The Solar Dancer greeted all those who gathered at Greenfield Community College last Saturday to hear about and discuss our current local food production and food security and the ways that it might be stepped up.
It was an exciting day because we live in a fortunate area that has lots of good farmland, with old (in the sense of established) and new farmers. These farmers operate farmstands and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and participate in area Farmers Markets. We have the Community Development Corporation‘s certified kitchen which farmers can rent by the hour to process their crops.
We have restaurants and families who appreciate good fresh food that not only sustains them, but sustains our environment – and our economy!
The day was filled with excellent presentations and workshops, from Jim Barry from the Mass Department of Energy Resources, Ben Hewitt, author of The Town That Food Saved and many local experts. You will be hearing more about this exciting day.
There were so many thought provoking ideas presented, including one by Shelly Beck of Enterprise Farm which has a bold vision of their place in the community. One of the Farm’s concerns is the Food Deserts that exist in the state, areas where (usually) low income communities have no access to affordable healthy food. Enterprise Farm decided to bring their produce to one such community near Boston where they already delivered CSA farm shares weekly. Their answer to the food desert was a bus and a celebration. They bought and retrofitted a bus which brought food to this community for a long season – bringing along a growing festive spirit and activity. This was one of the most inspiring moments of the day for me.