|Posted by Jason Grimm on June 28, 2011 at 9:53 AM||comments (0)|
Independent producers creating fresh local products are the heart of the local food movement. Iowa Valley Food Co-op (IVFC) organizers are working to increase the amount of local food bought and sold in our region by bringing together local consumers with local food producers through an on-line ordering system. IVFC is an innovative and creative marketing effort that takes advantage of two of today’s fastest growing trends in grocery sales, online ordering and local food.
WHAT: ntroduction to the Iowa Valley Food Co-op for local food consumers
WHEN: 4-7 PM onJuly 13, 2011
WHERE: First Presbyterian, 310 Fifth St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
FREE OPEN HOUSE FOR ALL LOCAL FOOD CONSUMERS AND SUPPORTERS
Identified as one of the Top Ten Food Trends of 2011 by the Food Channel local food is flourishing across the country, including in Eastern Iowa. IVFC will use a pioneering on-line ordering system that connects local producers directly with local consumers to support the products of local farmers and other local food entrepreneurs. The purpose of the IVFC is to increase the availability of fresh, fairly priced, sustainably produced food in Eastern Iowa.
In order to promote the benefits of the cooperative there will be an open house for local consumers and other supporters of local food held from 4-7 PM on July 13, 2011, at the First Presbyterian, 310 Fifth St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401. Organizers and producer members will be on hand to answer questions about the cooperative and greet the public. Samples of products available from the producers of the cooperative will be served, including beef, pork, baked goods and cheese.
After a year of planning leaders of the cooperative have secured a partnership with First Presbyterian Church, 310 Fifth St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 as the site where food will be dropped off and picked up by members of the cooperative. A date for the first distribution of food has been set for August17.
Event is open to all
For more information: www.iowavalleyfood.com
With support from
· LeopoldCenter for Sustainable Agriculture
· BloomingPrairie Foundation
· IowaDepartment of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
· IowaValley Resource and Conservation District
· PrairieVentures, LLC
· FirstPresbyterian, Cedar Rapids, IA
|Posted by Jason Grimm on June 28, 2011 at 9:52 AM||comments (0)|
Johnson County may become Iowa’s third county to establish an official group to promote local foods.
The so-called Johnson County Food Policy Council would review and recommend policies to the Johnson County Board of Supervisors or the Johnson County Department of Public Health on a variety of topics, such as requiring a portion of foods used by public agencies be local or forbidding Styrofoam use in food establishments.
“It’s primarily to discuss opportunities and barriers related to our local food system and a place for the community to bring issues and opportunities to the public’s notice,” said Jason Grimm, a food system planner.
One of the goals is to use and make it easier to use more local foods and thus financially support local farmers and sustainable living practices.
Grimm has been working with the board of supervisors to draft a resolution establishing the council, including its structure, budget and how it would be managed. In previous meetings, supervisors have spoken favorably about establishing the council, and Grimm said he expects a final plan ready for approval in July.
“I think it’s not a bad thing if it promotes local foods. In general, if we can promote local growth and keep prices low, maybe start using it in jails and the local markets, it can promote rural agriculture and smaller producers. It can be helpful,” Supervisor Pat Harney said.
Grimm estimates the council would be made up of 10 to 12 appointed members, with oversight by county staff. The budget could be $5,000 to $30,000 or $40,000 a year depending on if a staff member is hired.
Pottawattamie and Cass counties have established food councils. Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack signed the Iowa Food Policy Council into law in 2000, but the council ceased operation when the administration changed and grants expired. A new group emerged in 2008 and decided to carry on as the Iowa Food Systems Council with many of the same goals.
|Posted by Jason Grimm on June 23, 2011 at 11:24 AM||comments (0)|
Vermont and California based nationally touring singer-songwriters “Coco and Lafe” are performing a free concert in Williamsburgas part of their ocean-to-ocean “Get Fresh” tour, underwritten by Real Time Farms an online nationwide local food guide. Their mission is to bring attention to buying local and eating healthy, and they are traveling 15,000 miles over six months to drive the issue home.
Coco and Lafe have created their own niche to follow their passion for songwriting. The two baby boomers retired into music, and currently are on a national tour of 100 Farmers Markets from San Diego to Maine and back to encourage people to buy local and interact with their food growers. They will play a concert at the Williamsburg Farmers Market, in the downtown city park, on Friday, July 1, from 4pm to 6pm.
With blues guitar, tight harmonies and original songs, the duo’s latest CD is being played on 172 acoustic radio programs in five countries, including the nationally syndicated “Midnight Special” and XM Satellite’s “The Village.” They have released 5 CDs and have been touring full time for three years. They are accompanied by their busking beagle“Lilla”, adopted from a beagle rescue organization, and are documenting their adventure on the Real Time Farms blog, at http://blog.realtimefarms.com/get-fresh-100-market-tour/.
Visit the Williamsburg Farmers Market on July 1 for a free concert, some local produce and a little love from Lilla. This is the perfect time to “Get Fresh” with your local farmer’s market and some great music from Coco & Lafe.
All concerts are free to the public. For a list of other markets and times visit www.cocolafe.com.