Urban Ag Panel at IACP

Spent the morning at the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference at the convention center where I was on the panel discussing urban agriculture. NY Times food writer Kim Severson was our very thoughtful and engaging moderator and I heard some truely amazing stories  from the other panelists about what is happening all over the world, and right here close to home…

Kamal Mouzawak from Lebanon started the first farmers market in Beruit and had truely inspirational stories about how sharing food can bring all kinds of different people together.

Closer to home Ann Forsthoefel, executive director of the Portland Farmers Market talked about the bounty of the market and all the programs they are engaged to help educate market shoppers, support farmers and to help make fresh local food accessible to everyone.

Deborah Kane from Ecotrust talked about the work they are doing with the newly launched FoodHub to connect producers and customers – the match.com of the food world!

I shared a bit about our farm and all the great urban ag projects that are part of the landscape in Portland. I also  tried to connect the dots to show how if we all keep working at it, the tremendous excitement that surrounds farmers & food right now could be translated into meaningful policy. Let’s channel all the energy around urban ag in to programs that support Farm to School projects, better land use planning, organic EQUIP, and all the other things that will make our kids healthier, our cities more livable and our farms more successful & sustainable!!