Farm to Table Show Continues to Grow

By Sodergren, Rebecca | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), March 21, 2013 | Go to article overview

Farm to Table Show Continues to Grow


Sodergren, Rebecca, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Raise chickens in your back yard, make herbal soap, whip up some homemade butter, build a raised-bed garden, tap your maples to make syrup, and get healthy while you're at it.

You can learn about all these topics and many more at the Farm to Table Pittsburgh Conference, which has a "Do It Yourself" theme this year. It's Friday and Saturday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown, and it features a big crowd of exhibitors and speakers from Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Besides the conference itself, there are two opportunities to try foods from local vendors: a Local Food Tasting event with food and drink samples immediately after the conference Friday, and a Saturday morning breakfast and cooking demo featuring local foods.

Here's the skinny on all the events:

Local Food Tasting: From 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, more than 40 local vendors -- farms, wineries, bakers, butchers and more -- will offer samples of kimchi, gluten-free foods, cheeses, pierogies, juices, honey, maple syrup, meats, jams and jellies, breads, milk, salsa, coffee, whiskey, vodka, beer, wine and more. The Post-Gazette/ PGPlate.com is a sponsor, and so the PG food team will be there, too, including writer Gretchen McKay, food editor Bob Batz Jr. and my fellow columnist Miriam Rubin with her new cookbook, "Tomatoes."

Saturday Networking Breakfast: Conference vendors are donating ingredients for breakfast, although a menu hadn't yet been set at press time. During breakfast, Cheryl Bagley of Rejuvitrition, a nutrition-coaching service, will do a cooking demo featuring several breakfast dishes -- most likely a yogurt bar, sweet potato hash and a egg dish with mushrooms and goat cheese.

"I would do anything to get people off boxed cereal," she said.

The breakfast runs from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday.

Conference: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, the exhibit hall will be stuffed with more than 70 farms, CSAs, nutritionists, nutrition-conscious medical professionals, gardening experts, nonprofits and mom-and-pop food businesses, all handing out information, selling wares and offering samples. (See recipe for Sito's Mediterranean Chicken Salad from one of the exhibitors, Sito's Foods, at post-gazette.com/food.)

Throughout both days, speakers will address many topics, from growing and preserving food to understanding nutrition and wellness. A few of the speakers are Carrie Hahn of the Weston A. Price Foundation, speaking on "Don't Toss the Bones: Bone Broth is Beautiful," 2:30 p.m. Friday; Jake Seltman of Grow Pittsburgh, on starting a successful school gardening program, 3:30 p.m. Friday; Will Clower of Mediterranean Wellness, on navigating the grocery store to get the most nutritional benefit, 10:30 a.m. Saturday; and Leslie Bonci of UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, on "Performance Eating: Fuel Your Body, Don't Fool Your Body," 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Some presentations will appeal specifically to kids, who get free conference admission. …

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