Date of Award

2011

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Liberal Studies

Advisor

William Kuykendall

Second Committee Member

Owen F. Smith

Third Committee Member

D. Alan Stubbs

Abstract

The documentary project Growing Local seeks to raise awareness across cultures of the importance of supporting locally produced foods. Growing Local travels to places such as Maine, USA, and Yorkshire, England, where it examines traditional but popular recipes and adapts them using only local ingredients. Through still photography, ambient sound, and audio interviews, each volume of the series documents not only the creation of the adapted recipe, but also traces the ingredients' origins, the history of the recipe, and researches the current status of the region's local food movement. By documenting the efforts of small, local food producers, Growing Local hopes to shift public attention back to the necessity of supporting one's neighbors (instead of huge corporations). The ingredients connect us with the lives of the producers. Growing Local has the potential to attract a global audience and convey the importance of supporting local foods to strengthen local economies. Growing Local will be made available for public presentation in various iterations—on DVD, as an enhanced e-book, printed book with accompanying DVD, delivered via the Web and traditional broadcasting methods, and more. In 2007,1 began researching the first volume of the series: Growing Local: Wild Maine Blueberry Muffins. In this volume I created and documented an award-winning wild Maine blueberry muffin recipe that consisted of ingredients grown and harvested solely in the state of Maine. In one of the segments, the multimedia piece Wild Maine Blueberries, we meet the growers of the blueberries used in the muffin recipe, Jennifer Smith-Mayo and Matthew Mayo of Blue Hill, Maine. This multimedia segment was presented at the University of Maine 2008 Graduate Research Expo and won Second Place for Outstanding Multimedia/Art Presentations. In 2010, the multimedia segment Maine: The State of Local Foods and its companion paper that examines the local foods movement in Maine won the Maine Studies Graduate Award for Research and Creativity. For this thesis project I am presenting a DVD (in POCKET) with a selection of multimedia segments from Growing Local: Wild Maine Blueberry Muffins, which include: Introduction; Wild Maine Blueberries', Butter; Milk & Eggs; and Maine: The State of Local Foods. The award-winning paper, Maine: The State of Local Foods, also accompanies this reflection paper to provide further context on why I believe that Maine, by its own example, is leading the nation toward a more vibrant and self-sustaining local foods economy.

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