Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

September in North Carolina is good for the grapes and fine for the tomatoes, great for the cabbages and leafy greens and as fine a time as any for the pumpkins, one of which is right now engorging itself in my backyard under a mess of giant leaves that look like something out of a Harry Potter book. It’s a bad time to be a deer, however, as the beginning of bow-hunting season begins Sept. 13. If you happen to see Ted Nugent prowling through your backyard, lock the doors and call the police.

Also in September, this week anyway, Earth Fare in Greensboro kicks into high gear with four events. On Wednesday — on every Wednesday, actually — Jill White Huffman leads a myofascial stretch workout that begins at 9:15 a.m. Classes are $7 each; call Jill at 336.855.1860 to register.

On Thursday at 6:30 p.m. the organic grocery hosts a seminar in natural pain relief. This one’s a freebie, utilizing stretching methods to alleviate pain from the neck to the toes. On Friday and Saturday they’ll be collecting old computers for the HandyCapable Network of NC, which will be refurbished and donated to schools, community centers, low-income families and the disabled. Donate your old machine between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Then, the following Tuesday at 6 p.m., sit in on a long-term care seminar.

Also in Greensboro, the Press Wine Café holds a Japanese beer tasting on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Japanese beers. The Japanese picked up brewing from the Dutch during the 1600s, and today it is the most popular alcoholic beverage in that country. They are generally light and crisp, with low malt content. Make a reservation at 336.333.3190.

And on Saturday, the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market celebrates Farmers Appreciation Day from 6 a.m. until noon. The event, a tribute to the local farmer, will have samples, music, a “Southern breakfast” and, says the press release, “more.” And the Grove Winery hosts a paddle dinner on Saturday. After meeting at the winery at 2:30 p.m., paddling diners will decamp for the Upper Haw River for a few hours of scenic pleasure before a five-course meal at the Grove. Find more details on the website,

And here’s the most significant food trend of the month: an explosion in freezer sales. According to NPD Group, a research firm, Americans have bought more than 1.1 million freezers in the first half of 2008, up 7 percent from last year. That’s about $400 million worth, attributed to rising food costs and the proliferation of big-box stores that sell meat, it seems, by the ton. I’ve got an extra freezer in my own garage, just waiting for someone to offer me some venison.