Seed Savers Exchange invites everyone to the launch of its 2013 dinner and lecture series: participants leave with a full belly and new perspectives in thinking about plant diversity and enhancing garden habitats.
David Buchanan, Maine-based author of the book "Taste, Memory: Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter," will discuss the hidden strengths of forgotten garden vegetables and why we need to preserve them Saturday, June 22, at the Lillian Goldman Visitors Center at Heritage Farm.
Cost is $30 for both the dinner and lecture.
"As seed savers, we know even the humblest plants can hold something of value, but we make decisions every day that involve tradeoffs," Buchanan writes. "How much of our limited time and attention will we give to a shell pea that yields poorly, or a tomato that succumbs early to disease? Farmers face all kinds of constraints, while gardeners also have criteria for success. We search for flavor, high yields and disease resistance, preferably rolled into one convenient package. Who among us, then, will be responsible for the ongoing care of underappreciated plants, and preservation of their hidden strengths? What are the respective roles of home gardeners, genebanks and commercial growers?"
Buchanan has worked on ranches and garden nurseries; operated a landscape design company specializing in native plant restoration; managed a community nonprofit's educational farm; and helped found the Portland, Maine, chapter of Slow Food USA.
He oversees production for Old Ocean House Farms in Cape Elizabeth, where he grows more than 250 varieties of fruit as well as herbs and heirloom vegetables. Currently he is developing a farm winery and planting orchards to produce hard cider through his business Origins Fruit.
The evening begins at 6 p.m. with an opportunity to socialize and explore the surrounding gardens and trails; appetizers to follow.
The Pepperfield Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and teaching hands-on cooking, gardening and agrarian life skills, will furnish a full-course dinner at 7 p.m. served in Diane's Garden (next to the Lillian Goldman Visitors Center).
The menu will highlight the season's offerings.
Lecture begins at 8 p.m. and will run until 9, with time after the lecture for questions.