“Taking a Bite” and Food System Conference

Thanh -- January 23rd, 2008

There have been several posts and discussions regarding the topic of local foods (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.).  John Eckman, Executive Director of the Valley Conservation Council and resident of Harrisonburg, did a civic soapbox (listener essay on WMRA) he titled “Taking a Bite” (sound clip). There’s a lot of wonderful things going on in the Valley – John describes a number of farmers markets, auctions, and community initiatives working together to help individuals, like you and me, make connections with our food and to realize the potential for great nutritional benefits that are also “better for the farm, the economy, and the environment”.

There’s also a Buy Fresh, Buy Local initiative getting started right now in the Shenandoah Valley. Its spearheaded by members of several organizations and businesses including the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Healthy Community Council, Friendly City Food Co-Op, Washington & Lee University, Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market, Staunton Grocery, Valley Conservation Council, Massanutten Technical Center, Harrisonburg City Public Schools, etc etc… The group’s application has been accepted and a chapter will be recognized this year. They’ll soon have a website. If you’re interested in getting involved in this and other local food initiatives, please contact Eric Bendfelt at ebendfel [at] vt [dot] edu.

Erik Bendfelt, et al are also organizing this event “Community, Farm, & Food System Conference: A Vision for Virginia Agriculture, Local Economies, and Healthy Communities” on March 27, 2008 at Blue Ridge Community College. Please contact Eric for more information.


Conference Schedule – Click to Open (pdf)

3 Responses to ““Taking a Bite” and Food System Conference”

  1. Thanh says:

    There is a cool article in the DNR today about “Heartland Harvest Farm Store” (http://www.heartlandharvestfarm.com/). I couldn’t find the article online, but I have a pdf of it I scanned if anyone is interested in seeing it, contact me.

    The article says:

    “Heartland Harvest… has offered alternatives to edibles sold in supermarkets… features such items as flour, walnuts, honeys, jams, and cornmeal and pancake mix. The shops refrigerator holds a variety of meats… A selection of grains includes…”

    The store was started in 2000.

    They are located in Mt. Solon. I think I may have to make a field trip soon.

  2. Thanh says:

    Minutes from a Local Food Initiative Work Group Meeting: “MARCH 27 CONFERENCE – It is anticipated the audience will include farmers, producers, chefs, institutional buyers, and representatives of local government. Estimated attendance is 200-250 people. Vans will be needed to transport Mennonite farmers. Topics for lunchtime conversation tables were proposed. Ian Boden of Staunton Grocery is planning the lunch. For more information and a conference brochure, go to http://filebox.vt.edu/users/ebendfel/brochures/CFNFS_Conf.pdf

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