We at FamilyFarmed conduct most of our work to build a better food system from our base in the city of Chicago. So we relish the opportunities to get into the country and visit the farmers who are the heart and soul of the Good Food movement — such as our trip Monday (July 24) to two of our woman-farmer friends in Pecatonica, a farm town 100 miles to the west with a whole lot of progressive thinking about Good Food growing.
The demand for better grains, flour and bread is fueling a market surge that is benefiting grain growers in the Midwest and across the United States. Some of these producers are more deeply rooted than others — and one of these is Illinois organic grain farmer Brian Severson, whose family has been growing in east-central Illinois for more than 150 years. Brian Severson Farms/Quality Organics will be an exhibitor at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Trade Show on Friday, March 17 and the Good Food Festival on Saturday, March 18.
Donna and Scott Lehrer gave up corporate work for organic farming near Chicago nearly two decades ago. Their Big Rock Organics at Lamb of God Farm not only provides the food products for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscribers, but also wool for daughter Natasha Lehrer Lewis’ Esther’s Place fiber studio. The farm is a member of Band of Farmers: The Chicagoland CSA Coalition, and will be participating in the CSA Pavilion at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival at Chicago’s UIC Forum on Saturday, March 18.
Jenny Yang and her Phoenix Tofu company in Chicago are shining examples of how FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator helps food and farm entrepreneurs build their businesses. Yang is launching a major expansion in response to fast-rising demand, which was the subject of a recent profile in the Chicago Tribune. We have republished an article we wrote about her and Phoenix Tofu last year, with a link to the Tribune story.
George Siemon co-founded and heads Organic Valley, the Wisconsin-based producer of dairy products, meats and vegetables that is the nation’s biggest organic farmer cooperative. The work of the company to advance the Good Food movement was honored with FamilyFarmed’s Good Business Business of the Year Award.
The Organic Center (TOC) has released the 10 most important organic findings of 2015, revealing scientific breakthroughs on the environmental and human health benefits of organic food and farming — from improving soil health and supporting water quality, to reducing our exposure to pesticides and mitigating climate change. Sustainable Food News reports in this republished article.
The damaging impact of “chemical drift” is one of the most critical issues for farmers who practice organic or other sustainable growing methods, some of whom shared their stories of dealing with this problem at the recent Good Food Festival & Conference.
The stories of immigrants achieving success by making the foods of their native lands are parts of the history and social fabric of the United States. But Jenny Yang of Chicago’s Phoenix Bean tofu has an immigrant food story with a modern twist. While millions of people have come to America to escape poverty or oppression, Yang first came to the U.S. from her native Taiwan a quarter-century ago in pursuit of higher education.
As a pioneering organic farmer, an academic at Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and president of New York’s Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Fred Kirschenmann is both a practical and intellectual leader in the Good Food movement. In the second of our two-part q-and-a, Kirschenmann discusses obstacles to change in our industrial food system as entrenched interests try to hold their grounds, and why he is hopeful that the rise of “food citizens” will bring change nonetheless.
On a day when mainstream media outlets are focused on the dysfunctionality plaguing our political system, it is timely to provide a reminder that there are millions of Americans working tirelessly to affect positive change at the grass-roots level. Fred Kirschenmann — pioneering organic farmer, academic, and a leading intellectual force in the Good Food movement — is a shining example of that.
If you live in or visit the New York City area and care about sustainable food, then the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture should be on your agenda. To whet your appetite, please enjoy this slide show of photos from a recent stop at Stone Barns.