Food and Farming Film Festival in Durham

October 28, 2005

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association as part of its annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference, November 4-6 in Durham will be featuring a selection of films on Friday night, November 4 at 8:30. The conference and films will be at the Durham Marriott at the Civic Center. For more information about the conference itself, go to

Details about the films below:



WHEN: Friday, November 4th, starting at 8:30 pm

WHERE: Durham Civic Center Marriot Hotel, next to the Carolina Theatre, rooms 105-108

WHY: CFSA is holding their 2005 annual meeting in Durham, November 4-6, and small-scale sustainable farmers from throughout North and South Carolina will attend. Slow Food is looking for ways to work with existing groups in our area to support sustainable farms and good food.

WHAT: Three longer films will be screened along with several shorts. The three main films (all documentaries) will be shown simultaneously in three different rooms. Discussions will follow the screening for those who are interested.

COST: Free for registered attendees of the Sustainable Agriculture Conference, donation of $10 to Carolina Farm Stewardship Assoc. for others.


The Future of Food (88 minutes)
Directed, Produced, and Written by Deborah Koons Garcia

The Future of Food offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade. This film gives a voice to farmers whose lives and livelihoods have suffered the consequences of this new technology. The health implications, government policies and push towards globalization are all part of the reason why many people are alarmed about the introduction of genetically altered crops into our food supply. Shot on location in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, The Future of Food, examines the web of market and political forces that are changing what we eat as huge multinational corporations seek to control the world’s food system. The film also explores alternatives to large-scale industrial agriculture, placing organic and sustainable agriculture as real solutions to the farm crisis today.

* * *
Voices of American Farm Women (40 minutes)
Directed by Cynthia Vagnetti
& The True Cost of Food-animated short (15 minutes)

Voices of American Farm Women is based upon more than 40 videotaped oral history interviews done by photojournalist and videographer Cynthia Vagnetti. In the past, our views of farming and its influence on American life and culture have focused on the roles that men have played as farmers, while women’s contributions to agricultural production were largely ignored, perpetuating the stereotype of the “farmer’s wife.” This film presents a contemporary perspective on women in agriculture. Cynthia Vagnetti has documented women from across the United States whose farming techniques promote environmental responsibility, economic stability, and community well being. Through their voices and presence, the women express the components of sustainable food systems and farming practices.

Cynthia Vagnetti is an independent documentary photographer and video producer. She specializes in collecting comprehensive oral histories of farmers and ranchers across America

* * *
Broken Limbs (57 minutes)
Produced by Jamie Howell and Guy Evans
& The Meatrix-animated short (4 minutes)

Wenatchee, Washington, the “Apple Capital of the World”, prospered for nearly a century as home to the famed Washington apple. But the good times have vanished. Apple orchardists by the thousands are going out of business and many more await the dreaded letter from the bank, announcing the end of their livelihoods and a uniquely American way of life.

After his own father receives just such a letter, filmmaker Guy Evans sets out on a journey to find out what went wrong. Over the course of filming, Evans witnesses small farmers struggling to compete against the Goliaths that populate today’s global food industry, only to be ultimately forced off their land. The future looks grim for the Apple Capital although Evans does discover a new breed of successful small farmers, practitioners of a model called “sustainable agriculture”.

Broken Limbs explores these hopeful stirrings within agriculture, outlining ways in which any individual can play a role in saving America’s farmers.

Elizabeth Gibbs
Educational Programs Coordinator
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
P.O. Box 448
Pittsboro, NC 27312
Phone 919.542.2402
Fax 919.542.7401


Amory Lovins Lecture at UNCG

October 28, 2005

Amory Lovins, author of Soft Energy Paths: Toward a Durable Peace (1977) and Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovations for Profits, Jobs, and Security (2004), will be speaking at UNCG on November 15 th and 16 th as keynote speaker for this year’s Harriet Elliott Lecture Series, the third in a series of lectures entitled “Are We Energized?: Politics Energy, and the Environment.”

Lovins rose to prominence during the oil crises of the 1970s when he challenged conventional supply-side dogma by urging that theUnited States instead follow a “soft energy path.” His work today focuses on transforming the car, real-estate, electricity, water, semiconductor, and several other manufacturing sectors toward advanced resource productivity.

The Nov. 15 th keynote evening lecture will be held at 7:30 pm in the Science Building Lecture Hall and will be entitled “Are We Energized?: Winning the Oil Endgame.” A series of programs on “Politics, Energy and the Environment in North Carolina ,” with Lovins as discussant, will follow Wednesday morning in the Elliott University Center Auditorium.

Detailed information on times and locations is available online:

Catawba Center for Environment on PBS Program

October 27, 2005

You will enjoy this show (see below) since it combines simple living and sustainable living. The Center at Catawba College is breathtaking; it is the first and best green educational building on the east coast. Wanda Urbanska continues to explicate the meanings of simple living. Remember, she is also part of the Levering family of Levering Orchards in Virginia where many of you go to pick your own fruit!


The Center for the Environment at Catawba is an excellent environmental education program. And the show, “Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska,” is putting out a very compelling message. This will be well worth watching; this Sunday, Oct. 30th, at 6 pm UNC-TV. Enjoy!

Watch for Catawba Center for Environment on PBS Program

Catawba College’s Environmental Science Program and Center for the Environment will soon be featured on PBS’s “Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska.”

The TV crew filmed footage on campus in April for the fall program. Ms. Urbanska, the host and co-producer, said she and Frank Levering chose to feature Catawba’s Center for the Environment because “it offers one of the premiere environmental education programs in the nation in an amazing physical setting – both the green building that houses the center and the adjacent nature preserve.
“What’s more, I’m impressed with the degree to which the entire Catawba College community takes environmental education seriously,” she says. “Green teams advise the administration about ways to make the campus environmentally friendly.”

The program is scheduled to run on PBS stations across the United States. It will air in North Carolina on UNC-TV Sunday, Oct. 30, at 6 p.m. and on WTVI-TV Saturday, Nov. 5, at 4:30 p.m. Those living outside North Carolina may contact their local PBS station and request the date and time of “Simple Living” Program No. 205.

We hope you’ll make every effort to view it. We also hope you’ll encourage the students and teachers in your area to watch it as well.

For more information on the Center for the Environment, please visit


~Charlie Headington

Beef and dairy petitions to FDA and USDA

October 26, 2005

I’d like to call your attention to two worthy petitions being collected by two consumers’ organizations. One calls for the FDA to end feeding of all mammal remains to cows (and prevent the spread of Mad Cow disease) at, a site sponsored by Consumers’ Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports.

The other is sponsored by the Organic Consumers Association, and it also concerns cattle, and again, misleading labeling. Some leading “organic” dairy producers are guilty of confinement animal feeding practices. You can read about it and sign the petition at, but I’ve copied the actual petition below for your information.

“We call on the USDA to:

1) Heed the advice of your own National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)
and clarify the National Organic Standards to negate the current
practice of raising cattle on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
(CAFOs) whose products are marketed as “Certified USDA Organic.” The
organic regulations (§ 205.239) clearly state farmers must “maintain
livestock living conditions which accommodate the health and natural
behavior of animals, including…access to pasture for ruminants.” The
practice of producing “organic” dairy on CAFOs puts family farmers at a
strong disadvantage with corporate agribusiness, violates the spirit of
the organic standards, and is misleading to consumers.

2) Put an end to the practice of allowing organic dairies to increase
their herd size by continually importing young calves from conventional
farms. This clause in the standards was implemented to help family
farmers make the conversion from conventional to organic production.
This was meant to be a “one-time” allowance. CAFOs are now using this
loophole on a regular basis to increase herd size and production by
cheaply, regularly, and continually converting new conventional herds
into “organic” production without having to go through the trouble and
expense of breeding true organic animals. This should be a one-time
clause, after which the ruminants should be bred from organic livestock
on that farm or purchased as organic.

3) Allow the NOSB to make a final ruling on this matter at its November
2005 meeting. There have been five years of public comments on this
issue, all resulting in an overwhelmingly strong majority support of
the above two points. It is time for a final NOSB ruling and for the
USDA to implement actions based on that ruling.

4) Release the names of current NOSB candidates. The NOSB will be losing
five of its current board members after this meeting. Historically, the
board has been made up of appointees chosen by the USDA along with
input from the overall organic community. In the past, the USDA would
release the names of candidates, which ultimately led to an open
process of choosing the most qualified candidates. The USDA has
currently refused to release the names of appointees. It is very
important that the names be released so the organic community can be a
part of helping the USDA choose the best possible appointees.”

Your emails and calls do make a difference. In response to attempts in
recent years to undermine organic standards, public outcry has stopped
industrial lobbyists in their tracks. For example, the recent rider to
add synthetic ingredients to the organic standards has been withdrawn
(perhaps, temporarily) due to public response.

Slow Food DC Ark celebration

October 25, 2005

(from the Slow Food DC convivium):

Don’t forget to sign on for what’s shaping up to be our first ever Slow Food ARK celebration. Lots of friends of Slow Food will be joining us to learn more about the Native Sweet Sisters, (pawpaw, persimmon and strawberry). Also attending; Neal Peterson and Jim Davis (growers of pawpaw); Jerry Lehman, Director of the largest persimmon farm in the US; Dr. Richard Uva, Cornell University, specialist in the another sweet sister, the Beach Plum; Richard Hetzler; executive chef of Mitsitam Café at the National Museum of the American Indian; Rebecca Adamson, Founder of First Nations; and our good friend Nora Poullion.

We’ll learn about fruit cultivation, the lore of these fruits, experience some traditional and modern dishes that salute these native fruits.

Full posting follows:

We are delighted to invite you to a celebratory Thanksgiving brunch at Majestic Cafe on Sunday, November 6 to launch the Three Sweet Sisters: The American persimmon, pawpaw, and strawberry…. all recently boarded on the Slow Food Ark of Taste. Come taste these three delightful foods which are essential to American history and heirloom cookery. Although the Three Sisters of N/native culture–corn, beans, and squash- have been given much attention, First Fruits such as the Three Sweet Sisters are making new waves in heritage cuisine, and Slow Food is happy to be a part of this culinary renewal.

Chef Joe Raffa of Majestic Cafe (Morrison-Clark Inn, Equinox, and Cafe Atlantico trained at L’Academie de Cuisine and brings his culinary expertise to a unique menu, designed for this special occasion, that features N/ative foods: persimmon, pawpaw, corn, black walnuts, maple, greens, shagbark hickory, duck, chilies, and spicebush berries.

Guests will also have the opportunity to try rare Persimmon brandy and pawpaw wine from the Ohio River Valley.

Join us to launch this exciting experience of the Slow Food Ark with what will prove to be a unique three-course meal especially designed for this occasion.

Pawpaw glazed shrimp with corn and chili

Main Course
Confit of persimmon duck on polenta with microgreens

Persimmon Flan with lemon syrup and cream
Black Walnut Tart with Pawpaw Ice Cream

Special guests will offer presentations about Slow Food Presidia work and our new culinary adventure. In addition to experiencing this unique menu, guests will receive a copy of a Persimmon Cookbook; Three Sweet Sisters information booklets with recipes:a gift bag of handmade delicacies using N/native foods. (Persimmon truffles anyone?)

Sunday, November 6, 10:30 AM

Majestic Cafe
911 King Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
(703) 548-6681

$45.00 for Slow Food members
$50.00 for non-members

Please respond by October 30.

Mail checks to:
Marsha Weiner
3686 King Street
Alexandria, VA. 22302

Upon receipt of your checks, you will receive an email confirmation.

For more information, please contact:
Katherine Dillon
(301) 299-0651

as is our standard practice; members can bring one guest at member rate, all other guests at non-member rate; there are no refunds but reservations are transferable, we just ask to be informed as to who is coming your stead

Vintage Virginia Apples’ Annual Apple Harvest Festival and Slow Food Tasting Workshop

October 25, 2005

(From the Slow Food Old Dominion convivium):

Vintage Virginia Apples’ Annual Apple Harvest Festival and Slow Food Tasting Workshop
November 5, 10am-5pm, Rural Ridge Orchard, North Garden Virginia

Vintage Virginia Apples’ Annual Apple Harvest Festival expands this year to include a Slow Food Tasting Workshop where local food growers present a variety of grass fed meats, herbs and vegetables, and locally produced foods and food products.

One of the major goals of Slow Food International, USA and the local Old Dominion Convivium is to link producers with consumers. Slow Food has organized an event in collaboration with Vintage Virginia Apples that celebrates and promotes producers who grow delicious foods in ecologically friendly ways. In addition to those who produce USDA grass fed meats—beef, lamb, ostrich, pork, bison and goat–there will be other producers of local food products sharing their knowledge of fruits and vegetables available locally. Though the local growing season is nearly over, there are still fresh vegetables and herbs to enliven daily menus.

Seminars scheduled for 11am, 12:30 pm and 2pm will include Pairing Cheese and Apples with Kate Collier, owner of Feast, a leading expert in the world of cheeses and Tom Burford, orchardist and nursery consultant; a presentation on Winter Salad Gardens by botanist, Margaret Shelton and woman farmer, Ramona Huff, woman farmer will speak on Advantages of Heritage Breeds and Grass Fed Meats.

Chef Howie Velie of Magnolia Restaurant, a member of Slow Food, will be on hand talking about incorporating locally grown and seasonal foods into daily menus. The majority of the exhibitors are experienced growers eager to share their knowledge and provide product samples through out the day long festival. The Tasting Workshop is a hallmark activity of the Old Dominion Convivium that brought you two cheese festivals and an apple festival in 2003 and 2004, several Food and Film events and a Farm Tour in 2005.

Vintage Virginia Apple Harvest Festival is the place to learn about apple growing, tree selection and planting, apple cider and apple butter making. It is an apple tasting event unequaled in this area, hosted by the Shelton family. For an extensive look inside this family apple operation go to The Cove Garden Ruritans partner with Vintage Virginia Apples each year making Brunswick stew, apple butter, providing hayrides, featuring history and craft displays demonstrating Southern Albemarle’s agricultural heritage and holding a bake sale.

These activities are provided by folks who practice sound principals of biodiversity, care about the future of our food supply and feel a responsibility to share their enthusiasm and commitment for locally grown fresh food with you. This event is presented free of charge to the public.

Rural Ridge Farm is located on Route 29 South of Charlottesville in North Garden, Virginia. From Charlottesville, 8 miles south of I-64. From the south, .8 miles north of the Crossroads Store (Route 692) See website for map

Discovery Day and Dairy Open House This Weekend

October 7, 2005

Here’s a reminder about Discovery Day tomorrow, and also remember the
Goat Lady Dairy open house is on Sunday.

See the events page at http://www,


Please join us for these upcoming coming events at the KCEF Library:
Discovery Day (if raining, it will still be held ” lots of activities
indoors) Saturday, October 8th, 10 ” 2 p.m. KCEF Library

*Birding Basics ” 10:30 ” Noon

How to identify birds, where to look for birds, when to go birding, and
how to attract birds to your back yard. Great for adults and children

Wetlands/ Water Program 12:30 – Noon

Join the Haw River Program as they show you the tiny animals
(macroinvertebrates) that live in our creeks and are important for
water quality. Fun program for kids and adults.

Plus face painting, nature crafts, how-to use binoculars and field
guides to search for birds, interactive forestry and water activities,
and live animals.


Thursday, October 13th Want to learn more about butterflies. Join us
for Senior Strollers 1:30 ” 2:30 as Dennis Burnette, past president of
the Carolina Butterfly Society shares information about types of
butterflies and how to attract butterflies.

Interested in seeing some beautiful nature photography. Come to the
Audubon program on Thursday Oct 13th 7 p.m. and see the beautiful
photos taken by Melissa Whitemire. She will explain how she uses the
digital camera and scope to take photographs and show how to use
general and digital editing to improve the composition and appearance
of photos.

Astronomy Night at the Library Monday, October 17th 7:30 ” 8:30 p.m.
Night sky viewing by Stan Rosenburg, Greensboro Astronomy Club.

Need some gardening tips for the fall Monday, October 24th 7 ” 8 p.m.
Karen Neill, Urban Horticulture Extension Agent will offer tips on
preparing your garden for winter, information about cover crops and
composting. Come with your gardening questions. Enter a drawing for
gardening prizes.

Want to learn about owls and other nocturnal animals Thursday, October
27th 12 ” 1:00 Bring your lunch, see and learn about owls and nocturnal
animals from the Schindler Wildlife Rehab Center from the NC Zoo.
Register to attend this program

Need CEUs or credit towards the EE Certification or would like to learn
about land ethics, natural journaling and observation. Leopold
Education Project Friday, October 29th 10 ” 4 p.m. Come to this
environmental education workshop about the famous conservationist, Aldo
Leopold and learn more about his book A Sand County Almanac and
activities related to natural journaling and observation, land ethics
and more. $30 for workshop materials. Register to attend this program