Proposal for “Livingston County Local Flavors” Workshop

Livingston County Local Flavors

Project Proposal for Carol Robinson ‘s The Life Skills Class, Geneseo Central School.
Draft 1.  4/21/2010
Submitted by Kala Stein for Buy Local/ Build a Future

This workshop will explore local food, food heritage and the future of food in Livingston county through 4 components: research, recipes, creative documentation (digital cookbook) and ceramic plate installation. Research & recipes administered by Carol Robinson will be posted on class blog by the students- images, text, video and audio will be included.
Kala will collate the recipes and accompanying images into the Digital Cookbook (pdf format) and publish on blog. Concluding events are mentioned in #5.

This project is meant to have a strong community component. Students should source community members and organizations for the research and will be giving back to the community through information and free recipes on the blog. I imagine this project to be “full circle” starting from the community and ultimately giving back to the community. I hope that we are looking forward, into the future of our economy, our health, and our sustainability as a small rural county. The Slow Food Movement acted is a catalyst for this project. Many of the Slow Food Movement’s programs are pushing forward through youth initiatives that we can take cue from. Perhaps in this workshop we focus on raising awareness and promoting local businesses, sustainability, and healthy eating.

1. Research
Be creative and unconventional- books, online, interviews with farmers, restaurateurs, chefs, historical societies, heritage sites, stories, paintings/art etc. Many old-timers may be excellent resources for information! Take a field trip to a local CSA (in Lima?). Explore social/community implications of food and eating. Look into Slow Food Movement (Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world).

Become a “food detective”!
How do food trends travel? How has agriculture thrived or declined in the area over time? What is regionalism, or regional identity? How does the weather or soil composition effect what grows well? How does heritage parallel with cuisine?

2. Recipes
How are the recipes developed? We should incorporate as much “local flavor” as possible- ingredients that are grown in the area and are available through farmers markets and road-side stands. A list of ingredients and sources should be documented on blog and in recipe. (The history of salt in the area might be of interest)
With this information, we help link consumers directly to the producers-  Promoting people to think and act locally!

3. Creative Documentation
The blog component will “publish” the creative research from the workshop (images, text, audio, and video are all great!). The students will curate the information and images that will be on the blog, representing the overall mission of the project. The aesthetics of the blog should be considered and a logo and color scheme can be developed to represent the county/region/food. The blog will also feature our Digital Cookbook, featuring the local heritage class recipes. The public can view and print for personal use. This will link the student’s efforts to the community.
-Do our efforts help establish an online food guide through Livingston County Tourism? Ontario county has one!
See Ontario County’s food & producer guide:

4. Ceramic Plate Installation (meal or other venue)
We will be creating a 3D cookbook using a ceramic decal process*.
Ceramic dinner plates will be purchased (from Corning or second hand) and we fire decals of the written recipe as well as our “logo” onto the plates. The set table will be our installation art project and will be photographed throughout the dining event (then posted on the blog). As the food is eaten, the food enjoyed, the recipe is revealed. We also have the option of making 2 runs of the plates so that one set can be displayed on the wall while the other is in use. This also allows each student to keep a plate and the grouping can stay together for display.
The ceramic plates have the flexibility to be displayed on the wall using plate hangers (ideas: chamber of commerce, tourism bureau, school, or local bank or post office), as well as on a horizontal surface.
Who comes to our meal? Do we invite farmers? Is the event recorded through sound/video?

*Ceramic Decal Process: With my HP laser printer I am able to print and black and white image onto special decal paper. The decal is easily applied, like a sticker, to the glazed plate. Industrial white ware or vintage plates are perfect for this. The plate is then fired to ∆04 and the iron in the printer ink infuses into the glaze, leaving a detailed sepia-colored image. This process if very easy, affordable and food safe. My printer only results the sepia color, we can order other colored decals at a local company in Alfred, NY if we would like to further embellish the plates.

5. Concluding Assembly & Feast
From my understanding we will conclude the workshop with two events- the public assembly as well as a meal. I propose that along with the projected digital images, the plates can be installed on a wall for viewing, or perhaps a banquet table is set and on display with the recipe plates. This event could be open to the public or at a non-conventional site that is more open to the community.
At the meal we would eat off the plates and special guests who contributed to the feast and/or the research could be invited. The food will be excellent! Perhaps it is held at a farm, or in a park, in the form of a picnic!

Sources and Resources:
American Traditions Picnics:
US Youth Food Movement:
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies:
Foxfire (the original!! a 1966 student-produced magazine containing stories and interviews gathered from elders in their rural Southern Appalachian community.)

One Response to Proposal for “Livingston County Local Flavors” Workshop
  1. Kala Stein
    April 25, 2010 | 7:23 pm
    Kala Stein

    I encourage feedback and I would love to hear if you have had any experiences similar to this…