Sustainable, affordable and local may be mere buzzwords to some, but those themes are central to next week’s local Food Day celebration.
Residents will be reintroduced to the produce, eggs, mushrooms, even water, that their own community has to offer in this four-day-long celebration that starts Wednesday. Parents can learn how to make their own baby food; families can attend workshops on planning their winter gardens and preserving what they grow.
Folks will even have a chance to dabble with fermented foods like sauerkraut as well as learn how to cook with delicacies found in Del Norte’s wilds.
“The focus is beyond locality,” said Connor Caldwell, one of the organizers of the event who works with Rural Human Services. “It’s on how easy it is to eat local.”
Sponsored by Building Healthy Communities, First 5 Del Norte, the Tobacco Use Prevention Program and Rural Human Services, Food Day is in its third year, both locally and nationally, said Angela Glore, a Building Healthy Communities food systems analyst.
Public events and workshops include a trivia night at Tomasini’s Enoteca, a recycling and composting workshop at the Family Resource Center and a local foods showcase at Wild Rivers Market. There is also a wide array of do-it-yourself workshops, including foraging for edible mushrooms, raising backyard chickens and canning and food preservation.
Most of those workshops are being taught by locals, Glore said.
“We have a lot of participation (from) folks involved in the Community Food Council,” she said. “The vast majority are people who are working with the community. The mushroom guy is from Oregon, but he comes here every year.”
When planning this year’s celebration, Glore said her goal was to come up with at least 10 events with at least 10 community partners and 500 people participating in the events.
This year’s national theme is food education, so in addition to public events, Glore and Caldwell reached out to local preschools as well as the Del Norte County Unified School District.
At least 160 preschool kids will receive kits that include First 5 California’s “Potter the Otter” book on the importance of drinking water. Pre-schoolers will also read the book “Eating the Alphabet” and make Halloween-themed snacks such as banana ghosts and tangerine pumpkins, Glore said.
Glore and Caldwell also provided Del Norte Unified School District with nutrition education curriculum guides developed by the Food Day organization. The district distributed those copies to local elementary schools, including Smith River School and Mountain School in Gasquet.
“We’re hoping to be in the outer communities that way,” Glore said.
The celebration kicks off with an infused water tasting event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Downtown Crescent City farmer’s market. The do-it-yourself food workshops will be held during the day Saturday at the Family Resource Center.
Here is a schedule of events:
• Potter the Otter’s infused water tasting, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., downtown Crescent City’s farmer’s market at the corner of Front and K streets.
• Food day story hour, 10-11 a.m., Family Resource Center, 494 Pacific Ave.
• Make your own baby food workshop at 11 a.m., Family Resource Center.
• Teen dinner, 5-7 p.m., Coastal Connections, 476 K St.
• Food Day trivia, 6 p.m., Tomasini’s Enoteca, 930 Third St.
• Little Recycler, how to grow a “teenie greenie,” 11 a.m.-noon, Family Resource Center.
• Family recycling workshop, 2-3 p.m., Family Resource Center.
• Rot is Hot home composting workshop, 3-4:30 p.m., Family Resource Center.
• Local Foods Showcase, 4-6 p.m., Wild Rivers Market, 450 M St.
Saturday, Oct. 26
• Potter the Otter book launch, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Crescent City Farmers Market at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds.
Do-it-yourself food workshops at Family Resource Center:
• Wild edible mushrooms with mycologist Bob Burch, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Raising backyard chickens with Stephanie and Savannah Alexandre, Alexandre Kids Eggs, 10 a.m.
• Cooking with foraged foods with Thomas Wortman and Paul Hess of the Historic Requa Inn, 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Planning your winter garden with Paul Madeira of Ocean Air Farms, 1-3 p.m.
• Canning and preservation with Jacki Bennett of the University of California Cooperative Extension, 2-3 p.m.