Summer Food Course Photos 2010

Summer Food Course Photos 2011

Summer Food Course Photos 2012

Welcome to this site, all interested in resilient farming!

Welcome to this site, all interested in resilient farming!

The postings most appropriate for you have the label, "Resilient Farms."

Thursday, November 17, 2016

It's time to start thinking about the mysticism of the Swiss Goetheanum, the conviviality of eating, and sensory taste studies in Italy!

This is our eighth year for the program, which to date has hosted over 100 student. We are taking just 11 more this year.
Pre-departure session dates: June 11-14, 2017 This is our eighth year for the program, which to date has hosted over 100 student. We are taking just 11 more this year.
Pre-departure session dates: June 11-14, 2017
Travel dates:
  • Optional Switzerland excursion: June 15 – 17, 2017
  • Florence: June 18 - July 9, 2017

Program Details
This food studies program begins with culinary intensives in Bellingham, then moves to Florence, Italy, where students study heritage food cultures. Students also study in the prestigious University of Florence sensory taste sciences department, with the renowned gastronomy/sensory taste scientists, Caterina Dinnella and Erminio Monteleone.  Italian family home stays, Tuscan countryside excursions, cultural tours, and hikes. Museum visits included. The cost of this program provides most meals in Italy, including country and palazzo-dining in the Tuscan countryside, as well as conversational Italian and introductory art history as part of the food culture experience.

Additional credits are available through independent study.

Enrollment is limited to 11. 
  • Experience Italian farm- and home-cooking with Italian families and in hands-on culinary intensives in Italy, the home of the “Slow Food” movement
  • Visit Fiesole (with its Etruscan sites and ruins)
  • Visit San Gimingiano (Tuscan countryside)
  • Visit Il Palagio (Tuscan countryside)
  • Italian cooking classes
  • Museum visits included, e.g., The Uffizi (the Louvre of Italy)
  • Study sensory taste science with European experts at the University of Florence (4 days)
  • Study natural animal breeding and biodynamic farming
  • Observe cheesemaking
  • Participate in carbon-offsetting 
  • The cost of this program provides most meals in Italy, including country and palazzo-dining in the Tuscan countryside, as well as conversational Italian and introductory art history as part of the food culture experience

Our classroom in Switzerland

Pre-departure cooking

One of our classrooms in Florence

One of our cooking classes in Florence

Italian culture, etiquette, language

Under the Tuscan Sun -- last day reflections on our university, language, and travel studies

Last meal in Italy, at Il Palagio

Return to the U.S., more meals


Gigi with Slow Food founder, Carlo Petrini
Gigi Berardi, Huxley professor, received her B.A. in Biology from John Muir College, University of California San Diego and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Natural Resources, Policy, and Planning from Cornell University. She holds an M.A. in dance from UCLA.
Gigi has held four tenure-track positions and has taught at over a dozen colleges and universities – but she has saved the best for last: Western Washington University. Gigi’s research focus is on community vulnerabilities and food. In addition, she is an avid cook, gardener, student-of-languages, and fitness/dance enthusiast!
Gigi co-founded and served as interim director of the Resilience Institute at Huxley and currently serves as Resilient Farms Project co-director. Her current book projects are entitled Food! and A Cultivated Life.

Monday, February 15, 2016

San Miguel de Allende

This few days in San Miguel de Allende have been a perfect blend of learning and teaching. First up, the 11th annual San Miguel de Allende Writer’s Conference and Literary Festival was a terrific mix of excellent faculty, stimulating keynotes, and interactive writing practice. Lessons learned about: Powerful storytelling (verbs, verbs, verbs), compelling writing (ending each paragraph with the reader wanting to know, what’s next?), and seamless narrative (the reader wants surprises, but not unbelievable ones). All are course- and life-lessons for my students (yes, even those in ENVS 319!).

Gail Sheehy, author of 17 best-selling books

Second, I have had the opportunity (in one day) to visit Mexico City’s museums and palaces – treasure trove of histories of Mesoamerican culture, the legacy of colonialism, and independent polities today. This was followed by a brief tour to Guanojuato, the area referred to as the birthplace of the early Mexican revolution.

Third, this was an important reconnaissance for the “Geographies of Hope” program March 19-26. What follows are images of lodging, excursions, setting, and foods – to whet the appetite of the travel- and information-hungry students who will be joining me on this adventure.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Candlemas, Candeleria, Imbolc, Persephone, Groundhog Day -- February 2

February 2 is the first day of spring in many traditions! I celebrated this year by attending a very beautiful service in Everson, WA -- where candles were display. Typically, this was the time of year when people melted down old and odd bits of candle to make new candles -- my children did this when they were younger. Here, a picture of hundreds of beautiful candles made by a friend to mark this first day of spring, and, a year full of light.

For me, I celebrated with thoughts of good cheese -- here, an unveiling of a new work. New-old, if you consider the age of the molds.
 Delicious! (underneath the rind, of course)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Nourishing Foods

Here, homemade liver pate and roasted potatoes
 At the beginning of the school year, in September -- a feast of cheese, with our dried plums -- cheeses have been aged for some time. But, as I learned in France, the fresher, the better (almost)

Mozzarella supreme

I make cultured mozzarella, but in this picture, you can see a kind of hybrid long method-less long method -- with citrus acid (I use lemon juice) added to increase the acidity. Critical to achieving a good mozzarella "stretch" is the appropriate pH. Recipe from Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking by Gianaclis Caldwell. Unsalted version.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Lovely Chèvre

Pretty little Deruta dish, with the creamy goat cheese, from Jewels and Fauna
This beautiful chevre has a unique texture – neither creamy nor overly dry. I milk into a pail or cup and then empty the milk into a ½ gallon jar that already has a minute bit of culture in it (about 1/16 tsp for a ½ gallon jar). The temprature of the milk (directly from the goat) is in the 80s, beautifully warm. The action of the cultures is immediate – in the digestion of sugars and the raising of the acidity. It will take the rennet to coagulate the solids and the cheesemaker to then separate the curds from the whey, producing the moist, chunky chevre in this image. The tiny cup is from Deruta in central Italy’s Umbria – the “real” home of such pottery.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Enchanted Broccoli (Thanks to Moosewood)

Whole (broccoli, onion, garlic, spices, eggs)
Inexpensive (buy cheddar in bulk, and grate yourself)
Slow (sauté, bake)
Tasty (as long as you don’t smother with cheese)

The Mexican Green Pepper Casserole is one of my favorite Moosewood recipes – I’ve used my own wan green peppers, and it’s really not as flavorful. But with luscious ones, and in the one oval ceramic casserole dish I use for baking, it is divine. Still of the Moosewood era of loads of cream, cheese, and butter.

1 lb. broccoli – tops and stems, steam until firm.  Rinse in cold water.
2 C noodles whole wheat and spinach, cook past ala dente (firm)

1 T butter
1 C chopped onion
1 Large clove crushed garlic
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. Dill weed
Black pepper
Cayenne to taste

Sauté all of these together over medium heat stirring until the onions are translucent.  Combine with noodles.

3 Large eggs beat together well
¼ minced fresh parsley
1 ½ packed cups of mild cheddar

Mix in the above and broccoli.

Combine everything in a casserole dish, sprinkle with juice from 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Cover gently with foil.
Bake 30 minutes. Serves 4.