Wednesday, September 30

FLOOD RELIEF FOR GEORGIA FARMERS

Please read the following dispatch from Judith Winfrey, SFA member and Georgia farmer:

"As many of you know, we at Love is Love Farm have been hit by record floods which turned the Aneewakee Creek bordering the western side of the farm, into a raging river that tore through 2/3 of the fields, downing huge trees, ruining most of our fall and winter crops, destroying equipment and washing away our topsoil. So many have expressed a desire to help, and we are humbled and grateful to see this vibrant good food community in action. In many ways we feel like we've experienced 2 floods, one of destruction, and one of support. It is moving and beautiful to be in the midst of the latter."

To help Judith and other farmers, Slow Food Atlanta has set up a fund to help Georgia's flooded sustainable farmers. All contributions to this fund will be tax deductible. For more information, click here.

If you are a farmer who has been impacted, or you know one who has, please contact Jonathan Tescher at Georgia Organics (jonathon@georgiaorganics.org). GO is conducting a survey of farmers and compiling data to share with the Department of Ag.

Monday, September 28

SECOND ANNUAL VIKING RANGE LECTURE, OCT. 13: WARREN BELASCO ASKS, "WHY STUDY FOOD?"

On October 13 at 6:30 p.m., in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory, the Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, will stage the second annual Viking Range Lecture. The event is free and open to the public.

This year’s Viking Range Lecturer,
Warren Belasco, Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, is author of Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry; Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food; and Food: The Key Concepts. He is the editor of the journal Food, Culture, and Society.

Each year the Viking Range Lecture, underwritten by the
Viking Range Company of Greenwood, Mississippi, brings scholars, writers, and artists to the Ole Miss campus. Each lecturer, regardless of discipline, uses food as a vehicle for a greater understanding of self, community, and culture.

Food studies is booming on college campuses across the country. Yet many academics who work in the field labor under a debt of pleasure. As nineteenth century botanist, Jean-Henri Fabre wrote, “History celebrates the battlefields whereon we meet our death, but scorns to speak of the plowed fields whereby we thrive; it knows the names of King’s bastards, but cannot tell the origin of wheat. That is the way of human folly.”

Belasco will ask the basic question, "Why study food?" And he will answer, in part, that “food is the first of the essentials of life, the world’s largest industry, our most frequently indulged pleasure, the core of our most intimate social relationships.”

The SFA’s mission is to document, study, and celebrate the food cultures of the American South. That mission is grounded in the notion that food is a lens through which a region as vast and diverse as ours can be seen and understood. Simply put, what and where and how a Southerner eats speaks volumes about who he or she is.

In
Food: The Key Concepts, Warren Belasco argues that food is more than just a device for understanding a culture. Food is the culture. Belasco knows that to fully understand food requires a complex interdisciplinary understanding of anthropology, sociology, economics, politics, and agricultural science.

Understanding food is more than just an academic exercise. It requires that consumers recognize the food choices they make are governed by the competing considerations of identity, convenience, price, and, increasingly, responsibility.

It’s that last consideration Belasco finds so compelling. He asks students to think about food, not just in terms of monetary value or emotional significance, but in terms of global consequences. In an increasingly global-focused American South, such questions resonate.

For more information or questions, e-mail sfamail@olemiss.edu.

Tuesday, September 22

TAMALE TRAIL IN SAVEUR

Amy Evans, SFA oral historian and collector of the interviews featured here on the Trail, talks tamales in the October issue of Saveur magazine. The Tamale Trail is also featured as one of their Web exclusives, an online section that elaborates on subjects that appear in the magazine.

After you've read about Delta tamales, spend some time with the other culinary treasures Saveur has highlighted from the Magnolia State. Better yet, head to Mississippi and taste for yourself!

Friday, September 11

Hoppin’ John Bluegrass & Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention

This is sure to be a weekend of pickin' and grinnin'. Not only can you compete in musical and dance competitions, you can also show off your culinary skills with the black-eyed pea. Or just sit back, enjoy, and cast your vote for best hoppin' john. Bring a tent, your favorite instrument, and your best recipes to Shakori Hills, situated on 72 beautiful acres of ancient trees in Silk Hope, North Carolina.

Hoppin’ John Fiddlers’ Convention is sponsored by Shakori Hills, Inc., a non-profit formed in order to provide an environment for community building through arts and education for Chatham County and beyond. For more information, visit www.hoppinjohn.org or call 919-542-1746.

Tuesday, September 1

FOOD & MUSIC AT THE CARTER FAMILY FOLD

RITA FORRESTER - CARTER FAMILY FOLD from Amy C Evans on Vimeo.

In anticipation of this year's symposium, the theme of which is Music & Food, we'd like to reintroduce you to our oral history project that documents the music of the Carter Family, as well as the homemade food that flies out the concession window at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, every weekend. The traditional Appalachian staples of soup beans and cornbread are at the top of the menu, but so is egg salad that’s made from Janette Carter's recipe and a menagerie of cakes that are baked by women in the community.

Go here to view the project in its entirety.

SHARE THE LOVE: MAMA DIP'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

Mama Dip's been sharing the love for eight decades (and counting!). Besides feeding her community's hungry bellies, she also has been feeding the souls of those in need. In 2007,we were honored to share Mama Dip's story and oral history as part of our Chapel Hill Eats. Her family has created the "Share the Love" fund to inspire and encourage underprivileged youths, in celebration of her 80th birthday. You can get in on some of that lovin' by attending Mama Dip's 80th Birthday Celebration Fundraiser at The Barn at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, NC on 9.20.09.