June 21, 2023

‘Foodie Fridays’ Speaker Series of Montgomery Parks Will Have Conversations About Food-Related Topics at Josiah Henson Museum and Park in Bethesda

‘Foodie Fridays’ Speaker Series of Montgomery Parks Will Have Conversations About Food-Related Topics at Josiah Henson Museum and Park in Bethesda

Food lovers of all interests are sure to find something fitting their tastes this summer and fall as Montgomery Parks will host its “Foodie Fridays” speaker series this summer at Josiah Henson Museum and Park in Bethesda. The series will be held on the fourth Friday of each month, with the series opening at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 23.

Foodie Fridays will feature farmers, educators, community organizers, food lovers and changemakers. Each session will be a conversation about a different food-related topic

Admission of $10 per person includes light refreshments and one alcoholic beverage for adults 21 and older with identification. It also includes a ticket to the Josiah Henson Museum (a $5 value) that is redeemable during regular museum hours.

The Josiah Henson Museum and Park is located at 11410 Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda.

Registration is required to attend each session. To register, go to Active Montgomery.

Limited accessible parking is available at the venue. General parking is available at the nearby Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center, which is located at 5900 Executive Blvd. in North Bethesda.

The topic of the first Foodie Friday falls on June 23, will be “Cultivating Traditions.” Local growers will discuss how and why history, ancestral and traditional knowledge and culturally important foods influence their farming practices.

“Food is a powerful signifier of place and time and influences us for the rest of our lives,” said Emma Layman, assistant manager of Montgomery Parks’ Community Gardens program. Everyone remembers the foods from their childhood or homeland, long after they have moved away. Our Cultivating Traditions panel will discuss how local growers’ desire to connect with their heritage has influenced their farming”

A question and answer session will follow each presentation.

The complete schedule for Foodie Fridays:
  • June 23. Cultivating Traditions. Local farmers Tanya Doka-Spandhla and Nia Nyamweya share how they have personally thrived through cultivating crops important to their ancestral heritage. They will be joined by Anthony Cohen, an expert on the Underground Railroad and the operator of the Button Farm Living History Center in Germantown.
  • July 28. The Bee’s Knees. Local beekeeping expert Phil Frank will talk about honeybees’ role in food production, the kinds of foods we would miss without them.
  • Aug. 25. The People’s Medicine. Plants have been used in medicine for thousands of years. Today, they can be found in 40 percent of prescription drugs in the Western world. Local herbalist Rhiannon Smith will discuss holistic wellness and home herbalism.
  • Sept. 22. Saving Seeds and Stories. Niraj Ray, founder of Cultivate the City, will discuss the value and how to save seeds from culturally important and hard-to-find crops.
  • Oct. 27. Food is Freedom. Susan Cook will discuss how the ability to produce food was critical to helping her fourth-great aunt, Alethia Tanner, move from enslavement to freedom. Gardener and activist Vanessa Pierre will discuss her advocacy work and how gardening continues to empower communities.