Readers who have been following the Triangle's shift toward a locally focused food economy should mark their calendars for Nov. 9: Milwaukee's innovative Will Allen will share his take on urban farming at a free public lecture at N.C. State University at 7 p.m.
Allen, who transformed two inner-city acres into an oasis called Growing Power, presents the Center for Environmental Farming Systems' fall agricultural lecture (www.cefs.ncsu.edu).
The recipient of a 2008 MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" and recently featured in the movie Fresh, Allen is the CEO of Growing Power, which employs youth and raises 159 varieties of food, including fruits, vegetables, goats, ducks, bees, turkeys and fish in what he calls a "food desert" among fast food chains and liquor stores.
Allen's talk comes as the growing season winds down and local farmers' markets celebrate a successful harvest and adjust their hours for colder weather.
Today is the season's final Wednesday Carrboro Farmers' Market (www.carrborofarmersmarket.com). A celebration is planned from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Fall Family Day includes games, sack races, scavenger hunts and free pumpkins and gourds for the first 100 kids. Chef Andrea Reusing of Lantern will offer fall food tastings featuring market specials.
The season is ending for some local markets, including Moore Square and North Hills, both in Raleigh, which close at the end of this month. A growing number, however, are open year-round, including markets in Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh. (See our Triangle Farmers' Markets list with detailed hours and info.)
Local farming receives great exposure in this month's Our State magazine. The feature "Autumn Harvest: Breaking New Ground on North Carolina Farms" focuses on two Chatham County farms: Celebrity Dairy (www.celebritydairy.com) and Edible Earthscape (edibleearthscape.wordpress.com).
This week's many special restaurant events include several beer dinners. At its American Tobacco Campus location in Durham, Tyler's Restaurant & Taproom (324 Blackwell St., 333-0345, tylerstaproom.com) hosts a collaboration between Terrapin Brewery and Lefthand Brewery Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 6:30 p.m., featuring a five-course meal for $55.
The following evening, Piedmont (401 Foster St., 683-1213, piedmontrestaurant.com) serves six courses with six beers from Asheville's Highland Brewing Company for $65.
At Chapel Hill's Weathervane, which is inside A Southern Season (201 S. Estes Drive, 929-7133, www.southernseason.com), another Oct. 28 event showcases brews from the Weeping Radish Farm Brewery in Jarvisburg, near the Outer Banks. Diners will taste five beers with five courses for $40 at 6 p.m. (For more on Weeping Radish, see our March 18, 2009, cover story, "A food lover's guide to the Outer Banks.")
In Raleigh, the Busy Bee (225 S. Wilmington St., 424-7817, www.busybeeraleigh.com) hosts its monthly beer dinner Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. Cost is $50 per person; check the Web site for details on the menu and beer pairings.