Room for foodies at upcoming small farms expo

While most of the classes and workshops at the West Sound Small Farms Expo are focused on food growers, a series of four are focus on food making and food systems. Other classes focus on marketing, livestock and horticulture.

The expo is Saturday March 5 and runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $55 and lunch is provided. More info is available on WSU Kitsap extension’s website. Even better, Diane Fish and Shannon Harkness are writing a multiple posts on the expo on the expo on the expo in the Kitsap Farm to Fork blog.

Kicking off the food system sessions is Amy Pennington, a Seattle woman who triple times as a gardner, cook and food writer, and is most recently noted for her book Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchen. She’ll talk about keeping a well-stocked pantry for all-season sustainability. She’s also the lunchtime keynote speaker, when she’ll talk about urban farming, sustainability and resourcefulness. She’ll also be there with books to sign.

The second session is on the Kitsap Food Co-op. The fourth is on changes coming to Kitsap County’s codes to make the county more farm-friendly.

But it’s the third food-system session that most piques my interest: charcuterie. Olympic College culinary instructor chef Chris Plemmons will take on a whole hog, describing butchery and meat preservation.

As part of a video class about two years ago, I sat in on an OC culinary class. The chef stood in front of the class inside a dining room at a large, stainless steel table with one of those tilting overhead mirrors so students could watch him cut as he talked. Students were then randomly assigned cuts to perform.

The video I shot that day did not make it out of class because it wasn’t for the faint of heart, those of us who are far more used to seeing pork chops only on white Styrofoam trays covered in plastic wrap. Regardless, it was one of the more interesting food demonstrations I’ve seen. It also made me appreciate a wider variety of cuts and feel guilty about only buying bacon and pork loin from that pig.

Whether farmer or foodie, I’d love to hear your take on the expo if you go.