 5 category for this essay about her school lunch:


I usually bring my own lunch to school. Sometimes the kids that buy lunch tease me. It used to bother me, but it doesn't anymore. I know where my food comes from. I have seen it in the fields; I've dug my own potatoes. My food is always changing. I can tell the season by what is in my lunch box. Starting the year with the summer harvest and the green taste of basil on my juicy tomato and mozzarella sandwich. Before I know it I have a thermos filled with butternut squash ravioli with sweet apples just picked over the weekend. In winter the staples from our farm share – rice and beans. I know summer vacation is on its way when my lunch turns green again with veggie wraps filled with baby greens. I also see yogurt mixed with the preserves from last summer's days spent picking blueberries and I know that soon I will be back in those fields. I have been a member of a CSA for as long as I can remember, whether getting a box from the farm or visiting. I know my farmers, Amy and Tom, and I know the farm. When I eat my lunch I can picture where it came from. I see the path through the fields of flowers down to vegetables. I know where to turn off to cool myself in the river. I imagine the games that I played with the other kids between courses at the potlucks. I think of the chickens running around and being ridiculous. I picture the sunflowers by the barn and remember waiting for them to have plump seeds for picking. If someone has something to say about my lunch that's okay. It doesn't bother me. I know where my food comes from and don't think they can say the same. When the bell for recess rings, I offer to share a carrot and they take it with a smile and we run outside.

Ellie Sapat, grade 7, Falmouth Middle School

(Continued on page 4)

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Additional Photos

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Zoe Popovic’s family has belonged to a CSA since Zoe first started walking.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer


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