At our centennial meeting we decided to add a new project. We will be tracking our personal food crops.
To see the form for reporting your food crops click here for PDF format Slow Food reporting form
Click here for WORD format Slow Food Form word
To see the slides Suzanne promised showing what we can include click here Centennial Food Crops Project
Slow Food Potluck
The Bucks branch holds an annual potluck dinner and book discussion each winter. All attendees are asked to consider using local ingredients for their contributions to the dinner, and we try to achieve at least 50% locally grown or raised food, using organic where possible. This is an ambitious goal, since winter is not part of our food-growing season, but members get creative in finding locally produced food. This year’s potluck easily surpassed the 50% mark. Local ingredients included organic chicken, sausage, cheese, organic greens of surprising variety, greenhouse grape tomatoes, locally milled grains, some of which are grown locally, and our own members’ preserved tomatoes and blackberries! We shared information about where to find local produce in the winter and compared prices. The book this year was “Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver” by Diane Ott Whealy who, with her then-husband Kent Whealy, founded Seed Savers Exchange. The book was informative, inspiring, and had beautiful artwork. The potluck tradition offers a welcome chance to discuss a topic of interest with others who are passionate about gardening, to challenge ourselves to source locally, and to enjoy other members’ culinary skills.
Moss Garden Tour
In May, the Bucks branch toured a local garden specializing in mosses. For about two weeks each spring, David Benner opens his Bucks County home garden to small groups of visitors. Benner, who, with his son, owns Moss Acres, has turned his 3 ½ acre plot into a woodland wonderland, filled with a variety of mosses and groundcovers, interspersed with other woodland gems and unusual varieties of evergreens, many of them in very limited use in the U.S. Members ooh’d and aah’d over miterwort (Mitella diphylla), tassel ferns (Polystichum polyblepharum), Quaker Ladies (Houstonia caerulea), and a moss hill sprinkled with fruiting partridge berry (Mitchella repens). Skimmia japonica reevesiana, Dwarf Japanese (compacta)and Korean (Tide Hill) boxwood provide year-round interest, and a marvelously pruned pygmy hemlock serves as a canopy over a gathering spot near the tour’s end. Benner is an engaging guide, sharing the strategy he used for converting a shady ground covering of difficult and time-consuming grass into almost care-free mosses. He had stories about how many of the plants were acquired, often as gifts and sometimes smuggled into the US in unexpected (Gymnaster in under garments?) ways. David Benner’s garden is well worth a detour if you find yourself in Eastern Pennsylvania in early May – just be sure to call ahead to reserve a spot.