Friday, October 28, 2011

Durham Farmers' Market - Get Cooking for Fall!

It's Halloween weekend! That mean jack-o-lanterns, costume parties and trick-or-treating. Like many holidays, Halloween's (and its related holidays - All Saints Day, Day of the Dead, Samhain) timing has its origins in the changing of the seasons.  Oct 31/Nov 1 is the approximate mid-point of Autumn.  It marks the half way point between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice.   Cultures around the world hold festivals and holidays on almost all of the season changes (solstices & equinoxes) as well as the mid points of the seasons.

Early celebrations of mid-fall included Celtic cultures observance of Samhain, a harvest festival.  It marked the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half" of the year.  As they moved into the darker half of the year, they had huge bonfires in celebration.  It also had element of a Festival for the Dead.  Many cultures around the globe held Festivals for the Dead around this time of year to honor and recognize family and community members who have died.  These festivals all have different elements that show up in our current version of Halloween.  Lights are lit, candies and treats are given, effigies are made and costumes are worn.

As we move into the darker half of the year here in Durham, you'll notice some subtle changes here at the Market.  As the first frost looms in our farmland, we'll start seeing fewer and fewer summer vegetables like okra, field grown tomatoes, eggplant, beans, squash, cucumbers.  But, don't let that keep you from the Market this fall and winter, there are lots of exciting things in season during this time of year.... innumerable varieties of greens, sweet potatoes,  cauliflower, broccoli, beets, carrots, winter squashes, pumpkins, and persimmons, just to name a few!  Another change to be aware of is that during the winter, the Markets hours change.  Starting December 3rd, the Market will be open from 10am-Noon, every Saturday through the end of March.

This weekend, you'll find lot of pumpkins, big and small, round and oblong, smooth and bumpy, orange and green and white and more!  There will also be lots of Halloween themed treats from our bakers and food artisans. 
Fruit: Asian Persimmons, Asian Pears, Scuppernong Grapes  
Vegetables:   CAULIFLOWER, BROCCOLI, KOHLRABI, Asian Greens (Tatsoi, Bok Choy, etc.), Arugula, Beans (green, yellow, Roma, filet, purple), Longbeans, Beets, Butterbeans, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards,  Cucumbers,  Dandelion Greens, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Herbs (Basil, Cilantro, Oregano, Parsley, Dill, Chives, Mint),  Mustard Greens, Kale, Lambs Quarter,  Lettuce,  Okra, Onions, Green Peanuts, Pea Shoots, Peppers (sweet, hot, Padron), Potatoes, Popcorn, Purple Hull Peas, Pumpkins, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard,  Summer Squash,   Tomatoes (red and green), Turnips,  Winter Squash (Butternut, Spaghetti, Acorn), Zucchini 
Flowers:   Asiatic Lillies, Celosia, Dahlia, Gomphrena, Gladiolus, Lisianthus, Sunflowers, Tuber Rose, Zinnia

Meats: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevron, Lamb, Rabbit, Pork

And: Fall Vegetable Seedlings, Honey, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Chocolates, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool, Landscaping Plants

Crafts: Hand-dyed Clothes, Jewelery, Baskets, Pottery, Stained Glass Art, Woodwork, Photographs, Soaps and much more...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Leap Forward For Intra-Neighborhood Communication

Part of what makes Durham a great place to live is its strong neighborhoods, whose residents epitomize so many of Durham's brand values.  Durham residents are caring, activist in nature, passionate about where they live, unpretentious, and community-spirited.

DCVB has always had an interest in neighborhood communications because residents make Durham such an inviting place for visitors; they are the ones on the street helping people locate landmarks, giving people directions, or just offering smiles, nods and cheery good mornings.  With about 80% of executives who are looking to relocate their businesses also experiencing Durham first as a visitor, the neighborhood experience is one of high importance.  

This blog, written by Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau President Emeritus and Durham blogger Reyn Bowman, showcases a new intra-neighborhood communication tool.  The entrepreneur (another one of Durham's brand values) who created it was a former owner of one of Durham's celebrated cuisine restaurants (Guglhupf).  He made contact with DCVB to get assistance weaving Durham's overarching brand into the new site.  Take a look and see if your neighborhood has its website set up.  If not, submit it!

Leap Forward For Intra-Neighborhood Communication
Bull City Mutterings
Reyn Bowman
Durham entrepreneur Hartmut Jahn has created the next generation in neighbor-to-neighbor or intra-neighborhood communication. Years ago Durham neighborhoods jumped on listservs as a way to communicate but now Neighborship takes listservs to a new level.
The new platform offers everything a listserv does and so much more including:Rockwood Neighborhood Website
  • A website for each participating neighborhood
  • The option of a personal inbox and a method of sending emails for each participant
  • A chat option in addition to email or digests for quicker exchanges
  • A way to enlist and post recommendations for vendors and service providers
  • A means to communicate alerts or information to immediate neighbors rather than the entire neighborhood
  • The ability to get immediate notifications or digests of exchanges
  • A map of the area covered by each neighborhood etc.
For an example of a neighborhood page, I’ve put a snippet of my Rockwood Neighborhood page as an image in this blog. You should be able to click on it to enlarge. Other neighborhoods will be visible after registration.
To register to use Neighborship, click here. To request that your neighborhood be added to the drop-down, email
I haven’t heard back yet from the administrator for my Rockwood listserv but I know the emails can be pre-loaded to any neighborhood added to Neighborship to make the transition easier. Understandably, although ironically, some neighborhood that that were early-adopters of listservs may feel some reticence, even inertia when it comes to change.
That’s natural but the new platform is a great leap forward and Neighborship is rolling out to communities across the nation making it yet another reason to believe Durham is indeed where great things happen!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Planning for Durham County’s Future

Help us build a strategic plan. Your strategic plan.

With your input, Durham County Government has been moving ahead on its Strategic Planning Process. We’ve heard your voices in community surveys, discussions and interviews. You told us loud and clear what you want the County to focus on in the years to come.

Now we want to share with you the early stages of our Strategic Plan. Please come to one of our four community Town Hall forums in November to learn more about where we have been in this process and where we are heading. Come offer your suggestions on how we can make things even better.

This is YOUR plan. Help us build a great plan for Durham County.

Strategic Plan Town Hall forums:

• Monday, Nov. 7 (NORTH FORUM): Northern High School auditorium 110 Tom Wilkinson Road – 7 p.m.  to 9 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 10 (DOWNTOWN FORUM): Durham Convention Center
301 W. Morgan Street – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 10 (SOUTH FORUM): Parkwood Elementary School gymnasium
5207 Revere Road – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

• Monday, Nov. 21 (EAST FORUM): East Regional Library meeting room
211 Lick Creek Lane – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Call Michael Davis at 560-0000 or email at

Friday, October 21, 2011

Celebrate National Food Day With Durham Farmers' Market

This Saturday, the Durham Farmers' Market will celebrate the first ever National Food Day which is coming up on October 24th. Food Day was conceived and is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The purpose of Food Day is to bring together people from all walks of life to push for healthy, affordable food the is produced in a sustainable and humane way. These principles are all in line with the spirit and mission of the Durham Farmers' Market.  So, in the spirit of Food Day, bring a friend with you to the Market this week.  Show them where you shop to buy fresh, healthy, locally grown food from the farmers who grow it.  To learn more about Food Day, visit   

The Durham Farmers' Market is a proud sponsor of the Bull City Coop Tour which is this Saturday, from 9:30-3:30. The event has been put together by Bull City Chickens; maps and information will be available in the blue tent on the Market's main lawn. To learn more about backyard chickens in Durham and healthy and sustainable eggs, check out these articles: Durham City Council votes to allow backyard chickens with in the city limits from the Independent Weekly and Gourmet's Egg Economics by Andrea Reusing

Fresh this Week
Fruit: Asian Persimmons, Asian Pears, Scuppernong Grapes 
Vegetables: Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Asian Greens, Arugula, Beans, Longbeans, Beets, Butterbeans, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards,  Cucumbers,  Dandelion Greens, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Herbs,  Mustard Greens, Kale, Lambs Quarter,  Lettuce,  Okra, Onions, Green Peanuts, Pea Shoots, Peppers, Potatoes, Popcorn, Purple Hull Peas, Pumpkins, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard,  Summer Squash,   Tomatoes, Turnips,  Winter Squash, Zucchini
Flowers: Asiatic Lillies, Celosia, Dahlia, Gomphrena, Gladiolus, Lisianthus, Sunflowers, Tuber Rose, Zinnia
Meats: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon, Lamb, Rabbit, Pork
And: Fall Vegetable Seedlings, Honey, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Chocolates, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool, Landscaping Plants
Crafts: Hand-dyed Clothes, Jewelery, Baskets, Pottery, Stained Glass Art, Woodwork, Photographs, Soaps and much more

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Home Grown, Home Made

One of the quickest ways to reach a Durhamite is with good food and drink shared with their community.  With that recipe, Home-Grown, Home-Made: A Celebration of Localism was conceived and is coming up on Thursday, October 27th.

The event is being produced by Durham Community Media, Durham's only local nonprofit community media center and public access TV station which provides its services through public financial support.

Hoped to become an annual event, attendees will enjoy tastes of local food, brew, wine and desserts and an evening of culinary and social celebration. Held at one of  Durham’s newest local breweries, Fullsteam Brewery, the event will bring  residents together to learn about the importance of localism.

The main goal of the event is to highlight local businesses and organizations that do good work and add to the charm and sustainability of Durham. “As we see it, local media and access to local information is just as important as having access to locally produced food and entertainment,” said Chad Johnston, Executive Director of Durham Community Media and The Peoples Channel. "We’re all interested in creating a healthy community.  This will be an evening where we can all come together and celebrate how unique and strong we are when we support one another.”

Home-Grown, Home-Made attendees will have a chance to sample local vendors while learning more about Durham Community Media. The Cookery, Kukia’s Cookies, Reliable Cheese, Vimalas's Curryblossom Cafe, Coon Rock Farm, and others will be at the event. Tickets are available online and at the door with all proceeds supporting the ongoing mission and operations of Durham Community Media. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Basketball...with Benefits

Duke Men’s Basketball and the Emily Krzyzewski Center in Durham will team up once again and allow basketball fans to get a rare glimpse inside Duke's four-time national championship program with proceeds benefiting the Emily K Center. It's a hoops lover's dream come true.

Ticket holders will have floor side seats in Cameron Indoor Stadium as Coach K leads the 2011-2012 Blue Devils in a preseason practice, while former team captain and 2001 national champion Nate James offers insights as the team goes through its paces. 

The practice is followed by a catered dinner in Scharf Hall with Coach K and the men’s basketball coaching staff.  To cap off the evening the coaches will answer questions and share basketball stories. 

Event proceeds benefit the Emily K Center, a non-profit organization in Durham serving academically-focused, low-income students in out-of-school programming designed to help them achieve in school, gain entry to college, and break the cycle of poverty in their families.  

The event takes place on Tuesday, November 8, at 5 p.m.  Tickets and additional information can be found here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

World Cask Ale Festival Returns to Trotter Building

Now in its the World Cask Ale Festival (WCAF) returns to the Trotter Building, October 22nd, 6:30 to 10:00.  One of the leading fundraisers for Durham Central Park (DCP), the WCAF gives beer lovers and DCP fans a chance to taste beer presented in a classic fashion with definitely unclassic flavors.  In addition to the twenty plus casks, festival attendees will get to enjoy food samples from eight of Durham’s favorite restaurants and watering holes.

“We started this years ago with the vision of creating one of the more distinctive cask ale events in the Southeast,” says Daniel Bradford, Publisher of All About Beer Magazine. “We partnered with DCP because the Park has become such an epicenter for that classic sense of community that also lies at the heart of English cask ale.”

The sign of a good English pub, cask ale is the traditional English method of preparing and serving ales.  Unfiltered, it still continues to evolve while in the cask.  Although this could lead to cloudiness in the ale, special attention is given to the presentation, going to great lengths to make sure the ale pours beautifully.

Furthermore, most cask ale is given an extra dosage of hops, through dry-hopping, which gives the ale an added spicy flavor.  Finally, through experienced cellarmanship techniques, the casks are presented with just the right balance of carbonation, producing a soft enjoyable flavor.

“Serving cask ales correctly is a labor of love and a work of art,” adds Bradford.  “At the WCAF we aspire to perfect presentation by putting the casks into stillage with enough time to drop bright and using a glycol system to maintain correct cellar temperatures.”

Durham Central Park is an exciting downtown destination that offers a venue for cultural activities and is part of a 24-hour, authentic, walkable neighborhood for arts, recreation, and locally-owned business.

Located adjacent to the DCP, 30-year old All About Beer Magazine educates the public about beer appreciation and beer quality, hosting the celebrated World Beer Festival in both Durham and Raleigh.

Participating restaurants include: Dos Perros, Pop’s, Back Door Pizza, Rue Clair, Bull McCabes, Tyler’s Taproom, Alivia’s, and the Federal.  Several food trucks have committed to showing up during the night.

Tickets can be purchased through eTix, who is waiving the ticket fee as an event sponsor.

New Feature Film to Shoot Scenes in Durham

Durham will soon become the backdrop for another feature film. The Triangle Regional Film Commission has announced that the feature motion picture "ARTHUR NEWMAN, GOLF PRO" will shoot scenes in Durham in mid-November.

The film star Emily Blunt (“The Adjustment Bureau”, “The Devil Wears Prada,”) will join Academy Award winning actor Colin Firth ("The King's Speech, "Bridget Jones's Diary) for the shoot.

The film, a comedic drama,  marks the highly anticipate feature directoral debut of Dante Ariola, an award winning commercials director for global brands including Coca Cola, Adidas, Nike, ESPN and Volkswagen. The plot synopsis on the website IMDB reads, "Two people trying to escape their past move into an abandoned house together."

After working with the film’s producers for several months and guiding them through two extensive location searches, the Triangle Regional Film Commission along with the North Carolina Film Office helped find several locations that exactly fit their needs.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Corporate and Foundation Support of DPAC Continues

Recognizing the Durham Performing Arts Center’s (DPAC) positive impact on Durham and the Triangle area, three corporations and two major foundations recently gave more than $80,000 in naming rights contributions and support to the nationally ranked theater. 

Merck & Co. Inc. is sponsoring the Technical Director’s Office, Burt’s Bees is supporting the Grand Tier West Concessions, and the F.M. Kirby Foundation is naming the General Manager’s Office. Additionally, the Biddle Foundation is providing funds for DPAC operational needs, and IBM has donated a computer server to improve DPAC’s technological capabilities.

DPAC continues to surpass attendance and revenue projections and was recently ranked the #3 performing arts venue in the nation based on ticket sales. “It is very rewarding to have the companies and foundations of this stature behind the Triangle’s premier arts venue,” said Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell. “It is a clear indicator of our achievements to date and validation of our vision for the future.”

The Durham Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-art performance hall located in Downtown Durham at the American Tobacco Campus.  It has the largest stage and seating capacity of any theater in the Carolinas.  The DPAC, which opened in the fall of 2008, has hosted numerous Broadway plays, musicians, comedians, and the American Dance Festival.  The DPAC is owned by the City of Durham and is operated by a partnership of PFM and Nederlander. 

Durham Farmers' Market Is All About Eggs and Cheese

The American Cheese Society has declared October American Cheese Month, and Durham Farmers' Market will present cheese related is all set to help raise awareness and celebrate the diversity of cheeses made in the US. Durham Farmers' Market boasts a handful of dedicated, talented and creative cheesemakers.  All three  cheesemakers raise their own animals (cows and goats), do the daily milking and make the cheeses in cheesemaking facilities on their farms. Durham and the Durham Farmers' Market are fortunate to have a great community of chefs who work hard to support the efforts of these farmers and make use of great local cheeses in their dishes. 

In celebration of National Cheese Month, Durham Farmers' Market will host a couple of cheese related demonstrations this month. This Saturday, Chef Dave Alworth from Guglhupf will be doing a cooking demonstration of Cheese Spatzle that highlights Chapel Hill Creamery's Calvander.  Calvander is cheese that is similar to asiago. There will be samples to taste and recipes available.   

The Durham Farmers' Market is a proud sponsor of the Bull City Coop Tour  which is being put together by Bull City Chickens. In early 2009, the Durham City Council voted to allow backyard chickens with in the city limits. The Coop Tour is a little bit like the farm tours in the spring and the fall, but this tour gives you an inside look at the lives of Durham's urban hens. The Coop Tour is a self guided tour and will take place next Saturday, Oct. 22 from 9:30-3:30pm.  You can pick up maps and get information tomorrow and next Saturday at the Market.  

Bull City Chickens is also hosting two other events in conjunction with the Coop Tour: Eggalicious and the Chickenstock Festival. During October, a number of local restaurants will feature "Eggalicious" items on their menus that feature locally raised eggs.  Chickenstock Festival, a free "edu-party" that features information about sustainable living and great music will follow the Bull City Coop Tour at Bull City Burgers & Brewery on Oct. 22nd.

Fresh this Week
Fruit: Asian Persimmons, Asian Pears, Scuppernong Grapes 
Vegetables:    Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Asian Greens, Arugula, Beans, Longbeans, Beets, Butterbeans, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards,  Cucumbers,  Dandelion Greens, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Herbs,  Mustard Greens, Kale, Lambs Quarter,  Lettuce,  Okra, Onions, Peanuts, Pea Shoots, Peppers, Potatoes, Popcorn, Purple Hull Peas, Pumpkins, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard,  Summer Squash,   Tomatoes, Turnips,  Winter Squash, Zucchini
Flowers:   Asiatic Lillies, Celosia, Dahlia, Gomphrena, Gladiolus, Lisianthus, Sunflowers, Tuber Rose, Zinnia
Meats: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon, Lamb, Rabbit, Pork
And: Fall Vegetable Seedlings, Honey, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Chocolates, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool, Landscaping Plants
Crafts: Hand-dyed Clothes, Jewelery, Baskets, Pottery, Stained Glass Art, Woodwork, Photographs, Soaps and much more!

Wide-Eyed and Learning

There's a moment  - a really special one - when a kid learns something.  It's usually obvious because their eyes go saucer big in wonder.  It's a moment worth savoring.

Durham is home to a plethora of places to learn, and one in particular probably gets more than its fair share of the aforementioned moments.  It's probably no small coincidence that it's called the Schoolhouse of Wonder.

The school calls itself "a consortium of lifelong learners," and maintains a focus on nature as a subject, backdrop for learning and a source for capturing the moments when learning is most exciting.  The school also runs camps throughout the year based on a variety of school schedules and has other programs that might be of interest to those homeschooling their children.  Programs are targeted by age group and kids aged 5 through 12 are best suited.

The school is run at the West Point on the Eno city park and is funded in part by fees and in part by community support.  Like many other non-profit organizations, the school has been hit hard by the economy.  They are hosting a fund raiser on Sunday, October 23.  Details are here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Durham Named One of 100 Best Communities for Young People

Durham is a now a three-time winner of America's Promise Alliance 100 Best Communities for Young People. In an event in Washington, DC, Durham was lauded for its progress in helping young people achieve their potential, by working collaboratively to keep kids healthy, safe and better prepared for the future.

One of only two counties in North Carolina to be honored, Durham was selected from a pool of more than 300 communities in all 50 states.

DCVB headed up the effort to collect the data needed for the lengthy application process with assistance from the City of Durham, Durham County, Durham Public Schools, Durham's Partnership for Children, the East Durham Children's Initiative and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.

Read the full release here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An Urban Hike for the Future of Transit

As the populations of the Triangle's thriving communities continue to grow, so to has the demand for alternative transportation choices. Walkability (Durham ranks high as a very walkable city) and ease of getting around are important to visitors and residents alike. For metropolitan areas like Portland, OR and Washington, DC, transportation systems are among their greatest assets. Fortunately for the future of alternative transportation in the Triangle, Durham County planners have already done what they do best, plan. The result? The Durham Transit Referendum.

The Durham Transit Referendum, which will be included in the upcoming elections on November 8th, calls for an increase in bus service, a light rail build out and the construction of a commuter rail between Raleigh and Durham. 
To raise awareness for the Durham Transit Referendum, the Sierra Club is leading an urban hike along the proposed light rail track on Saturday, October 15. 

The Sierra Club would like to invite residents of Durham County to participate in an urban hike. Local historian John Schelp, will also talk about the history of Durham's trolley service and how neighborhoods have evolved over the years.
Along the way hikers will learn about the referendum and transit plan.

What: From home to rail stop. The future of transit: An urban walk
Where: Durham. The corner of 9th and Green St. (Parking along the streets)
When: Saturday, October 15th from 9:00am to 11:00am

Interested hikers are asked to RSVP here or on Facebook.

Monday, October 10, 2011

SoJam Sounds So Good

November is starting to sound better.  It's always in tune, but now it's got real harmony.

Confused?  Don't be - November 11 though 13 is when the SoJam A Cappella Festival takes place.  Hosted by Duke University Rhythm and Blue, the weekend's shows will be held at the newly renovated Carolina Theatre and the workshops will be held on campus at Duke. For those who love the sound of harmonizing voices presented with style, class and energy, this show is a must see.

Now making its home in Durham every year, the festival is a combination of development opportunities for performers as well as exceptional access to top level performances of this skill-intensive art form.

Workshops cover the spectrum from creativity to management with some masterclasses providing one-on-one instruction.

Tickets are available online.  Friday's performances are by collegiate talent and that show also serves as a competition.  Saturday's performance is by all professional talent.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Resident Favorites Survey Begins Today

As in years past, the folks at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau would like a peek inside your head.  They gather a little ground-level research from locals to find out what they do and don't dig on the local dining scene.  Visitors are increasingly interested in local preferences, too, as they relate to food.  The goal of the survey is to provide empirically-informed selections upon which visitors can act when they visit.

Nary a social medium is without some manner of commentary on food, and those media drive the interest in this sort of information.  Since Durhamites get so excited about things in the place where great things happen, this survey is a great way to formalize that data.  So, those with an opinion (research shows that opinions are strongly-held in Durham) should follow this link to complete the survey. 

"It's a short survey and folks can complete it through Monday, October 17th.  That's plenty of time for restaurants and food trucks to get their fans to go and vote," said Sam Poley, DCVB's Director of Marketing and Communications who hopes that residents will voice their opinions by the thousands.  "This survey is a real opportunity for businesses to rally their customers and social media followers to help them win.  I strongly encourage them to do so because those with the most votes get a year of promotion on our website...and the dining page upon which the survey winners are listed is one of the most popular on our site," he added.

The top vote-getting establishments are presented with a framed award and are announced publicly by DCVB.  The questions change annually, so it is possible that a place may have consecutive wins in a category that are years apart.  Last year's winners are posted here.

Durham Farmers' Market Celebrates National Cheese Month

It's looking to be a crisp, chilly farmers' morning at the Durham Farmers' Market.  Fall mornings at the Market always mean bright colors, pretty greens and hot chocolate.

Upcoming Events
October is the First Annual National Cheese Month!! To celebrate cheese and our cheesemakers, we will hold a couple of special demonstrations about cheese making and cooking with cheese.  The first one is next Saturday, we are working on the details for the rest of the month and we'll have info next week!

Saturday, October 15th, 10am Join Portia McKnight of Chapel Hill Creamery and Chef Dave Alworth from Guglhupf as they talk and cook with cheese from Chapel Hill Creamery.

Fall and Winter Schedule
Saturday Regular Hours, 8am-Noon, run through November 19th
Pre-Thanksgiving Market - Tuesday, November 22nd 2-5pm
Market will be CLOSED on Saturday November 26th.
Winter Hours, 10am-Noon, start December 3rd
This year, Market will be OPEN on December 24th and December 31st! 

Fresh this Week
Fruit:  Apples, Pears, Scuppernong Grapes 
Vegetables: Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Asian Greens, Arugula, Beans, Longbeans, Beets, Butterbeans, Cherry Tomatoes, Corn, Collards,  Cucumbers,  Dandelion Greens, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Herbs (Basil, Cilantro, Oregano, Parsley, Dill, Chives, Mint),  Mustard Greens, Kale, Lambs Quarter,  Lettuce,  Okra, Onions, Peanuts, Pea Shoots, Peppers, Potatoes, Popcorn, Purple Hull Peas, Pumpkins, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard,  Summer Squash, Tomatoes,Winter Squash, Zucchini
Flowers:   Asiatic Lillies, Celosia, Dahlia, Gomphrena, Gladiolus, Lisianthus, Sunflowers, Tuber Rose, Zinnia
Meats: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon, Lamb, Rabbit, Pork
And: Fall Vegetable Seedlings, Honey, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool, Landscaping Plants
Crafts: Hand-dyed Clothes, Jewelery, Baskets, Pottery, Stained Glass Art, Woodwork, Photographs, Soaps and much more...

When Big Isn't Big Enough - OP/ED

This is an opinion/editorial from the desk of Shelly Green, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

I read a great article yesterday in Forbes by Patrick Rishe, Director of Sportsimpacts and an Associate Professor of Economics at Webster University in St. Louis, MO., entitled "Educating Sports Commissions and CVBs about the Economic Impact of Sports."  He was summarizing a presentation that he made earlier in the week at a conference of the National Association of Sports Commissions (of which DCVB is a member.)

In the article, Rishe does a great job outlining in simple language the basics associated with measuring the impact of sports events.  He bemoans the fact—as do I—that there are still people and organizations out there inflating the economic impact of events for either political, financial or public relations reasons.  

Some just blindly take the impact amount reported by the city that hosted the event the prior year and mark it up 5 or 10%.  Some just do the math in their heads, i.e., “Let’s see.  I’ll bet each person spent about $1,000; times 50,000 people; equals…” with no basis to substantiate the numbers.

Rishe advises organizations to do the type of things that DCVB has espoused for 20-some years:
·       Don’t include spending by local residents.  If residents hadn’t spent money at this event, they would have likely spent it elsewhere in the local community. 
·       Report the net income of the event.  That includes the direct spending, the indirect and induced impacts (sometimes referred to as multipliers) but it also includes SUBTRACTING the amount of leakage that occurs when local businesses and vendors buy their supplies outside the community or when national and regional suppliers send a portion of the proceeds back to their corporate headquarters.
·       Consider displacement and how that impacts the bottom line, particularly when looking at mega events.  If a huge sporting event is supposed to bring 50,000 people to the community, it will have much less impact if it displaces any of the community’s existing business.  Think Super Bowls and Olympic events.  If hotels are typically 70% occupied during that time frame, the true impact is only the difference between the typical occupancy and the total occupancy achieved during the event (which is rarely 100%.)
As I noted in the comment section at the end of the article, the bottom line is, a CVBs job is to stimulate economic activity in its community AND generate tax revenue for local governments.  This reaps great rewards.  There is no reason to inflate these numbers...unless of course you need to cover up the fact that the huge incentive you ponied up (using public money, of course) actually made the event COST your community more money than it reaped.  But don't get me started on that...

UNC System Approves NCCU’s Doctorate Program in Biosciences

North Carolina Central University in Durham received final approval today from the University of North Carolina Board of Governors to introduce a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) program in integrated biosciences. The university will now begin recruiting students to enter the program in fall 2012, and would award its degrees four years later. They would be the first Ph.D.s awarded by the university in more than 50 years.

The interdisciplinary doctorate will be offered on two tracks, biomedical sciences and pharmaceutical sciences. The program will be housed in the College of Science and Technology, but will draw also on the resources of NCCU’s Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute (JLC–BBRI), the Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) and the School of Library and Information Sciences. The curriculum will include offerings from the life sciences, physical sciences, computation and information sciences, pharmaceutical sciences and mathematics.

“Our Ph.D. in integrated biosciences is consistent with the UNC Tomorrow initiative, our own mission, and our strengths in health disparities research and biotechnology,” said NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms.  “All 32 faculty engaged in the program have earned terminal degrees from some of the best research universities in the nation, and we have constructed nearly 150,000 square feet of state-of-the-art science space in the last 12 years.”

Research involving health disparities — the gaps between the health status of the nation’s racial and ethnic minorities compared with the population as a whole — has been explicitly part of the mission of BBRI since it opened in 1999, and a key focus of other NCCU science and public health programs for decades.

Shepherding the program to fruition was the NCCU dean of graduate studies, Dr. Chanta Haywood. “There is a diverse population of extremely bright students who want to be leaders in health disparities research,” Haywood said.  “As graduate dean, I’m confident that we’ll attract them to our program.”

NCCU expects the program to reach an enrollment of about 20 full-time students in its fourth year of operation, and to graduate about five per year. An additional aim of the program is to expand the number of minority scientists, particularly African-Americans, in biomedical research. A recent report by the National Science Foundation noted that African-Americans make up about 12 percent of the U.S. population, but account for only 3 percent of the work force of scientists and engineers.

NCCU had a doctoral program in the mid-20th century that was short-lived but historically significant. From 1955 to 1964, five people earned the Ph.D. from the institution then known as North Carolina College at Durham, all in the field of education. The degree received in 1955 by Walter M. Brown, a future dean of the NCCU School of Education, was the first Ph.D. awarded by a historically black college or university in the United States.

Founded in 1910, North Carolina Central University was the first publicly supported liberal arts college for African-Americans.  Today, this dynamic campus has a diverse student body of 8,300 enrolled in academic programs including law, biotechnology, library science, business, nursing, education and the arts.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Durham’s Beer Scene is Hopp’ning

Durham is now home to three breweries making exceptional products and getting considerable attention for their efforts.  North Carolina's craft beer culture continues to get a lot of attention a) because it's amazing and b) because of the work done by folks like All About Beer magazine and the World Beer Festival - the original of which is held in Durham each year and is happening this Saturday.

Following is a guest post from Bull City Homebrew's Scott Michaels  and appears in the World Beer Festival Guide given to attendees of the festival.  It's a great discussion of beer in Durham and a nice homage to the place where great things happen.

Durham’s Beer Scene is Hopp’ning
Guy walks into a bottle shop. Looking for a light session beer on another day in a long line of sweltering days. He steps into Sam’s Quik Shop, a beer Mecca with more than 1,000 varieties. A tall, skinny, scraggly-bearded dude wearing fatigues, a ball cap, yet with the curious gaze of a professor is at your service. He goes by “Barbeque.” His mom calls him that, too. 
Barbeque, who used to work at a barbeque joint, suggests a Gaffel or Sunner Kölsch. His skill of pairing food with beer makes his job more than just a clerk at a beer store. “It’s sort of on par with being a wine sommelier,” the 32-year-old explains. Stroll just past the counter—the singles for sale and the six beers on tap—y and you’ll find a section devoted to North Carolina beers in cans, bottles and growlers. Unless you know what you’re coming in for, like maybe a keg, you’ll find the “Quik Shop” an oxymoron. Who wants to rush a beer run in nirvana? It’s more of a “beer stroll” anyway. 
Like the premiere of a movie or video, Sam’s is the local place with the figurative red carpet. Adored by distributors, Sam’s gets picked to host semi-exclusive unveilings. Foothills Brewing recently released its Baltic Porter there. Ditto for Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Ops, an 11.8 percent ABV Russian Imperial Stout that lasted for one day last winter. The “If they have a beer, we’ll buy it” mentality makes Sam’s a home for boutique brews not available anywhere else in Durham. 
Another element of the beauty of Sam’s is its atmosphere. “It looks like a dumpy gas station on the outside, then you come in,” explains employee Kyle Hefley. “The characters and grit make the place.” 
Beer lovers who explore the Bull City long enough know Durham’s craft beer scene is a symphonic blend of diverse concoctions and eclectic characters behind the brew.
When Fullsteam Brewery celebrated its one-year anniversary in August, the scene looked like Mardi Gras. A marching band belted out “When the Saints Go Marching In” while snaking through the crowded brewery. There was a wacky hat contest, in line with the “Southern Social” theme. Beads? Check. Masks? Check. Feathered boas? Check. Matlock clones? Um, check. “Do you like my shorts?” asked Sean Lilly Wilson, Fullsteam’s CEO (Chief Executive Optimist). His colorful, plaid shorts matched the irreverence of the establishment. Their web site trumpets their not-so-secret conspiracy to collaborate with “other fellow nut-jobs to craft unique, custom beverages… that celebrate the culinary and agricultural heritage of the South.” 
Fullsteam, with its appropriate, backwards ‘F’ logo, is one of the most unique breweries in the South. “The best ideas in the world are both beautiful and stupid. That’s what we do,” Wilson proclaims. 
There’s the Carver Sweet Potato lager, a naming tribute to Southern agricultural scientist George Washington Carver. The Hogwash is what you might guess—a beer that tastes like barbeque. “That’s our most notable.” Wilson admits the bacon beer has its share of critics whose taste buds may not agree with the specialty, smoked porter. But Fullsteam’s products are winning over admirers from Washington, D.C. to NC, with 100 accounts in the Triangle alone. 
Their flagship brew is the Fullsteam, “a southern lager” in the style of a California Common. The Rocket Science IPA and the El Toro Cream Ale are also big sellers, along with the sweet potato beer. “Our beers aren’t extreme, they’re drinkable, session beers. They’re quirky, but balanced, not kitschy.” 
The main additives in some of the beers come from local growers, who are paid to supply Fullsteam with sweet potatoes, basil, bacon, figs, persimmons, etc. The brewery hopes to extend the model of what Wilson calls a “Southern beer economy” and “crowd-sourced craft beer” by adding locally grown barley and hops to future recipes. 
Less than a half mile away sits Durham’s newcomer to the brewery scene: Bull City Burger and Brewery, which opened in March 2011. In addition to burgers, you can find up to eight beers on tap, all named after people or places with historical references to the city. The two full-time members of the otherwise rotating roster are a Golden Ale and Pale Ale. Bryant Bridge Gateway Golden Ale—named after a bridge spanning the Durham Freeway—is billed as BCBB’s “gateway to drinking craft beer.”  You’ll find it to be a lightly-hopped (Goldings, Glacier), citrusy, session beer. “I really want to be known for session ales—low alcohol, high flavor,” said Seth Gross, the head brewer and owner of BCBB. The Parrish Street Pale Ale offers the same hop schedule, plus Fuggles to provide a crisp, hoppy finish, contrasting with sweet maltiness, apricot and caramel aromas to produce a beer that tastes a tad like fall. 
BCBB ventures away from the mainstream a bit as well, reveling in the wacky side of the brewing beer. Hopheads drank up the hsaWaknoW, that’s “Wonka Wash” backwards. Yes, it’s a shout-out to Willy Wonka, the ultra-creative, goofy, chocolate factory owner in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. The Strong Ale, brewed with, of course, chocolate malt, creates its brown, nutty character that drinkers compare to Arrogant Bastard. Gross admits it’s sometimes difficult to balance the menu’s mainstays with the new arrivals at the tap. “You brew something (that’s loved) and you want to move on and people say ‘no, bring it back.’” 
Within stumbling distance (3/4 mile) is Durham’s third brewery, with a website motto: “We like making beers that don’t suck.” Most would probably agree they succeed, especially when it comes to Belgians. The pride of the Triangle Brewing Company is their Belgian Golden Ale. Weighing in at 8 percent ABV, this Belgian features fruitiness due to a high-temperature fermentation. You’ll find a strong malt presence blended nicely with spicy hops. The Golden captured Bronze Medals at the 2009 and 2011 Carolina Championship of Beer. Triangle’s lineup includes other decorated beers from the same competition. Last year, their Belgian White Ale earned a silver medal, in the “Witbier” classification. The Habanero Pale Ale won silver for “Herb and Spice Beers,” and Winter Stout took bronze in the “Foreign-Style Stout” category. 
Sure, Triangle creates prize-winning beers. But there’s a lesser-known libation “with enough hop kick to wake the dead,” Triangle’s owners say.  And this beer is named after a dead guy who was discovered on Triangle’s premises during renovations. True story. 
“His story was ours to create,” Triangle co-owner Rick Tufts recalls. “After a few beers, with creativity and psychic abilities at its apex, we decided his name was Rufus.” They wanted a good Southern name. Then they created a series of beers named after Rufus. The first was an Imperial Amber, full-bodied Rufus Reserve Double Red (rufus in Latin means red). Another symbol of homage perhaps dotted with a drop of humor: Tufts built a coffin that they pour beer out of at festivals. “He travels with us. We pour beer in the drain for him just to keep him appeased,” Tufts said. 
In the summer of 2010, Triangle started canning its Belgians with the first automated canning system in the state, with a top speed of 70 cases per hour.  You can check it out, plus get free samples during brewery tours on Saturdays at 1pm.  If you’d also like to learn to make beers that don’t suck, Triangle is offering “Intro. to Home Brewing” courses. 
Durham’s homebrewing scene is a lively one. At the forefront is Bull City Homebrew. The store’s centerpiece is its grain room, which offers more than 40 varieties. BCH’s front-man is Nate “Dizo” Cowles. Picture a surfer dude with a Jeff Spicoli-like mischievous smile, equipped with the mind of a beer encyclopedia—that’s Durham’s brewing professor. He earns praises from customers for putting together amazing recipes. “Nate just told me what to do and I won a homebrewing contest,” a BCH patron confessed last year. 
“Introducing people to the world of brewing is always exciting,” Dizo says.  “It’s like learning you can cook when all you have ever eaten has been prepared by others.”  Dizo lists one of his main challenges as developing clone recipes for customers. It’s also a liquid labor of love. “Being able to break down popular commercial beers and recreate them for customers requires a lot of beer drinking experience. As much fun as that is, it pales in comparison to seeing a homebrewer delight in what we have created together.” 
Cowles is part of a fraternity of elite homebrew enthusiasts. TRUB (TRiangle Unabashed homeBrewers) bills itself as “the oldest, active homebrew club in North Carolina.”  The group meets on the second Wednesday of every month at Satisfaction at 7pm. Each gathering is a mini beer festival with members sharing their latest all-grain or extract brews.  There’s outstanding beer along with spirited discussion about what you taste. 
A recent meeting lasted more than three hours. BJCP guidelines were in place as TRUB guys held a mead competition. The Atomic Fireball mead took second place to a peach-flavored honey ale. Got questions about wort chilling, fermentation, dry-hopping, building a three-tiered, gravity flow brewing system, etc… someone at a TRUB gathering will have the answer. A yearly membership costs $15. 
Craft beer is literally everywhere in Durham. You can not only find it at pubs, bars and restaurants— you can even score a growler at a convenience store. 
For the widest selection on tap, there’s Tyler’s Taproom. You’ll find 100 bottled beers, 66 draughts—eight from NC—in addition to a recently expanded assortment of canned lagers and ales. A large percentage of the mixed crowd is quite knowledgeable about what they’re consuming. You’ll find mostly locals here: everyone from DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center) concertgoers sipping on Allagash White to Dukies guzzling PBR.  Off the beaten (tap) path are beers like Lindemans Framboise (lambic), North Coast Scrimshaw (pilsner), and Delirium Tremens (Belgian strong). 
 Other downtown bars feature nice varieties. Bull McCabes showcases 20 draughts, five of which are IPAs. On the domestic side there’s Smutty Nose Finestkind, which took home a gold medal from the Great British Beer Festival in 2004. For an imported IPA, there’s the Belhaven Twisted Thistle from England, which features a sweet, malty backbone. 
Satisfaction spotlights more than 80 bottled beers, and 16 draughts. The roster includes all the regular mass-produced beverages, plus big boys like Ommegang’s Three Philosophers (Belgian quadruple, 9.8% ABV), and Breckenridge Brewery’s 471 IPA (double IPA, 9.2% ABV).  On the lighter side, there’s the Tibetan lager, Lhasa. Across the street you’ll find the The Federal, a cozy neighborhood bar with14 taps – and right next store – James Joyce Irish Pub where you can get pints from Boddingtons, Bass or Smithwicks in addition to North Carolina beers as well as Terrapin, Dogfish Head and Sam Adams to name a few. If you still find yourself wanting more, on the corner of Gregson and Main sits Alivia’s, a bistro that often hosts cask ale nights from Triangle Brewing or The Roxy, a speakeasy style joint that overtook the space Down Under Pub once inhabited. 
Your exploration of Durham’s craft beer scene continues at Dain’s Place with its cooler full of bottled and canned craft beer and several local taps. Broad Street Café also provides a nice selection of bottled beer and has 10 taps, most focusing on NC brews. And then there’s Whiskey, which may have the shortest tap lines around town on their 16 NC tap handles.
 Outside of town you can find a nice pint of craft beer at City Beverage, which carries 27 in bottles and has 33 taps. For beers to go, head around the corner to Hope Valley Bottle Shop. It has 200 kinds of craft beer leaning towards premium imports, plus a few growlers. Newcomer G2B: Gastro Pub & Brewhouse has 14 taps with some of the usual local suspects (Duck-Rabitt, Triangle, Big Boss) as well as a couple of Belgians on draught.
 Nestled in a tiny, strip mall Wine Authorities doesn’t just carry wine but also has 25 different craft beers in bottles. And Total Wine, out on the edge of town by the Chapel Hill line, boasts more than 1,000 bottles of beer on the wall, plus 36 kegs.
It’s not just Durham’s breweries, pubs, and bottle shops committed to craft beers. The Bull City brew crew even broadens out to include Wool E. Bull, although he’s still a few years short of 21. At Durham Bulls baseball games, you can enjoy three different beers each inning and—if you could still stand, sit or see—finish the entire, sudsy lineup in the ninth. Talk about a perfect game; more than half of those 27 are microbrews. When Wool E. becomes legal, his first draught might be the stadium’s Bullpen Pale Ale, brewed exclusively for the Bulls by Carolina Brewing Co. in Chapel Hill. 
In addition, beer dinner have started to pop up around town with Dos Perros—purveyors of authentic Mexican cuisine—leading the way. 
In Durham, our thirst for craft beer continues to grow… --Scott Michaels

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Carve Durham...Really.

It's well-known that folks in Durham, NC like to have fun - there's even a community Zombie Lurch for goodness' sake. So then the new pumpkin carving contest being sponsored by the proposed Museum of Durham History (MODH) makes total sense.

The MODH is committed to preserving Durham’s unique legacy by creating a permanent home for inspiring stories and lively exhibits defining the community’s past.  To forward that effort they are hosting a competition for the most artfully carved pumpkin of famous or not-so-famous Durham landmarks, icons or images from Durham’s history, past or present...because folks in Durham like to have fun.

Known as Carve Durham, this Halloween-inspired contest will run October 15-27, 2011 on the Museum’s Facebook page.  To participate and/or vote for pumpkin designs, post photos of Durham-themed pumpkins to their Facebook page and click “like” next to an entry to vote.

The winning pumpkin artist will be awarded a home-made pumpkin pie from Emma’s Desserts of Durham and all Carve Durham pumpkin artists are invited to display their handiwork at the Museum’s Durham Farmers’ Market booth on Saturday, October 29 from 8am-12pm. May the best pumpkins win! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Film Festivals in Focus

Film is important to Durham, and has been for decades.  Since the 1950 movie Bright Leaf, Durham has taken on a roll in film both as a subject and a backdrop, as well as a venue for them to be showcased.  Bull Durham, arguably the most popular sports movie of all time, served as all three.

As of this past weekend, Durham's newly renovated Carolina Theatre played host the to the world premier of the most recent film to make it to the big screen that was shot in Durham, Main Street.  Critical acclaim or not, success or not, it's production brought revenue to the community and exposure to the destination.

The Carolina's renovations, however, are a hit and include both cosmetic as well as functional enhancements resulting in a more user-friendly and luxurious experience.  A return visit is in order for those who've not been recently.

Below is a list of film festivals and series held in Durham annually, and each are linked to their respective websites to make seeing them easy to plan.  Coming up this weekend is the Escapism Film Festival, and it looks to be exactly that - a great escape.

Durham Film Festivals
NC Latin American Film Festival – Duke University, November
BrickFlix LEGO Shorts Film Festival – Carolina Theatre, May
Strange Beauty Film Festival – Durham, February
Nevermore Film Festival – Carolina Theatre, February
NC Gay & Lesbian Film Festival – Carolina Theatre, August
Hayti Heritage Film Festival – Hayti Heritage Center, February
Escapism Film Festival – Carolina Theatre, October
Durham Riverkeeper Film Festival – Neuse River Foundation, January

Durham Film Series
Retrofantasma Film Festival – Carolina Theatre, October
The Tournées Festival – Duke University, Fall
Muslim Film Series - Duke University, Fall
Rights! Camera! Action! Film Series – Duke University, Winter
Screen/Society – Duke University, Fall
Movies in the Park – Durham Central Park, Spring