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RSW Living Magazine

Transition Sarasota's Seventh Annual Eat Local Week Underway

Oct 21, 2017 06:36AM ● By Kevin

Photo courtesy of Transition Sarasota.

Eat Local Week, Transition Sarasota’s annual celebration of local food, returned for its seventh consecutive year this past Friday, and will run through Oct. 29. According to a Transition Sarasota press release, the 10-day festival began with a keynote talk by Samantha Benjamin-Kirk, a leader in strengthening local food systems by implementing farm-to-school initiatives around the Southeast on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Eat Local Week has a little something for everyone," said Cooper Levey-Baker, a professional journalist, and integral team member at Transition Sarasota. "We've got fun farm-to-table dinners for people who love a good meal, lectures and discussions for those who want to learn more about our food system, DIY demonstrations on how to grow your own food and plenty of family-oriented events with fun stuff for kids. We're excited and hope you can join us!"

Additionally, the festival hosts tours of local farms and food operations. Benjamin-Kirk's speech leads the event. She is a nationally recognized expert in incorporating traditional and indigenous foods into school meals.

"Farm-to-school practices have been shown to increase the number of students purchasing healthy meals at school and to reduce food waste," the press release said.

Today marks the second annual Big Mama’s Collard Green Fest, which challenges local chefs and cooks to create samples out of their best collard green recipes. The event begins at noon. Locals are encouraged to sample Cajun, Creole, Southern and Caribbean flavors, with supporting performances of live music. Additionally, SweetSong Groves Fruit Tree Paradise Workshop, a three-hour class introducing fruit tree horticulture, takes place at 2 p.m.

Remaining Eat Local Week events include:
  • Oct. 22 at noon - Geraldson Fall Harvest Fest
  • Oct. 23 at 9 a.m. - Transition Sarasota's Suncoast Gleaning Project Season Kick-off
  • Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. - Slow Food Greater Sarasota Presents Farm-to-Table Dinner
  • Oct. 24 at 4 p.m. - Cause an Effect at Chipotle
  • Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. - Growing Herbs in Florida
  • Oct. 25 at 10 a.m. - Mote Aquaculture Park Tour
  • Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. - Green Path Farm Veterans Appreciation Dinner
  • Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. - Films for a Future Presents: Growing Cities
  • Oct. 28 at 9 a.m. - School Garden Open House
  • Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. - Rare Fruit Tree Tour
  • Oct. 29 at 11:30 a.m. - Medicinal & Edible Plants in our Landscapes with Bob Linde
  • Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. - Growing Herbs in Florida with Bob Linde
Overall, the event hosts more than a dozen independently organized events in venues throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties, each year, and draws thousands of attendees.

About Transition Sarasota

Transition Sarasota is a Sarasota-based nonprofit that is dedicated to shifting food consumption to local sources, supporting local businesses and farmers and eradicating food scarcity in our community. Its two signature initiatives are Eat Local Week, an annual celebration of local food, and the Suncoast Gleaning Project, a seasonal program during which volunteers harvest Jessica’s Organic Farm produce and donate it to All Faiths Food Bank. The Gleaning Project has delivered more than 248,000 pounds of fresh, organic produce into the hands of our community’s hungry families since the program launched in 2010.