Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

July 27, 2011

Ag extension offers homegrown potluck

By AMANDA LOVIZA
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — The Barren County Cooperative Extension Office is hosting its third annual 100 Mile Potluck on Saturday to encourage local residents to eat locally grown food.

“The 100 Mile Potluck is an event that we hold to highlight locally-grown produce, grown within 100 miles of Barren County,” said Kristin Goodin, the Barren County extension agent for horticulture.

The potluck is a great time to learn about locally grown food and to start new friendships, Goodin said. Past potlucks have brought crowds of 50-80 people, and it gives Barren County residents a chance to meet new people and eat delicious food at the same time.

“It’s mainly a get-together with good food, friends and camaraderie with the community,” Goodin said.

Community members are encouraged to make any kind of dish that highlights produce, meat, eggs or dairy produced within 100 miles of Barren County. Dishes should feed eight to 10 people, Goodin said, and the extension would like those who bring dishes to include the recipe with the dish, so that others who enjoy the dishes can recreate them at home.

The agriculture extension agency is strictly educational, so the goal of all programs the agency puts on is to educate the public. The hope is that this potluck will help locals learn about the importance of eating locally-grown food, Goodin said. An average piece of produce in a supermarket has traveled 1,500 miles. Not only is locally-grown food fresher and therefore more nutritious, it also hasn’t had the negative environmental impact of produce that has been transported across the country or across the world.

“If you shop locally, you understand that it’s actually cheaper, because (the food) hasn’t traveled as far,” Goodin said.

Buying food that has been grown in Barren County means that the food dollars stay in Barren County, which gives “more bang for your buck,” Goodin said, and it benefits local farmers instead of distant corporations.

Goodin said she hopes this year’s potluck will be well-received, and community members learn something about the benefits of buying local. For those who are unsure of how to prepare a dish with local produce, there will be recipe cards available at the extension office Saturday before the potluck. Past attendees have given very positive feedback about the potluck, Goodin said, and the extension office is looking forward to Saturday’s event. Local entertainment will be provided, and awards will be given for best homegrown produce and a Tasters’ Choice award for the best dish. The potluck will start at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Barren County extension office auditorium, and it will go until about 7 p.m.