The annual Farm to Fork Picnic that pairs Triangle-area chefs and farmers will become a three-day weekend of events that will take place June 5-7. The first two events June 5-6 will feature James Beard winner and The New York Times best-selling author Paul Greenberg.
Sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the weekend proceeds will benefit training programs at the Center for Environmental Systems and the W.C. Breeze Family Farm Extension and Research Center.
All proceeds from the three weekend events will provide funding for education and new farmer training programs at the Breeze Farm in Hurdle Mills and the CEFS farm in Goldsboro. Last year, the picnic alone provided more than $35,000 that was split between the two farms.
“There is an enormous need for new farmers in our country. Our state alone has lost more than 40,000 farms over the last four decades, and it’s not a trend we can afford to ignore,” says Nancy Creamer, professor of sustainable agriculture and community based food systems at North Carolina State University and director of CEFS.
“In addition to raising more needed funds, we expanded the event to increase public education and engagement on food systems issues that are important to our communities. We invited Paul because he is an amazing advocate and his efforts to draw attention to issues in the fishing industry have paralleled our effort with CEFS in the farming industry.”
Friday, June 5: Dinner at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, featuring five acclaimed North Carolina chefs, including Vivian Howard of Chef and the Farmer in Kinston and the Peabody Award-winning PBS series A Chef’s Life; Chris Coleman of The Asbury in Charlotte, Amy Tornquist from Watts Grocery and Hummingbird Bakery in Durham, and two additional chefs to be announced soon. Greenberg will be speak at the dinner about the purpose and importance of addressing overfishing and sourcing from our local shores.
Saturday, June 6: Greenberg speaks at The Rickhouse, in Durham, about the state of the fishing industry, better use of our national resources, and the importance of protecting our waterways, from New York’s rivers to Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Afterward, a panel of North Carolina fishing industry experts will discuss how to regain American local seafood. Following the panel, Greenberg will sign books, and there will be a sustainable fish and clam bake prepared by two chefs known for their commitment to local seafood: Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood and James Clark of The Carolina Inn.
Sunday, June 7: The highly acclaimed Farm to Fork Picnic at Breeze Farm in Hurdle Mills, one of the most anticipated local events since it began in 2007. With more than two dozen restaurants and farms paired together and another two dozen food artisans featured, the picnic offers an amazing array of local food. In addition, half a dozen craft brewers, wine distributors and coffee producers offer beverages for attendees. Called “the Country’s Best All-You-Can-Eat Feast” by Bon Appetit, celebrates the relationship between local culinary talent and their favorite farmers.
Tickets are aavailable at the Farm to Fork website: http://www.farmtoforknc.com/. Friday dinner tickets are $165 and include a copy of Greenberg’s American Catch paperback. Tickets to the Saturday evening discussion and meal are $35 without a copy of Greenberg’s book and $45 including the paperback. Tickets for the Sunday Picnic are $100 for adults, $50 for ages 13–20, and free for children 12 and under. A discounted ticket for all three events is $275 per person. Greenberg’s book will be available for purchase both Friday and Saturday evenings, onsite at each event, through the Farm to Fork book sponsor, Flyleaf Books.
Paul Greenberg is the author of the critically acclaimed and The New York Times best-selling book Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild. Four Fish won the James Beard Award in 2011 and was the basis for a Time Magazine cover story. His latest book, American Catch, further explores the current state of the American seafood supply and will be released in paperback on June 9, 2015. For additional information, please visit paulgreenberg.org/
The Center for Environmental Farming Systems is a partnership of NC State University, N.C. A&T University and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. CEFS develops and promotes just and equitable food and farming systems that conserve natural resources, strengthen communities and provide economic opportunities in North Carolina and beyond. For more information, visit www.cefs.ncsu.edu.
The Breeze Farm was donated to NC State University by Bell Breeze and his family to support sustainable farming systems programming. The farm offers an 8-week new farmer training workshop series in January and February and leases land to aspiring farmers and livestock producers. For more information see http://www.orangecountfarms.org/PLANTatBreeze.asp.