Note: This refers to a PREVIOUS SW, held February 4th 2012

Please see the newest Sound Waters - always the first Saturday in February.

C.17 Sustainable Food Systems: Pieces of the PuzzleSebastian Aguilar

Greenbank Farm and the Greenbank Farm Agriculture Training Center (GFATC) are working to restore the link between local production and local consumption of the food we eat.

The daunting task of re-vitalizing our regional food system into one that is responsive and responsible to local communities, economies, and landscapes requires the collaborative efforts of many people and organizations.

Here on Whidbey Island, like other places across America, we are responding to the steady decrease in farmland, a food system dangerously dependent on fossil fuel, the increased rising age of farmers, and an impersonal food chain that transports food items an average of 1,500 miles to our dinner tables.

To begin our session, we ask the question, what is a food system? This will be followed by a brief discussion about what is happening on Whidbey and what is missing. Every food system, wherever it is, needs certain key pieces to be functional and successful.

We will conclude with discussion and photos.  In March, GFATC will begin its fourth growing season cultivating farmers, food and community.  There are many pieces of the local food system to repair or re-frame for regions across the United States.

One of the key pieces of any food system puzzle is how to produce new farmers. What will they learn and how will they learn to get the results the community needs and wants?  The GFATC cultivates farmers, food and community through educational programming, organic farming, and community outreach. Our educational programs focus on training aspiring farmers to run successful, ecological and community-focused farms.  The GFATC uses its small organic farm as a real-world example and outdoor classroom. Through balanced academic and experiential studies, participants study all aspects of starting and running a small-scale organic farm, from goal setting and business planning to planting, harvesting, and marketing.

Our goal is to provide the skills and knowledge new farmers need to confidently enter the growing field of sustainable agricultural producers.

In this session, you will get a first hand glimpse of one of the ‘key puzzle pieces’ being developed right here on Whidbey Island to prepare for the coming shortage of farmers and contribute to a growing local food system movement.

The links below provide additional information.....