Over 400 participants over the weekend of April 5 + 6 took in the many different avenues of inspiring food festivities that made Farm Food’s debut conference a delicious success! Both days met and exceeded the attendance expectations of the planners Shauna Teare and Mailn Christensson, and most importantly the goal of inspiring eaters to reconnect with their food system, while providing space and support for stakeholders to develop and strategize together were more than achieved!
Participants for both the festival and the forum were served remarkable 100% local feasts put on by the chefs; at Whitewater on Saturday and the Hume on Sunday.
Networking, connection and opportunities were explored and the bursary fund created by the events tickets sales were awarded through a fork vote to 3 local initiatives; The Region Producers Co-op out of Nelson seeking to provide distribution / storage and logistic needs of producers in the Bountry / Kootenay region took 1 fork vote. The WE Graham Community Service Society out of Slocan is developing a permaculture garden / commercial kitchen / cob oven and food forest to feed it’s community was awarded a second fork vote. The Queen Bee Project also in Slocan was awarded the third an final fork vote to fund a bee breeding program and further develop a bee sanctuary with medicinal herbs to promote healthy pollinators.
In addition to the bursary fund supporting essential actions in our community the event helped deliver the message of the pressing ALR situation to a large audience, rejuvenated discussions about developing a regional food alliance, and creating viable business opportunities among attendees.
The food system is a huge economic driver in this country, and F3 has brought to light the viable business development that can happen with the support of; consumers choosing local food whenever they can, and producers working together to support one another’s initiatives and needs.
Together we are building a more resilient Kootenay food future.
The final step in the Farm Food Fork project is the soon to launch; KootenayFood.com website. An easy to use directory to put consumers in touch with seasonal local food, gardens in touch with resources and inputs, everyone in touch with educational opportunities around food and farming, and be the umbrella of food groups efforts in the region. The site has a directory completed for the Slocan valley, but any food related business can login and add their information for the rest of the Kootenay communities. Folks can use the classified section for farm / food related needs, and slowly over the summer you will see farm features come on line, with stories and imagery from some of the regions most inspiring farmers!