Farming for Justice: Cultivate Series Coming to Saratoga October 1st-3rd

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Saratoga Performing Arts Center announced that it has partnered with Pitney Meadows Community Farm and Skidmore College to present its new “Cultivate Series” on October 1-3 in advance of its reimagined Saratoga Wine and Food Festival on October 4-5.

Featuring experts including Soul Fire Farm co-founder, author, activist and farmer Leah Penniman, author of Fasting and Feasting Adam Federman, and Ayurvedic expert and classically trained chef Austin Peltier, the Cultivate Series will offer four free events in the community that explore sustainable agriculture, health, and environmental justice.

“Our new Cultivate Series was created to enhance our reimagined wine and food festival with free, public events that will explore sustainability, and socially-conscious cultivation and consumption. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Pitney Meadows Community Farm and Skidmore College, two incredibly important institutions in our community,” said Elizabeth Sobol, President & CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.  

Kicking off the series on October 1 at 7 p.m. will be The Science of Life: An Introduction to Ayurvedic Cooking with Austin Peltier, a presentation on the core concepts and cooking methods of Ayurveda, a 5,000 year old wellness practice originating in India that seeks to create a strong, balanced, and healthy body through a thoughtful and focused diet. Following the presentation there will be a tasting that incorporates the guiding principles of the Ayurvedic practice.

Leah Penniman, a Black Kreyol educator, farmer, author of Farming While Black, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY, will lead a workshop entitled Building a Just Food System with Leah Penniman on October 2 at 3 p.m. and a lecture, Farming While Black: African Diasporic Wisdom for Farming and Food Justice on October 2 at 7 p.m.

Closing out the series on October 3 at 7 p.m. is a lecture by Adam Federman who will discuss his biography Fasting and Feasting about Patience Gray, one of the true pioneers of the return to slow food and foraging – and an inspiration for what has become the farm-to-table movement.

The Cultivate Series events are all free, however, reservations are required. Visit spac.org for details.

Presented at the end of SPAC’s classical season, and for the first time during the fall harvest season, The Saratoga Wine and Food Festival will celebrate the bounty and talent of the region from the Hudson Valley to the Adirondacks. Featuring a new farm-to-table inspired dinner on Friday night and Saturday’s signature Grand Tasting, the festival will feature fine wines, tastings from regional and international chefs, live music curated by  Caffè Lena, a sculpture garden presented by The Hyde Collection featuring works by artist John Van Alstine, and photographic works of art created from compostables by Terri-Lynn Pellegri. The festival is SPAC’s largest fundraiser to support educational programming in the community, which has gone from serving 5,000 students to more than 49,000 students in four years. Tickets to the festival are available online at spac.org, at the box office or by calling 518-584-9330.

CULTIVATE SERIES SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

TUESDAY, OCT. 1 | 7PM: The Science of Life: An Introduction to Ayurvedic Cooking with Austin Peltier

Skidmore College Fallstaff Pavilion

Austin Peltier will delve into the practice and cooking methods of Ayurveda, a 5,000 year old wellness practice originating in India that seeks to create a strong, balanced, and healthy body through a thoughtful and focused diet.

Chef Peltier will offer a presentation on the core concepts of Ayurveda and associated cooking techniques, followed by a tasting that will incorporate the guiding principles of the practice. Participants will be encouraged to participate in a Q&A following the tasting.

Visit spac.org for details or register here.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 2 | 3PM: Building a Just Food System with Leah Penniman

Pitney Meadows Community Farm

Building a Just Food System with Leah Penniman will feature games, stories and theater activities focused on the concept of Food Justice at Pitney Meadows Community Farm on October 2 from 3 – 4:30pm. Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol educator, farmer, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. She co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2011 with the mission to end racism in the food system and reclaim a sense of ancestral connection to land.

Visit spac.org for details or register here.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 2 | 7PM: Leah Penniman Presents Farming While Black: African Diasporic Wisdom for Farming and Food Justice

Pitney Meadows Community Farm

Leah Penniman will discuss her new book Farming While Black, and how to be a part of the movement for food sovereignty, helping to build a food system based on justice, dignity, and abundance for all members of the community. 

Visit spac.org for details or register here.

THURSDAY, OCT. 3 | 7PM:  Fasting and Feasting with Adam Federman

Pitney Meadows Community Farm

Adam Federman will lead a discussion about his biography Fasting and Feasting, which tells the remarkable life story of Patience Gray: from her privileged and intellectual upbringing in England, to her trials as a single mother during World War II, to her career working as a designer, editor, translator, and author, and her travels and culinary adventures in later years. A slow food and foraging pioneer, Gray is considered the true grandmother of what has become the farm-to-table movement. Her influence, particularly among chefs and food writers, has had a lasting and profound effect on the way society views and celebrates food and regional cuisines.

A Q&A and book signing opportunity will follow the talk.

Visit spac.org for details or register here.

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About The Saratoga Wine and Food Festival

The Saratoga Wine and Food Festival is Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s primary fundraiser for its educational programming. Over the past four years, SPAC has greatly increased the breadth and depth of educational offerings to the community in pursuit of the belief that every child should have the opportunity to experience the life-enhancing benefits that accompany participation in the performing arts.  Since 2015, SPAC’s education programs have gone from serving 5,000 students to more than 49,000 students in 2019.  Through new initiatives this season such as the in-school “Ballet in Fifth” program with New York City Ballet as well as signature events including The Adirondack Trust Company Festival of Young Artists and SPAC’s “Classical Kids” in-school program presented by Union College, the venue offered more than 400 unique education programs and partnered with more than 120 schools and non-profit organizations across the greater Capital Region.   

For more information about the festival or how to support SPAC’s educational programming, visit spac.org.

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