Edible Island has a new director

Oriana Wuerth shown with the Alpine goats at Yellow Birch Farm in Deer Isle. Wuerth apprenticed at the farm before succeeding Wesley Norton at the helm of Edible Island Culinary and Ecological Center.

STONINGTON — Edible Island Culinary and Ecological Center, the nonprofit organization that stages the annual “Men Who Cook” dinner and numerous cooking classes and culinary and nutrition education programs for school-age children on Deer Isle, has an interim executive director.

Oriana Wuerth, who counts grant-writing and organization building among her skills, has assumed Edible Island’s helm following the departure of Wesley Norton. Norton has moved on to manage donor engagement at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor.

After moving to Deer Isle in 2016, Wuerth has apprenticed at Yellow Birch Farm, which raises dairy goats and produces organic vegetables. As the farm’s apprentice, she hosted local students and assisted at numerous community events. She also volunteers at the Deer Isle Stonington Historical Society and has served as a mentor with Ready by 21 Mentoring and as a board member for the Chase Emerson Memorial Library.

“I see so many opportunities to support local food producers and create opportunities for young people and food entrepreneurs here on the island and in the broader Peninsula community,” Wuerth said. “I’m excited to work with the Edible Island Board of Directors, staff and our partners to continue and expand programming that supports and enhances our local food system.”

Before living in Maine, Wuerth worked for an international development organization in Washington, D.C. She managed a grant-making and capacity building program in Beirut, Lebanon, for five years that supported local youth groups and advocacy initiatives.

During his tenure, Norton staged a broad range of cooking classes from making ice cream to phyllo dough and foraging wild edibles over the years. He recently launched new education programs in public elementary schools in Sedgwick and Brooklin.

Edible Island works to support the local food system through educational activities and other programming. In addition to enrichment classes at elementary schools and a full-credit cooking course at the Deer Isle-Stonington High School, the group offers adult cooking classes and other culinary experiences that promote local farmers, fishermen and food entrepreneurs.

The organization collaborates with Healthy Peninsula to staff and supply the Magic Food Bus mobile farm stand and partners with the Island Pantry to offer weekly recipes and produce to promote healthy eating. The organization also awards the annual Zach Rosenfeld Scholarship to a graduating senior from Deer Isle-Stonington High School or George Stevens Academy pursuing a food-related field of study.

For more info, call 367-5888, email [email protected] or visit www.edibleisland.org.

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