Check out this dispatch from the 2011 Growing Our Food System conference. One of the surprising things for me when I went through to provide the captions was just how inter-connected and multi-faceted many of our local chefs, farmers, and food activisits are.
This conference was pitched at those who grow, prepare, sell, work with, or just eat food--basically all humans. It was a capacity crowd with a waitlist; here are a few of those who lent their vitality to the proceedings.
At right: Allan Coyle of 5 Lakes Media, chef Nick Gavrilides, and Carrie Burns from the South Lansing Community Development Association(clockwise from upper left) pack in for the event kick-off.
The crowd at last week's Growing Our Food System conferece included Jarad Talaga (front left), who's working on helping local non-profits make food growing more wheelchair accessible, among other projects.
Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing (above left) sits at the back of a crowd learning about urban agriculture from the Delta Institute's Todd Parker (below).
To the right of the living food arrangements by Carolyn from Drake's Floral is Jane Bush, the local farm dynamo behind Appleschram Farms and a new farmers' co-op marketing local mid-winter greens to large institutions.
Former City Market director and current Tree Keeper John Hooper enjoys a colleague's presentation.
Judy Wicks, founder of the White Dog Cafe in Philidelphia, gave the keynote.
Local chefs, farmers, and food activists consider ideas about local food security.
Local artists provided inspiration, including this healthy re-purposing of a decrepid north Lansing property.
Food and music impressario John Krohn networking with Melissa Lott from the Ingham County Land Bank.
Rita O'Brien works with South Lansing Community Development Association to support community gardens and other health initiatives in south Lansing. Successful efforts include Joly Grove Community Garden (Pleasant Grove at Jolly Rd.) and many others.
Chad Badgero (left) has made a name for himself directing several local theater productions, but perhaps less well known is the support he's shown for Old Town Commercial Association, including their community garden.
Below, Jeremy Moghtader and Nick Gavrilides share wisdom with the audience and with each other. Jeremy manages Michigan State University's Student Organic Farm and provided insights on related roles in the food system. The MSU SOF is a full-fledged produciton and training farm. Nick is the owner and executive chef of The Soup Spoon Cafe in Lansing, where he incorporates local ingredients in creative cuisine.
Below, Ingham County Medical Examiner Dean Sienko lays out his philosophy on public (preventative) health.
Terry Link, Executive Director of the Greater Lansing Food Bank, gives some context for the day's activities (below).