Monday, October 26, 2009

Urban Agriculture Talk with Farmer-Author Novella Carpenter and Farmer Rich Pederson, November 12 at 7pm

We're really excited about our two talks coming up in the next few weeks - the "Building and Maintaining a Local Food System" panel discussion at URI's Kingston campus on Thursday, November 5 at 6pm, as well as this talk:

Farm City, City Farm: Tales in Urban Farming from Farmer-Author Novella Carpenter and Farmer Rich Pederson

Sponsored by Slow Food Rhode Island and Southside Community Land Trust
Thursday, November 12, 2009, 7pm
at the First Unitarian Church of Providence, 1 Benevolent Street
A donation of $10.00 per person ($5.00 for students) is suggested

Join us for a evening of stories – trials, tribulations, and triumphs - from two talented urban farmers; Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: the Education of an Urban Farmer, and Rich Pederson, Southside Community Land Trust’s City Farm Farm Manager.

Novella and Rich will take turns sharing their urban agriculture experiences with us, with their unique perspectives influenced by each of their environments; Novella’s in Oakland, California, and Rich’s here in Providence. They’ll follow their story-telling with an audience question and answer period, which is sure to be entertaining and informative - and quite likely very funny as well.

For more information, email

Thursday, October 22, 2009

On Locally Grown Foods, courtesy of Providence the Creative Capitol

As we're all interested in the local food scene - and we mean the growing, as well as the preparing and serving - this article (excerpted below) from Providence the Creative Capitol caught our eye:

The national trend towards locally grown, organic, seasonal foods has been gaining momentum thanks to recent food scares and recalls. Vegetables containing E-coli and peanuts spreading salmonella have helped raise awareness about food production, called into question factory-farming practices, and led consumers to want to know where their food is coming from...

...Bruce Tillinghast, owner and chef of New Rivers, a Providence restaurant serving refined bistro food made from fresh, organic ingredients, was an early local promoter of locally grown food.

We were thrilled to see that the article included insight into the Rhode Island food system, with our friends from New Rivers, Farmstead, Red Planet, Farm Fresh Rhode Island, and Southside Community Land Trust all mentioned in the article. We think it nicely demonstrates how many people are working so diligently at building and maintaining a local food system right here in Rhode Island.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Panel Discussion: Building and Sustaining a Local Food System

We are pleased to present the "Building and Sustaining a Local Food System" panel discussion at the URI Kingston campus on Thursday, November 5, 2009.

The panel members include Matt Jennings of Farmstead and La Laiterie at Farmstead and Don Minto of Watson Farm.

This same panel participated last year, and by all accounts, it was a fabulous discussion. What's more, the event is free of charge.

The talk starts at 6 pm and will run approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. The location is the Weaver Auditorium at the Coastal Institute (click on the link, the Coastal Institute is #13 on the map) on the URI Kingston campus.

Parking is available along Flagg Road and in nearby parking lots.

We hope to see you at URI for a budget-friendly, educational evening.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Slow Food Bastille (Paris) on hunt for grandmothers' recipes

We received this wonderful invitation from Slow Food Bastille, via Slow Food New York's Regional Governor, Ed Yowell:
We are organizing a recipe contest on Internet to put together recipes transmitted from person to person, trough family or friends. The "award ceremony" will take place in Euro Gusto, the next french "salone del Gusto" in Tours in November.
The Slow Food Bastille chapter would love to receive recipes from overseas, so get out grandma's recipe file, and get to work! Recipes should be made with common, economical ingredients, should feed at least 6 people, and should be geared to non-professional cooks. There are 19 days left until the close of the contest, so you have a little bit of time to review your recipes before submitting them, and you may submit multiples. Winners will be announced at EuroGusto at the end of November.

Entries may be made in French, English or Italian (just click on the flag).

To enter, visit:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Heirloom Harvest Week Sneak Peek

This post comes to us from Anne Obelnicki at Chefs Collaborative - in case you haven't made up your mind about which restaurant you'll be visiting during these last days of the Heirloom Harvest Week, Anne provides us a sneak peek at what's being served up.

It’s Heirloom Harvest Week in Providence, Boston and Portsmouth (October 12-18), a time when we asked all the participating chefs to have one or more items on their menu highlighting and honoring locally grown vegetables from the RAFT Grow-Out project. The chefs in Providence have outdone themselves, using RAFT veggies in creative and delicious ways, and making some of the most beautiful food I’ve seen. The dishes speak for themselves, so here they are. All I have to say is: Providence, I will be back!

Chez Pascal

Matt Gennuso, Chef/Owner

Pike’s Peak Squash Dumplings with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

chefscollaborative 217_fixed

Marfax Bean Ragout with Molasses, Bacon and Seared Pork Head Roulade with Pickled Gilfeather Turnips

chefscollaborative 221_fixed

New York State Tasting of Lamb with Long Pie Pumpkin Gateaux de Riz, Gilfeather Turnips, Student Parsnips & Red Wine

Long Pie Pumpkin Custard Tart with Graham Cracker Crust and Student Parsnip Ice Cream



Joseph Hafner, Executive Chef

Slow Poached Heritage Farm Duck Egg
Long Pie pumpkin, marrow squash, Jimmy nardello’
s peppers, duck confit, duck crackling



Mike Nice, Chef

Roasted Long Pie pumpkin flan with hazelnut graham wafer cookie, tarragon granita and Mexican chocolate sauce

Julian’s will be running various RAFT-inspired specials throughout the week

La Laiterie at Farmstead

Matt Jennings, Chef/Owner

Sformato of Long Pie Pumpkin
Wild Arugula, Gilfeather Turnips, Marfax Beans, Parmigiano Stravecchio, Jimmy Nardello Pepper ‘Agrodolce’


Local 121

David Johnson, Chef

Long Pie Pumpkin Pumpkin Pie with Molasses Ice cream


Jimmy Nardello Peppernadda with prima pasta and Narraganset creamery fresh ricotta

Other RAFT-inspired specials throughout the week

New Rivers

Bruce Tillinghast, Chef/Owner

Beau Vestal, Chef de Cuisine

House-cured Sopresatta with Jimmy Nardello Pepper Jam, Molasses Mustard and Baguette


Confit of Belly of Pork with Gilfeather Turnips, Green Apple and Cider/Vanilla Sauce


Grilled Tartine Wethersfield Onion and Bacon marmalade, Long Pie Pumpkin and Gruyere

Nick’s On Broadway

Derek Wagner, Chef/Owner

Skillet roasted wild Rhode Island Striped Bass with local heirloom vegetable ragout, white wine and garden herbs


Waterman Grille

Michael Conetta, Chef

Wood Fired Apple Napoleon: Pippin Orchard Apples, Simmons Farm Pork Sausage, Hannah Bell Cheese, and a mulled apple Cider Reduction

Georges Bank Scallops with Tiverton pumpkin puree, Jeffries Baby Greens and pickled beet salad

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Farm Fresh RI's Perfect Pickle Contest, November 7

Farm Fresh Rhode Island is sponsoring a fun contest to celebrate the harvest and preserving. It is taking place on Saturday, November 7, the first day of the Wintertime Farmers Market at the Hope Artiste Village. And, who, we ask, does not like a pickle? So what are you waiting for? Read on and sign up!

From the Farm Fresh RI website:
Rhode Island not only has many wonderful farmers, but we Rhode Islanders also have a wealth of homegrown knowledge about how to turn fresh foods into jarred and prepared delights! We've survived winters in New England for more than a few years. From raspberry jams to Johnny cakes, from peach pie to pesto, local talent needs to be exposed – and this November it's the picklers' turn to shine. We hope the pickle contest will not only inspire non-picklers to try pickling—but it will also promote the wealth of good food that grows in Rhode Island. Plus, a great way to start off the winter season is with a zesty taste of the bountiful autumn.

How to Enter:

  • Register by October 31 with your name, category, and what veggies will be local in your entry.
  • Let us know which farm grew your veggies if you can (or if they're from your own backyard).
  • Everyone – chefs, schools, home cooks, gardeners, market-goers and more – is encouraged to enter.
  • First time picklers encouraged!

Judging Location and Time:

  • Opening day of the Wintertime Farmers' Market - Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 12pm at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket.
  • Six expert pickle tasters will work to decide which pickle is best. Winners will receive a unique, handcrafted basket of local goodies as well as the honor of being Rhode Island's Perfect Pickler. There is one track for Chefs and another track for Home-batch.
  • By 1pm we will know the finest pickle makers in all the (Rhode Is)land.
  • Best of luck!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Heirloom Harvest Week, October 12 through 18

We hope that you can join us in celebrating the agricultural bounty of New England and the RAFT Grow-Out project during the RAFT Grow-out Heirloom Harvest Week. It starts this upcoming Monday, October 12th and runs through October 18th in Providence and Newport-area restaurants.

Heirloom Harvest Week is a celebration of New England's agricultural heritage, biodiversity and farmer-chef connections. From October 12th through 18th, Grow-Out participant restaurants will have one or more items on their menu highlighting and honoring locally grown, heirloom vegetables from the project.

Stop by to eat delicious food while supporting your local restaurants and farms and celebrating New England's agricultural heritage.

Participating Restaurants:
22 Bowens, Newport, RI
Boat House Restaurant, Tiverton, RI
Castle Hill Inn and Resort, Newport, RI
Chez Pascal, Providence, RI
DeWolf Tavern, Bristol, RI
Gracie's, Providence, RI
Julian's, Providence, RI
La Laiterie at Farmstead, Providence, RI
Local 121, Providence, RI
New Rivers, Providence, RI
Nicks on Broadway, Providence, RI
Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro, Foxboro, MA
The Mooring Seafood Kitchen and Bar, Newport, RI
The Smokehouse Café, Newport, RI
Trio, Narragansett, RI
Waterman Grille, Providence, RI

Here at Slow Food RI, we're all very excited about the RAFT Grow-out project and the reintroduction of our region's place-based foods. The Heirloom Harvest Week is a great way to try out some of those foods, and, who knows - perhaps persuade you to include them in your seed order, or to request seed starts from your local nursery next year?