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CapeCod 26/04/2010 - 03:33PM

Food, Farms & Films festival a huge success!

Our first-ever Food, Farms & Films festival was a smashing success last weekend, as passers-by stopped into peruse the farmer's market, and stayed to learn more about local food production, hydroponics, composting... and three great docs from Cinema Politica!


We kicked off the afternoon with a smorgasboard of early-spring produce: Swiss chard, garlic, catnip, lime baum, and goat's milk soap from TomTen Farm (Hatchville); sorrel, chives, and other mysterious herbs from Eva's Garden (S. Dartmouth); salad greens, duck eggs, and seedlings from Coonamessett Farm (Hatchville); and just-plucked-from-the-coop hen eggs from DaSilva Farm (E. Falmouth)!


Laura and Lynne also had some amazing vegan cookies and muffins for those of us who needed a sugar boost!

 It was especially great to see the tourists and kids passing by on bicycle to check out the hubub on this usually quiet section of Water Street (now that the Woods Hole Market has been closed for over a year!). Their curiousity was rewarded with Phil's hydroponics system, which he built using old soda bottles, aquarium pumps and tubing, coconut husk bedding and clay pellets! (Good use for that science degree, Phil!). Those who checked out Jane's vermicomposting demonstration had a chance to win a vermicomposter-- if they could guess how many pounds of food 1,000 worms can eat in one day (7 lbs, or one per day). Congrats to Mitzi, who answered the raffle question correctly!


Jessie from Buy Fresh Buy Local let everyone know about the myriad (but
sometimes hidden) farms and markets where we can buy local food.

Artist and teacher Amy Leigh West gives Lucia a kid's tattoo!

 Maureen'shandmade chicken coop and baby chickens were also a big hit with the young 'uns. And Grant, who works part time with the Kansas-based Land Institute, told the story of the Land Institute's quest to develop a non-GMO strain of perennial wheat, restoring the prairie soil and supplying more nutrition and income for farmers.


To set the mood for a real hoe-down, Cattle Dog Sidecar (Rusty Strange on slide guitar; farmer and songwriter extraordinare Ted Perry; Vineyard bassist Shawn Barber) strummed, hummed, and crooned the afternoon away. Mike Risch and Jim Bowen rocked out on the fiddle, just before we segued into the day's first film, The Fight for True Farming. Stan, from Coonamessett Farms, followed up with some insight into farming on Cape Cod (not easy!)

 With the produce sold out, the farmer's market wrapped up around 5 PM, but after watching The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, the audience wanted to know what it could do to encourage a market or coop to set up in Woods Hole-- a village of 5,000 that swells exponentially in the summer. Warning that inflation, rising energy prices, and mounting debt will cause the economy to go haywire within the next two years, Falmouth Ag Comm member John Hotchkiss outlined the group's microfarming initiative, in which people with land or willing hands can connect to grow food, or trade produce, growing tips, and ideas.

Those who stuck around for the third film, The Future of Food, were rewarded with the rich imagery and insight of Deborah Koons Garcia, into the dangers of GMO food-- and potential for locally-produced, organic agriculture. We got to hear more from Grant about the Land Institute's research, which has ties to Falmouth through the New Alchemy Institute.

 If you weren't able to make the event-- don't worry! We're producing a video of the day, which will be available through this blog and locally on Channel 13. (Just give us a month!)

Big thanks to all the vendors (Karen, Stan, Ted, Laura & Lynne), the demonstrators (Phil, Grant, Jane, Jessie), the musicians (Rusty, Ted, Shawn, Mike, Jim), and amazing volunteers (Connor, Joe, Lafe, Daniel, Niko, Amy, Elise). Special thanks to Tara for taking the above photos! And big big ups to everyone who came to make this event a super fun success!!

We had so much fun that we're already contemplating the next event-- Harvest Festival, anyone?