Near spring, a young person's fancy lightly turns to local foods. Indulge your yearnings at two recurring events:
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thurs., March 10, at Chatham University's Athletic and Fitness Center in Shadyside, it's the second Local Food Showcase. Organized by the Penn State Extension of Allegheny County, along with Chatham and its master of arts in food studies program, it's described as "a grower/buyer event" where both can network, learn and taste. Choose one of two workshops that morning:
• For consumers, "What is the real value of connecting to the local food system?" And;
• For farmers, "Pricing Techniques and Marketing Strategies to Increase Sales."
For these you must pre-register, which costs $50 and includes a table at the Local Food Showcase for farmers and producers, which include jam maker The Purple Spoon, Jamison Farm lamb and Pittsburgh Sports Sauce. Anyone can browse through the showcase, from 1 to 4 p.m., for $10, talking with producers and sampling their wares. In between, there's a brown bag lunch.
Then, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 25 to 26, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown, it's the fifth Farm to Table event. Tickets are $10 ($15 at the door) for one day and $20 ($25 at the door) for a two-day ticket.
Part of the wellness program offered by American HealthCare Group, the event is filled with cooking demonstrations, speakers and exhibitors. Speakers include Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation on "Traditional Diets and Raw Milk." Demos include a "Plants Not Pills: How Foods Fight Cancer Cooking Class" by Leah Lizarondo Shannon of The Cancer Project.
After the show Friday night, there's a Local Food Tasting, where more than 30 farms, restaurants, breweries and wineries ply attendees with samples. Entry to that costs an additional $25 ($40 at the door).
Buy tickets and find a full schedule of speakers and demonstrations and more at farmtotablepa.com.