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Carin Schoppmeyer: Foraging first up in Apple Seeds workshop, dinner series

Apple Seedsteaches, feeds by Carin Schoppmeyer | April 18, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

Apple Seeds Teaching Farm's Wild Table workshop and dinner series took root April 11 in Fayetteville. Organizers say the series is "approaching food ethics, responsibility and the process of harvesting and curating food sourced from the wild. It is an exploration of self-reliance, feeding yourself and your family from wild resources responsibly and respectfully harvested."

At the table, the organizers continue, "we will merge the talents and expertise of the hunter, angler, butcher, forager, nutritionist and culinary artist as we take food from its point of origin to the table. This series will explore wild food as part of a healthy diet and as part of a sustainable food system."

The first installment of the series, "Forage and Feast: Early Spring Foraging," began at Veterans Memorial Park in Fayetteville with foraging forays into the forest led by experts Eric Fuselier; Jay Pitts; Bo Brown, author of "Foraging in the Ozarks"; and Stephanie Jordan, registered dietitian and nutritionist.

Fledgling foragers then adjourned to the Apple Seeds teaching kitchen for a dinner featuring their findings and created by Chef Haley O'Brien of Fractal NWA.

Future installments of the Wild Table series include:

• A Wild Dinner with Case Dighero, April 25 -- Rick Spicer will discuss the "wild" origins of our food and the ethics and sustainability of capturing food from wild resources, then Dighero "will continue the story by grilling, smoking, and putting fire to dinner";

• Summer Foraging: Mushroom Focus, June 27 -- Chef Kurt Plankenhorn of 28 Springs will share tips for preparing wild edibles, and Jordan will provide the background on the nutrition; and

• Fish Over Fire: Cooking Trout After the Catch, July 7 -- Spicer will lead the deboning and filleting lesson, followed by Darwin Beyer of Meiji leading a discussion about how to smoke and cure fish.

Tanya Collins, marketing director, tells me the nonprofit organization has been serving Northwest Arkansas since 2007 with the mission to "improve healthy living through garden-based education. We provide access, knowledge and skills to children about healthy food and build a connection to where it comes from. In 2020 we added donations of almost 5 tons of fresh produce to children and their families who need it most to our established educational program outreach."

Through its educational programs, in-person and virtually -- with swift, on-point adaptions when the need arose -- the group reached more than 9,000 students in 2020.

Collins says the group believes all children can have access to fresh fruits and vegetables; build a love for fresh, real food; be empowered with skills and nutritional knowledge for better food choices; and feel a sense of belonging when sitting down at the Apple Seeds table, either in-person or virtually.

For more event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.

Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]

Becky Miller, farm-to-table manger for Apple Seeds, places bags of vegetables bound for West Fork Public Schools in a bin Thursday, July 23, 2020, at the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Fayetteville. Visit nwaonline.com/200724Daily/ for today's photo gallery.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)
Becky Miller, farm-to-table manger for Apple Seeds, places bags of vegetables bound for West Fork Public Schools in a bin Thursday, July 23, 2020, at the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Fayetteville. Visit nwaonline.com/200724Daily/ for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)
Deborah Keazer puts a bouquet of fresh flowers in one of the baskets in the teaching kitchen at the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Fayetteville Friday, September 18, 2020, that will be distributed Saturday during the 2020 An Evening From the Farm fundraiser. Guests participating in the event have a choice of curbside pick up or enjoying a cocktail and live music with a limited group before their dinner pickup. The baskets contain the complete four course dinner, wine, and surprises that includes a preserved item from one of the chefs. Check out nwaonline.com/200919Daily/ and nwadg.com/photos for a photo gallery.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)
Deborah Keazer puts a bouquet of fresh flowers in one of the baskets in the teaching kitchen at the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Fayetteville Friday, September 18, 2020, that will be distributed Saturday during the 2020 An Evening From the Farm fundraiser. Guests participating in the event have a choice of curbside pick up or enjoying a cocktail and live music with a limited group before their dinner pickup. The baskets contain the complete four course dinner, wine, and surprises that includes a preserved item from one of the chefs. Check out nwaonline.com/200919Daily/ and nwadg.com/photos for a photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)
Cale Nicholson, farm manager at the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Fayetteville, harvest rainbow chard Monday, April 20, 2020, inside the high tunnel on the farm in Fayetteville. The fresh produce is bagged and partnered with an educational recipe book for distribution. This week's harvest is going to Fayetteville's Outback Pantry. Over the past weeks produce and recipe books have been distributed to students at Owl Creek Elementary school in Fayetteville, and four schools in Springdale. Visit nwaonline.com/200421Daily/ and nwadg.com/photos for a photo gallery.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)
Cale Nicholson, farm manager at the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Fayetteville, harvest rainbow chard Monday, April 20, 2020, inside the high tunnel on the farm in Fayetteville. The fresh produce is bagged and partnered with an educational recipe book for distribution. This week's harvest is going to Fayetteville's Outback Pantry. Over the past weeks produce and recipe books have been distributed to students at Owl Creek Elementary school in Fayetteville, and four schools in Springdale. Visit nwaonline.com/200421Daily/ and nwadg.com/photos for a photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)
Brett Williams (right), program director for Apple Seeds, films and reviews the script of Ellen Carroll, cooking in school coordinator, as they rehearse a Nutrition Food Label segment inside the teaching kitchen at the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Fayetteville. Apple Seeds is producing instructional videos for distribution directly to students and for teachers to be used in their curriculum. Visit nwaonline.com/200426Daily/ and nwadg.com/photos for a photo gallery.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)
Brett Williams (right), program director for Apple Seeds, films and reviews the script of Ellen Carroll, cooking in school coordinator, as they rehearse a Nutrition Food Label segment inside the teaching kitchen at the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Fayetteville. Apple Seeds is producing instructional videos for distribution directly to students and for teachers to be used in their curriculum. Visit nwaonline.com/200426Daily/ and nwadg.com/photos for a photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)
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At a Glance

Wild Table Workshop and Dinner Series

Who: Apple Seeds Teaching Farm

What: Forage and Feast: Early Spring Foraging

When: April 11

Where: Veterans Memorial Park and Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Fayetteville

Next: A Wild Dinner with Case Dighero, April 25

Information: [email protected] or appleseedsnwa.org

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