Growing an aware food community: upcoming events at the Bologna Earth Market
This weekend the Bologna Earth Market not only offered residents an opportunity to stock up on healthy sustainable food, produced just outside their city’s boundaries, but also encouraged them to reflect upon how we can all have access to such food. The Italian NGO Manitese, established in the 1960s, joined producers to promote Food for World – a national campaign to encourage citizens and local authorities to lobby together for a new approach in Europe that helps alleviate world poverty. Volunteers distributed information on food security and the right of all people to decide their agricultural and food policies, and distributed cotton bags to the Saturday morning shoppers.
Market visitors are a regular occurrence in Bologna, and nearly every week a special guest lends an element of surprise to the experience - Presidia producers from across Italy with their unique foods or producers from another Earth Market – offering a glimpse into the specialties of other localities, while always keeping the main focus on supporting local food.
In addition, shoppers and their children can participate in activities held at the market to gain a deeper understanding of food. This Saturday a taste education workshop on honey was organized for children, exploring this remarkable product that can teach us so much about territory, biodiversity and traditional methods. Historian and food culture expert Raffaela Donati lead the activities with local bee keepers Lara and Virgilio Pancaldi, taking the children on a journey from nectar to honey and ending with a tasting game. Next month a children’s workshop on chestnuts and their many uses will be held twice.
And when it comes to eating, the Bologna Earth Market reminds us that sharing food among friends and strangers alike is not only a great source of pleasure, but also a chance to develop our palate and knowledge. Weekly cooking classes start with shopping from the markets’ stallholders and end in a communal meal, and special ‘At Lunch with the Earth Market’ events bring together consumers and producers at the table. The next lunch will be held at La Fenice, an agritourism where they breed Mora Romagola Pigs, a Slow Food Presidium.
Bologna Earth Market will celebrate its two year anniversary next month with a festival in the marketplace on November 27: Two years of bringing the best local food to the city centre, bridging the gap between consumers and producers and presenting a wide range of activities to promote a better understanding of good, clean and fair and how to enjoy eating seasonally and locally.
Bologna Earth Market
Slow Food Bologna