The Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Celebration was held this past Saturday and we were lucky enough to be a part. Held at Jimmy’s No. 43 in NYC, the event gave great insight into not only this special pumpkin but also what it takes to bring something like this back to life and back into the hands of consumers.
Ken Ettlinger and Amy Goldman Fowler, pioneer advocates for seed saving, plant breeding and heirloom fruits and vegetables led the discussion amongst many other important influential players in our food system. Ken Greene, founder of the Hudson Seed Library, Johanna Kolodny, food systems consultant, Derek DiGuglielmo, founder of Eat Local NY, Steph Gaylor owner of Invincible Summer Farms and founding member of the consortium, Jim Richards cask master at Blue Point Brewery and panel moderator extraordinaire Laura Luciano, who is also a founding member of the consortium and influential food writer.
In addition to the lively and educating discussion, the event allowed us to taste the Long Island Cheese pumpkin prepared by several contestants in a judged portion. Winner Maya’s Jams put together a delicious oreo style cookie filled with cream and their Long Island Pumpkin jam.
Amy Goldman Fowler, was busy signing books from her beautiful collection of coffee table growers guides. Amy’s writing has appeared in such publications as Martha Stewart Living and Organic Gardening. She has been profiled by the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Sun, Organic Style, and Horticulture. In addition, she has appeared on Martha Stewart Living TV and PBS’s The Victory Garden.
Ken Greene displayed the brand new 2017 seed art calendars and seed packets. We made sure to pick up cheese pumpkin seeds to share with our friends and favorite Hudson Valley chefs.
A well-attended, fun, informative, and organized event that truly showcased how it takes a team of like minded individuals who are dedicated to the preservation of our food heritage to bring something like the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin back to life.