Pssst, are there any fellow weather wimps out there? People who would love to grouse about winter being so long and cruel, but realize that's crazy here in USDA zone 7? Join me in not complaining but quietly counting the 30-something days until spring begins. And read on about farmers, food and green things.
The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension has organized a show and tell at Piedmont Biofarm (4783 Moncure-Pittsboro Road, Moncure, 321-8260, www.biofuels.coop/biofarm) from 4 p.m. sharp until dark Wednesday, Feb. 18. This farm visit is for farmers of all levels and also eaters interested in learning more about our local farms. Cost is free and you don't need to register; just show up a little early so the tour can begin promptly.
Piedmont Biofarm operator Doug Jones has been farming for 38 years. He and his crew sell at the Durham Farmers' Market and also through a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. The show and tell will focus on winter production of crops and season-extending techniques for root and salad crops, cooking greens, leeks, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, head lettuce and herbs.
For families dining out less and cooking at home more these days, King Arthur Flour offers some math: You can bake a loaf of white bread for about $2; roughly half the cost of buying one. Bake a loaf of white bread? Yes you can, says spokeswoman Allison Furbish—and King Arthur can help.
The Vermont-based company gives free workshops throughout the country, and on Saturday, Feb. 21, visits Raleigh's Delightful Inspirations (5511 Avent Ferry Road, 854-9543, www.delightfulinspirations.com). Lessons on sweet and savory yeast breads commence at 11 a.m.; festive cookies and pies follow at 3 p.m.
"The art of baking is not being handed down the way it once was, and we're trying to bridge that gap," says Furbish, who has seen crowds of up to 400 at similar events.
King Arthur makes more than a dozen varieties of flour, including three organic ones that are milled locally, at Lindley Mills in Graham. If classes aren't your thing, you can join the "baking circle" and subscribe to an e-newsletter at kingarthurflour.com, where you'll find lots of other passionate cooks baking bread the old-fashioned way.
Speaking of real food, UNC's Friday Center hosts the Real Food Real Medicine conference Feb. 27 through March 1. The conference aims "to educate and raise awareness in communities of people about their health, their food supply and sustainable farming practices for environmental preservation."
The three-day event features speakers Sally Fallon Morrell, a chef, nutrition researcher and author; and Joel Salatin, a Virginia farmer who was featured in Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma. Cost for the conference is $200 per person (less for students, farmers and senior citizens), including lunch and snacks. Some scholarships are available. For information or to register, call 932-6262, ext. 10, or visit www.realfoodrealmedicine.com.
Know about a fun food happening in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at firstname.lastname@example.org.