Hamptons Seed Exchange, Chef’s Benefit Dinner Planned November 18

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The second Hamptons Seed Exchange—an event where the community comes together to share both vegetable and flower seeds and learn about preserving the diversity of agriculture—is coming to Amagansett on Saturday, November 18, as is a seed-themed chef’s dinner to benefit the Springs-based nonprofit Project MOST, which provides underprivileged children with after-school activities.

Organizer Adam Kelinson, an East Hampton resident and the owner of catering company Around the Fire, explained that the Hamptons Seed Exchange is an annual event that he anticipates will continue for years to come, while the Chef’s Benefit Dinner is a new event planned to raise critical funds for Project MOST, which anticipates losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding in the next couple of years.

Both events will take place at Scoville Hall.

The seed exchange will be open from noon until 4 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring seeds to share—whether they be heirloom seeds they saved themselves, or leftover store-bought seeds. Those without any seeds to share are welcome to attend and take home some seeds to start their own gardens.

Guest speakers will discuss topics relevant to seeds, growing and pollination. Among the anticipated speakers are Edwina von Gal from the Perfect Earth Project, Rick Bogusch from Bridgehampton Gardens, Scott Chaskey from Quail Hill Farms, Ian Calder-Piedmonte from Balsam Farms, Ray Wellen from Green Thumb Organics, Deb Klughers from Bonac Bees and Mike Martinsen from Montauk Shellfish Company. Brian Halweil from Edible East End magazine will moderate a panel.

Admission is free and open to the public. Organic wood-fired pizza by Around the Fire and desserts by A Kitchen 4 Liam will be for sale to benefit Project MOST.

While the events complement each other, guests don’t need to attend one to attend the other.

The Chef’s Benefit Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m., with Jeff Purrazzi from JK Chef Collection and Mr. Kelinson serving as executive chefs. Admission is $75. More local chefs will participate, and a number of local producers are donating ingredients. Mr. Kelinson will also forage for ingredients that grow wild, such as fennel pollen and chamomile.

“Dishes we’re preparing are all contextually based to what I refer to as the ‘clambake nation,’” he said.

In order to be true to Long Island’s food heritage, there will be no Mediterranean oils used in preparing the courses. Rather, he said, chefs will use sunflower oil and lard from ducks.

Mr. Kelinson, who describes himself as a culinary ethnobotanist, explained that he planned the seed-themed dinner to bridge the food of Long Island’s natives and early settlers with contemporary dining.

He said he wanted to give back to the community, and Project MOST was a natural beneficiary choice for the dinner.

“The event is all about seeds, and seed is such a symbol of vulnerable potential,” he said. “If we don’t take care of them, then they’re going to wither and die. They’re just not going to make. And seriously, it’s the same with the kids at the end of the day. They’re the seeds of the future.”

For more information, visit facebook.com/hamptonsseedexchange. For tickets to dinner, visit projectmost.com.

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