From field to flavor: UK helps celebrate local grains

University of Kentucky, Ohio Valley Grain Exchange (OVGE) and non-profit organization Dendrifund announce the 2024 Southeastern Grain Gathering (SEGG24) May 8-9 at Fasig-Tipton.

The event — led in part by a collection of faculty and staff from the UK Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment — marks a step forward to promote connections among all participants in the local small grain value chains, from farmers to end-users.

“Post-Covid, we thought it was essential that the interest in local small grain value chains bubble up from the community with an economic stake in those value chains,” said David Van Sanford, UK Department of Plant and Soil Science professor and SEGG24 co-organizer. “All grain enthusiasts are invited to share their passion with each other.”

The gathering will connect individuals across the spectrum — from consumers to researchers, producers and chefs — with the local grain value chains, reinforcing the regional food culture and economies.

“We intend to build community around the notion that ‘Flavor Starts in your Fields’ by engaging attendees in interactive workshops, demonstrations, discussions and panels,” said Walnut Grove Farms’ Sarah Halcomb, SEGG24 chair and OVGE coordinator.

The event kicks off May 8 with an opening dinner catered by the Lexington-area award-winning Holly Hill. The evening features author Rob Dunn who will explore the evolution of flavor and its impact on humanity.

The May 9 session includes bread, beer and bourbon sensory experiences to connect the flavors of local grain fields and the Ohio Valley growing regions, including taste testing the origins of flavor in flatbreads led by Bryan BradyUK Food Connection.

Katherine Johnson

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