Last week The Wild Center hosted FlavorFest, an all day event built around the tastes of the North Country, and a great excuse to pay the museum a visit. The event was held in conjunction with the museum’s weekly Thursday Farmer’s Market and the vendors were in their usual location in the outdoor tent.
Food stations for the event were spread all over the museum and its grounds however, and like the other visitors, I grabbed my food passport (visitors could stamp each location on their passport as they went) and walked the loop – sampling local kettle corn, salsa, kettle corn, salads, veggies, fudge, rhubarb concoctions, and kettle corn (noted multiple times intentionally – I bought a couple bags).
Adults sampled local beers and wines, while kids played games, had their faces painted, and happily consumed homemade ice cream. I was so busy trying all the fresh goodies and chatting with folks that I neglected to eat my own lunch! When I did eventually get to my lunch, I sat watching one of the local bands – in this case Big Slyde – play while I soaked up some rays in the sun.
The usual displays, animals, and animal programs were all going on during the day, of course, and many folks paused between bites to look at the otters, wood ducks, and other attractions at the museum. Not a bad deal to nibble on fresh fudge and watch otters play!
And while the event may seem like something you’d more likely find at a county fair, the environmental and economic benefits (which fit the museum’s education mission) of eating locally grown and produced foods are many. For instance, local food does not have to be shipped far and therefore it saves on fossil fuels and other energetic emissions. That’s important to conserving many natural places not only in the Adirondacks, but also throughout the world.
And while that important message was something The Wild Center wanted many visitors to understand as they walked the food circuit passport in hand, visitors also learned for themselves just how tasty local food can be. And that is something everyone was happy to discover. And although it will be about a year until FlavorFest returns in August, 2014, it isn’t too early to keep it in mind for next year. And The Wild Center’s weekly Farmer’s Market will continue into September each Thursday, so stop by if you are in the neighborhood. And with that I’m off to find a snack of Cajun kettlecorn. You just can’t beat it.