By Sally Voth - firstname.lastname@example.org
An old tradition is being spotlighted in Winchester this weekend.
"Winchester is going to be the birthplace of a new movement in agriculture and community living," said Virginia Farm Bureau membership development specialist Dee Cook.
Cook is also the event coordinator for Frederick County Farm Bureau's Winchester Main Street Agriculture program on Saturday.
The county Farm Bureau is partnering with the national Main Street program, with help from FFA, Old Town Winchester Business Association, the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension program, and Shenandoah University students, among others, to refocus on the importance of agriculture.
Included among activities on the Loudoun Street walking mall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday will be local farmers and their products, cooking demonstrations from area restaurants using fresh local produce, educational displays, live animals and pony rides, face painting, pumpkin painting and music, Cook said.
Violino Ristorante Italiano, Thai Winchester, the George Washington Hotel and Village Square will do the food demonstrations, she said, and Fabbioli Cellars will have grape crushing.
Endless Summer Harvest will exhibit how gourmet greens and herbs can be hydroponically grown, according to Cook, and there will be a "farm to fiber to fashion" demonstration.
The George Washington Hotel will have a post-event wine garden from 4-6 p.m.
"The whole idea is quality of life in Winchester, community and prosperity, agriculture, healthy lifestyles and fresh local food," Cook said. "It's all about engaging the community ... [creating] a farm experience, bringing the farm to town.
"It's to get the kids excited about agriculture. Today, many of the families aren't
visiting the farms, or children aren't having a farm experience. It's time to get back to the understanding that the earth is meant to produce, and that we have an obligation to ensure the food supply for future generations."
Cook said it's hoped the Frederick County Farm Bureau program will be picked up statewide next year, and then nationally after that.