|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.”
“The 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
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 chat.
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 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
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
Waters and others involved in the Edible Schoolyard
project in Berkeley, CA.
and Jim 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.)
and Erika 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 Farming Initiative.)
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 Bay area.
Hmong immigrants Tzaxe
and Ying 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 to www.folklife.si.edu/festival/2005/Food/index.html.
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 be maintained.
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