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Flagler lecture to discuss the history of food in St. Augustine

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March 13, 2012

A panel of experts will discuss the history of food in St. Augustine at an upcoming lecture at Flagler College on March 21.

Moderated by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, “From Hastings to the Sea: Feeding the First City from the 19th to the 21st Century” will discuss topics ranging from the Hastings farms developed to provide food for Henry Flagler’s St. Augustine hotels to the resurgence in locally-sourced food in our area.

Panelists include:

• Chef David Bearl holds three American Culinary Federation certifications and was inducted into the American Academy of Chefs in 2010 at the ACF National Conference. He has worked with the University of Florida for the past 6 years doing value-added product development, seminars in post harvest food preservation, Farm to School seminars and other educational seminars related to local and regional food systems. 

• Brendan Burke has been with the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program since July 2007. Burks has a BA in Anthropology/History from Longwood University and an MA in Historic Archaeology from the College of William and Mary. His research focuses on commercial fishing communities, specifically southeastern US shrimping and he is currently editing a book on St. Augustine’s trawler-building history.

• Danny Johns is the owner/operator of Blue Sky Farms located in the Elkton-Hastings area of St. Johns County.  Johns is a fourth-generation potato farmer and innovator and his farm promotes agricultural awareness and participates in Farm to Table Fundraisers, Slow Food First Coast’s Tour de Farm, tours for The St. Johns Chamber of Commerce and test programs with the St. Johns Water Management District and IFAS. Johns also serves as the President of the North Florida Growers Exchange, and is a board member of the National Potato Council and the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association.

• Richard Villadóniga is a middle school teacher in St. Johns County. A Teacher of the Year award winner, Villadóniga has a BA in geography from George Washington University and an MA in city planning from Georgia Tech. He has received the Geoffrey Roberts Award to fund the Endangered Foods Tour project and two Fulbright fellowships in Japan and South Africa and is the founder of Slow Food First Coast. Villadóniga has served on the Executive Committee of the Jacksonville Food Policy Council and promotes school and community gardening.

• David Dinkins has served with the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service since 1983. Dinkins has a BA and an MA in agriculture from the University of Florida. He is currently serving as the Tri-County Sustainable Agriculture Agent for Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns Counties and his efforts include community and economic development with a focus on sustainable agriculture emphasizing farm profitability and environmental stewardship

The 7 p.m. panel will be held in the Virginia Room of the Ringhaver Student Center, 50 Sevilla St., St. Augustine. It is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Director of College Relations Laura Stevenson Dumas at 904-819-6205 or visit