Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Local Food Interest On The Rise

If turnout is any measure, then I would say the approximately 160 people (I counted) who packed the AADL multi-purpose room last night for a panel discussion certainly represents an increasing interest in local food. Regardless From the Farm to Your Fork – Why Local Food Can Make Us Healthier, Happier and More Secure was definitely a stimulating and exciting discussion. Very successful, my compliments to Kim who largely organized it. And hopefully we will have more events like this leading up to the HomeGrown Festival to continue the conversation of some of the ideas that were mentioned. (Actually Kim and I have some ideas but feel free to post any event ideas here as a comment.) If you missed this event, don't fret. These days events like this at our library eventually end up as podcasts posted here - thanks to our fabulous library system!

One thing that I thought was missing from the up front panel presentations and also during the questions period afterward was a mention specifically of the idea of a "farm incubator" to help foster the development of new farmers much in the way new businesses are often fostered. Anyway, new farmers are in short supply and we all need to do something about this. I'll have more to say on this in the future. The other thing I would have liked the panel to re-stress is that you simply need to keep going to the farmers markets and buying shares. And if you are reading this you likely do attend markets - I saw a lot of familiar faces at the event last night as well - but if you keep going even when selection is a little bit low like during the winter you help demonstrate the demand that eventually farmers and new farmers will rise up to meet. Personally, I'm a little bit surprised more winter greens competition hasn't shown up this winter - believe me I'd welcome it, I always feel a little awkward selling out in an hour - but it's coming I'm sure.


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