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RE: Slow Food

Cynthia wrote:
 So it
seems unfair to assume that just because someone is involved with Slow Food
they aren't doing anything else of that nature. The community gardens piece
is a VERY strong component, which is why I got on this listserve.
It completely depends on the local group which items get priority. Around here, everyone means well, but it's just so much easier to do expensive meals with Philadelphia chefs that the other items don't tend to be done.

Personally, I did a garlic tasting with the Slow Food Philadelphia group last year. The event was held at a small CSA farm in Lancaster County. Unfortunately, the CSA farmers simply threw their produce on the table and did not label it or talk about it at all -- so instead of the interesting heirlooms I know their produce was, it just looked like a bunch of funny-looking vegetables. So, folks loved me (since I talked about the different types of garlic and had lots of different "taste experiences" available), but were bored with the farmers. So, the "Harvest Picnic" has been eliminated -- it's just more interesting to go to a unique restaurant to experience a menu one wouldn't usually find or to do "tasting" with the various speciality food vendors (who are jumping on board this movement with both feet as it means increasing sales and expanding their customer base).

Slow Food Philadelphia also tried to sign folks up for CSA produce, but with insufficient education about the risks and our killer drought this summer, it wasn't a positive experience -- so folks dropped out significantly.

I'd love to be more involved (and I'm on the announcement list), but the events are simply out of my price range -- especially with a husband who was laid off and is trying to develop his own business.

The Slow Food movement SHOULD be encouraging the use of local foods, but in areas where the high-end folks are more plentiful and more organized, it's shifting to, in the words of Mark Winne, "just another gourmet eating club." For those of you who are able to use this movement to your advantage -- go for it! Hopefully, the Slow Food groups in the high-rent districts will be encouraged by your efforts and be inspired to look at who's growing in their own backyards.

Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden

A mission of
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460

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