|Posted June 16, 2005:
The Rodale Institute®, which brings you NewFarm.org, has
been invited to participate in the Food Culture USA portion
of the Folklife Festival, which runs from June 23 to June 27
and June 30 to July 4, 2005 in Washington, D.C. Food Culture
USA, say its creators, “celebrates the extraordinary story
of the American food revolution of the last 30 years. The program
focuses on three of its driving forces: the immigration that
has introduced new foods and tastes to American cooking, the
grassroots movement for sustainable agriculture and its connection
with traditional methods of growing, and the role that chefs
and cooks as tradition-bearers have played in encouraging appreciation
for the great variety of American foodways.”
growing interest in food has introduced a number of movements
in the United States,” said co-curator Stephen Kidd
of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
“These include a boom in organic products and produce;
the ascendancy of the soybean; the benefits of free-range
meat and sustainable farming; and the interest in experiencing
food at alternative markets rather than shopping at conventional
grocery stores.” The Festival explores and celebrates
all of these changes.
The Rodale Institute employees will be staffing a tent throughout
the event devoted to explaining the connection between healthy
soil and healthy food to interested visitors. (The total draw
for the event is over 1 million folks—one of the largest
celebrations in the nation.) If you come, please drop by and
We’ll also be participating in informal “Around
the Table” chats with other food and farming experts
throughout the celebration, including:
- a free-ranging chat about local food and local economies;
- a discussion of sustainability and local sourcing by
restaurants and retailers;
- and an exploration of the differences between organic,
natural and conventionally produced foods.
Best of all, the Food Culture USA portion of the Festival
is going to be Sustainable Ag Central for the two weeks of
the event—an incredible convocation of organic, sustainable
and traditional farmers from around the country and the globe,
as well as dozens of chefs who source food locally. Among
those who will be showing and telling (just a small sampling):
cheese makers from six different states.
Representatives from a small
organic farmers’ cooperative in Bolivia
that grows, manufactures and exports cocoa products—powder,
butter and chocolate.
Members of a cooperative
of around 300 coffee farmers in the southern
highlands of Tanzania.
Coleman and Barbara
Damrosch of Four Season Farm in Maine—famous
for their off season greenhouse production and their books.
A variety of community
activists from around the country who have
been involved in school lunch programs and urban and school
garden initiatives—including Alice
Waters and others involved in the Edible
Schoolyard project in Berkeley, CA.
Crawford of New Morning Farm in western
PA, who’ve been selling at DC farmers’ markets
for over 30 years. (See
Moie’s story in New Farm for her perspective
on the multiple values of selling direct in a city.)
Allen, who run Growing Power (based in Milwaukee),
a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting
small family farms and bring healthy affordable food to
urban areas. (Will, a giant of a man and a former pro
basketball player, is also involved in the National Immigrant
Beggins and Ann
Yonkers of Pot Pie Farm in Whitman, Maryland.
Ann, a crusader for farmers’ markets, is co-director
of FreshFarm, which runs six markets in the Chesapeake
Hmong immigrants Tzaxe
Lee, who farm 130 acres of specialty vegetables
and 230 acres of grapes in Fresno, California.
a pepper farmer in New Mexico, is president of Santa Fe’s
Farmers’ Market Institute.
Kim and Les
Hook of Albany, Vermont, who sell wild foods
to restaurants throughout New England.
Food Culture USA events run daily from 11 am to 5:30 pm.
You’ll find the farmers, food activists and chefs in
tents and pavilions on the National Mall almost directly in
front of the classic old castle building that is the Smithsonian
headquarters. For more details about Food Culture USA, go
You’ll find a link at the bottom of the page to a PDF
document that provides a detailed schedule of all events.
Below are some details of our own scheduled appearances:
June 23, 12
noon: Passing it On: Soil, Pollen, Taste
June 25, 4
pm: Organic, Natural and Conventional: Navigating
the Food Landscape
4 pm: Local Food, Local Economies
June 27, 3
pm: Sustaining Tradition: How sustainability
connects with traditional growing methods
July 2, 4
pm: Organic Standards: an honest discussion
about the organic standards and how their integrity can
July 3, 11
am: Traditional Crops in New Soil: the growth
of immigrant farming in this country, and how it is preserving
July 4, 1
pm: Sustainability and Local Sourcing: the
importance and challenge for restaurants and retailers of
how to source food locally.