Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hey Pagan farmers, 8th Annual Local Food Summit Feb 15

On Monday, February 15th, Washtenaw Community College will be the site of the
8th Annual Local Food Summit-Local Food for Everyone.  More of a movement than a moment, this conference is all about the local food movement and empowering local food production, availability, and awareness.   With the movement of Pagan Homesteading being so strong here in Michigan, this is of special interest to  green thumb readers.

The Keynote Panel,  “Local Food for Everyone: Farmer and Food Justice Perspectives,” will feature Megan Deleeuw, Farmer, Owner, and Founder of Manchester’s Hand Sown Farm, and Shane Bernardo, Outreach Coordinator at Detroit’s Earthworks Urban Farm.  This writer has attended many educational courses in the past through the Garden Resource Program at Detroit Earthworks Urban Farm, and can attest to the dynamic and powerful drive and innovation demonstrated by the people who run it.  The sound of the hives happily buzzing away in high summer are a wonderful memory and reminder of the importance of the ecosystems delicate balance. 

Addressed during this panel will be the issues, sometimes seen as conflicts, between such varied practitioners of the science of growing.  Dr. Stefanie Stauffer, PhD in Sociology from UC Davis, will serve as moderator.  The good doctor completed her studies focus on "urban agriculture and local, sustainable food systems".   
She is also the founder and operator of Nightshade Farm Industries, a small batch farm to jar business, making hot sauce and salsa with heirloom and Ark of Taste peppers and tomatoes from her farm fields.

For the Bards among us, a special feature will be a story slam.  Tales from the front lines of food production take the stage.  But in addition to these will be stories from all the perspectives of our adventures with sustenance.  From the food service worker, chef, consumer, gardener, and community food activist, all will be possible presenters at the event.

Lunch will be included, followed by the much anticipated breakout sessions by Washtenaw Food Policy Council, Argus Farm Stop, and ZingTrain.   Aspiring and experienced growers can learn about permaculture, involving schools with farming, and more.  Children and young adults aged 5 thru 18 are encouraged to come to these, as well as participate in the many activities planned in the Local Food Summit Youth Track

Advanced registration is due by February 8 in order to secure your reservation.  Adult admission is $40, with youth pricing at  $20, or  $50 up until the day of the event. This includes breakfast and lunch, coffee and snacks. There are scholarship and sponsorship opportunities available.  For more information on these, please visit them at their website.

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