Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre may not be happening in the usual way in Torino this year but no pandemic was ever going to stop the course of true food and Terra Madre has emerged as an online extended event, reaching out across the world to engage with not only its members but also a world population who wish a better planet, safer fairer food and good health for themselves and their loved ones. Slow Food and its good, clean, fair mantra offers you that opportunity. 

There are exciting and engaging online events across the planet. I for one shall definitely be logging on to Terra Madre 2020

Here in UK, Shane Holland has masterminded an online event for our four nations – full programme here https://terramadrefringe.com and I am delighted to be among the participating guests online for this entirely free event from 8th – 12th October. Also participating over the weekend are Scottish Food Guide members Giovanna Eusebi, Peelham Farm, Scotland the Bread’s Andrew Whitley, Carina and Victor Contini, Errington Cheese, Fred Berkmiller… and maybe more?

Carina & Victor Contini on stage at Royal Highland Show 2019

There are many diverse and fascinating presentations and debates, from Cooks’ Alliance to politics and fishing industry to chocolate! As we all know food and politics are indeed inextricably interconnected whether we like it or not. We can join broadcasts from Wales and Paula McIntyre from Northern Ireland, view Zev Robinson’s films, and experience virtual visits to organic farms. Via the internet we have the potential to be in touch with even more kindred spirits than in Italy, much as we miss the experience and bonding Terra Madre always brings. I am particularly keen to hear Carolyn Steel, author of a favourite of mine, Hungry City, along with Patrick Holden of Sustainable Food Trust.

Wendy with Cullen Skink by Bosse’s logs!

And as for us? Well we have pre-recorded a set of video shorts on Scotland’s Ark of Taste produce that will be shown this weekend as part of the online discussion events, inviting Q&A from YOU. Like all the others, it is free to join however if you would like to support the producers there is also a Slow Food Ark Selection available to purchase online complete with my recipe ideas reflecting the food culture associated with the products. Click on this link for full details Slow Food Ark Selection  

Sat 10th Oct @ 7pm: Scotland’s Ark @ Terra Madre: Part 1

Wendy presents a series of 3 video shorts on Sheep & the Importance of Pasture Fed Ruminants (with a wee peek at Bosse scything on our Småland croft), Grains & Pulses, Vegetables & Wild Foods, all on Scotland’s Ark of Taste with Q&A sessions for you to discover more about these hidden gems and forgotten foods. 

Sun11th Oct @ 1pm: Scotland’s Ark @ Terra Madre: Part 2

Wendy presents the second part of her 3 video shorts, this time on Fish & Seafood, Heritage Cattle and Scotland’s Four Ark Cheeses complete with live Q&A as in part1.

As with all events, click on the Terra Madre Fringe link to book your free tickets. We look forward to seeing you all. Spread the word too – the silver cloud in this horrifically challenging year may be the opportunity to fertilise the groundswell of interest in local food production and the skilled chefs in their kitchens, supporting cooks, farmers and producers. It is our chance to turn hearts and minds. So often, we must admit, we can be preaching in an echo chamber but this time we have the opportunity to reach so many more than our equally valuable kindred spirits flying the flag.

Living in Fife, we are acutely aware of the excessive and polluting flaring at Mossmorran just now and I am old enough to recall the heated debates over its planning permission. I even joined a protest group, gripping my placard outside a factory Gordon Brown happened to be visiting in Kirkcaldy at the time! I was a teenage student #justsaying! Elsewhere segments of our aquaculture and land-based industrial farming practices are doing a good job of destroying our environment, yet Scotland has so much to offer in terms of ethical and interesting economic growth. Potential that is oft-times considered whacky, hippy, hobby or historic by the ‘big money’ to the point where sometimes one can feel swept under the proverbial rug. However that never stops us burning for what we believe in and what we see as a future with a healthier planet: sustainable food production, improved mental health and a stronger society for the next generation.

These past months many of us have experienced illness close up, shaky bank balances and insecure moments but I speak to so many good friends who are also taking stock as we find our ways to deal with it. Keep in touch. Pick up the phone. We are there for each other and we personally are overwhelmed by the kind comments we too have received. Onwards we go…stay safe x

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Last but not least, the observant among you will see there have been some subtle changes on Scottish Food Guide. Like the proverbial swan there is a lot of action out of sight! We are nearly there – optimising entries, streamlining links, enhancing opportunities for members and accessibility for readers.  This was prompted by an essential mapping upgrade but has resulted in more recipes, features and improved display formats. There will be a re-launch very soon so look out for the new home page pic!