A glorious mess

Terra Madre 2008

Last Monday, Slow Food Portland members had a chance to hear some of the stories from October’s Terra Madre conference, told by our local delegates. Their tales ranged from acerbically funny accounts of “lost-in-translation” experiences to more poignant stories of the cultures they encountered. A common thread for many delegates was the overwhelming – and utterly Italian – logistical nightmare of the conference, but despite the confusion of the events, most of our delegates had some incredibly memorable moments. Whether they occurred within the panels and convention halls, or out amidst the trees of an Italian olive farm, these experiences are a part of the rich community that Terra Madre hopes to convene.

What many of our delegates brought back from Italy was a great appreciation for (and pride in) Oregon’s food community. They realized that the networking and ideas that many farmers and food producers needed to travel halfway around the world to experience, we’re lucky enough to have taking place in our backyard everyday. But for everyone who’s still curious about how Terra Madre went, we’ll be sharing some of the delegates’ words and pictures after the jump…

Portland’s MIX magazine just published an article on our local chef delegate’s trip to Terra Madre, featuring Scott Dolich, Mark Doxstader, Troy McLarty, Cathy Whims, and Nick Wood. A small gallery of photos snapped by Lovely Hula Hands’ McLarty rounds out the article, along with recipes by Whims and Dolich.

Portland steering committee member Linda Colwell  was fortunate enough to travel, farm-stay, and work in Romania during the weeks leading up to Terra Madre. Her photos capture some of the traditional foods and practices that survived through the former Soviet government, along with the people who help to keep them alive. Her story is an excellent instance of the sort of intercultural exchanges inspired by Terra Madre. If you’d like to learn more about her trip, you can download the transcript (.doc) of her presentation to read while you peruse her slide show:


Terra Madre 2008 – Romanian Farm Stay from Slow Food Portland on Vimeo.

Anne Berblinger of Gales Meadow Farm was also kind enough enough to share her thoughts and pictures with us. Take the time to download the text of her presentation (.doc) and read about the numerous programs that composed Terra Madre, including panels on climate change, young farmers, and endangered traditional foods. Reading over her words makes you realize what a truly ambitious undertaking it is to put on a conference that brings together such a diverse and global food movement. So take a look at her photos below and get a sense of how overwhelming (and incredible) the experience must have been:


Terra Madre 2008 Slideshow – Gale’s Meadow Farm from Slow Food Portland on Vimeo.

Thanks for sharing