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Some of you who are quite familiar with Slow Food and its programs, both national and international, have heard of Terra Madre (“mother earth” in Italian), and perhaps you’ve wondered how to participate.

Terra Madre is a large sustainable food producers conference held in Turin, Italy every two years. The next edition will be held from October 23-27, 2008. It is an opportunity for small-scale food producers from around the world to gather together to discuss the issues they all face, despite the vast differences in their cultures, economies, and topographies. Joining the farmers, cheesemakers, meat producers, etc. are cooks, academics, and some students and educators. Terra Madre, then, is not just the event, but also the network created by this event, a global network—with information-sharing tools, the means to learn from each other, and opportunities for collaboration.

If you are a food producer cook, student or educator, and you are interested in attending this conference, you can find links to online applications here. They are due April 30th, which is just around the corner.

If you are not one of those things, but you love the idea of going to Turin and exploring the ideas behind Slow Food and tasting lots of slow food, you can attend the Salone del Gusto, a public event held concurrently with Terra Madre that contains a huge market of artisanal products from around Italy, and from around the world. Tickets are not yet available, but keep checking back at the site for more information as it becomes available.