Food education

When people ask me what's changed about the way people eat in Durango, I have to bring up the topic of food educational opportunities.

Hardly a week goes by this time of year – in early spring – when grocery stores, herbalists, retail nurseries, home cooks or community outreach don't offer a free class to learn how to grow your food or use what's in your pantry.

The Fort Lewis Mesa Branch of the Durango Public Library and the Family Center did a sourdough bread-baking workshop last week in Hesperus. Because of a schedule conflict, I was not able to attend, but I'll bet the room was packed.

Sourdough bread mystifies because folks always assume that unless you get a “start” from someone, it can't be done. Obviously sourdough starter does not have to go back to Adam and Eve. Teaching how to make your own start – and hopefully with an explanation about why the chemistry works – debunks a lot of myths about how difficult it is to make or adjust a sourdough bread recipe.

I hope the class gets offered again, so intown bakers can take advantage of tips that instructor Pam Marshall offered.

Native Roots, on U.S. Hwy. 160 near Home Depot, offers two-hour presentations on home-gardening and vegetable-growing every Saturday morning in early spring. Fruit-tree grafting and vegetable-garden planning both were offered in March. Call them at 259-5111 or visit www.nativerootsgarden.com to see what's coming in April.

Durango Natural Foods at 575 E. Eighth Ave. or www.durangonaturalfoods.coop. offers periodic classes and they're usually free.

“Friending” the coop on Facebook will put you face-to-face with non-mainstream media, or you can call 247-8129. Worth checking out.

More great educational opportunities? Let me know and I'll pass these on.

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