Friday, March 4, 2011

"Locavore" Literary Festival Brings Writers, Activists To Town to Dish About What We Eat




CHESTERTOWN, MD—The first ever Chestertown Locavore Lit Fest celebrates local food and cooking Friday and Saturday March 25 and 26 with a satisfying smorgasbord of food journalists and writers talking about agriculture, fishing, recipes and the joys of healthy eating. Special guests will include the New York Times best-selling author Paul Greenberg, NPR contributor Bonnie Wolf and a food activist who challenges the wisdom of the vegetarian lifestyle.

The weekend kicks off Friday at 11:30 a.m. at a special lunch and book signing with Lierre Keith, a former vegan and the author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice and Sustainability (2009, PM Press). The event will be held in the Hodson Hall Commons dining room at Washington College, where the staff will prepare a meal based on her philosophy of raising and eating grass-fed beef as an alternative to industrially produced animals. Locally sourced, grass-fed beef and local produce will be on the menu ($6.50 per person for general public). In the evening Keith will lecture about the moral, health and environmental issues that surround our food choices, and then join a moderated discussion about her controversial writings. Her talk will begin at 6 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, on the Washington College campus (300 Washington Avenue) with the reception scheduled for 7 o’clock and the Q&A to follow at 7:30 p.m.

The Vegetarian Myth has been described as part memoir, part nutritional primer, and part political manifesto. In the book, Keith, who spent 20 years as a vegan, reviews the history of agriculture and the damage it has caused the planet and shares her personal journey back to meat. She argues that well-intentioned vegetarians have been led astray by ignorance. A resident of Humbolt County, California, Keith is co-author with Aric McBay and Derrick Jensen of the upcoming Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet, scheduled for May release from Seven Stories Press.

On Saturday, local bookstores host more food-focused writers in a morning packed with culinary talk. It begins at 10 a.m. at the Bookplate (112 S. Cross Street) with a panel of three local food writers: Author Nancy Robson and bloggers Aundra Weissert and Tara Holste. Robson has written freelance articles for 35 years and authored two books: a memoir of her six years on a coastal tug titled Woman in the Wheelhouse, and the award-winning novel Course of the Waterman. A Master Gardener, she writes and edits sections on gardening and food for the Chestertown Spy.

A healthy living enthusiast, Aundra Weissert explores fitness, local food, sustainable living, and wellness in her Fit for Life blog. A 2008 graduate of Washington College, she serves her alma mater as Assistant Director of Admissions and teaches several Zumba fitness classes in town each week. Tara Holste is a passionate environmentalist and an avid supporter of foods grown on the Eastern Shore. Her "Fish in the Water" blog catalogs her quest to find a better way of living through growing, preserving, and loving food.


From 10:45 to 11:30 a.m., at the Bookplate, Lucie Snodgrass
, author of Dishing Up Maryland: 150 Recipes From the Alleghenies to the Chesapeake Bay (2010, Storey Publishing), will share what she learned by visiting 50 to 60 farms, vineyards and oyster ranches to present a portrait of the state’s bounty and kitchen expertise.A native of England who has lived throughout Europe, Snodgrass recently worked in the offices of Senator Barbara Mikulski and now lives and works on a 135-acre farm in northeastern Maryland.

The Festival moves down the block to The Compleat Bookseller (High and Cross streets) where NPR Food Commentator Bonny Wolf, author of Talking with My Mouth Full (2006, St. Martin’s Press), will speak from 11:45 to 12:30 a.m. Wolf contributes a monthly food essay to NPR’s award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday and is editor of “Kitchen Window, ” NPR’s weekly Web-only food column. Wolf has worked several decades as a reporter, editor and food critic at newspapers and magazines in New Jersey, Texas and Washington, DC. In the 1990s she wrote and published The Food Pages, a critically acclaimed food newsletter for the District of Columbia.

Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the Parish Hall of Emmanuel Church (301 High Street), Paul Greenberg, author of the best-selling Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food (2010, The Penguin Press), will talk about how our love of seafood has influenced the history of four species of fish. Greenberg is a lifelong fisherman and an award winning writer whose book explores the history of the fish that dominate our menus—salmon, sea bass, cod and tuna—and examines where each now stands as a species. By examining the forces that get fish to our dinner tables, he shows how we can start to heal the oceans and advocate for a world where healthy and sustainable seafood is the rule rather than the exception. Greenberg’s Four Fish was a New York Times notable book for 2010.

The Locavore Lit Fest weekend is sponsored by the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College, the Washington College Anthropology Club, Chestertown Natural Foods, and Local Eastern Shore Sustainable Organic Network (LESSON). With the exception of the fee for lunch on Friday, all events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact 410-810-7162 or tholste2@washcoll.edu for more information or visit http://ces.washcoll.edu.

Friday, March 25

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Signing and lunch with Lierre Keith, Hodson Dining Hall

6:00-7:00 p.m. Lecture, Lierre Keith, author The Vegetarian Myth, Hynson Lounge

7:00-7:30 p.m. Light reception with appetizers and drinks

7:30-8:30 p.m. Discussion and Q&A with Lierre Keith

Saturday, March 26

10:00-10:45 a.m. Get Inspired: Local Authors on Local Foods, Bookplate
10:45-11:30 a.m. Lucie Snodgrass, author Dishing Up Maryland
, at the Bookplate.

11:45-12:30 p.m. Bonny Wolf, author Talking with My Mouth Full, Compleat Bookseller.

12:30-2:00 p.m. Lunch break- please visit one of the many restaurants in Chestertown!

2:00-3:00 p.m. Paul Greenberg, author Four Fish, Emmanuel Parish Hall




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