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Welcome to GoodFood WorldAugust 23, 2012

It's harvest time and those of us who are Jubilee Farm CSA members are buried in ripe, beautiful, delicious fruits and vegetables. We're lucky to know exactly where our food comes from; we've been spending Tuesday afternoons this summer with our hands in the dirt. We've transplanted, planted, weeded, and harvested all kinds of produce.

 

A big bunch of carrots tastes so good when you've very carefully weeded them when the baby carrots are so tiny you can barely see them. And strawberries are sweeter after you've crawled on hands and knees to weed and tuck runners back into the rows where they belong.

 

We've been exploring the regional food system and this week we highlight two progressive organizations that are links in the good food supply chain in Puget Sound. The real business challenge of agriculture in the Pacific Northwest is to re-establish smaller diversified farms and implement ecologically-smart science at the appropriate scale - back to the future, some would say.

 

Viva Farms

Viva Farms is a farm incubator with a special mission: to turn farm workers into farm owners. Unlike farm incubators designed for beginning farmers, Viva Farms program requires farming experience, a commitment to farming as a primary occupation, and a written business plan for the new farming venture. Participants need to be ready to take the next step to full-time farm production. 

 

In Crossing the Chasm with Viva Farms, read how Sarita and Ethan Schaffer built a network of training and services that makes it possible for small growers to launch their own farms and provides the support they need to be successful.

 

21 Acres Food Hub

So where do farmers and food processors find direct connections with chefs, retailers, and institutional buyers in Puget Sound? Numerous groups of government agencies, non-governmental agencies (NGOs), and academics, have spent years trying to define the structure, and implementation of "food hubs" for local producers. Farmers and buyers are finding ways to move past the talk and build their own networks.

 

Temporary wholesale markets are opening up in an attempt to directly link growers and buyers. For example, at a recent B2B Local Food Showcase more than 20 small producers and marketing groups reached out to potential retail and food service customers. Read more about it in Food Hubs: Back to the Future? 

 

There's more, keep reading! Get a cup of coffee and join us at GoodFood World, where we get to the source by talking to the people who produce, process, and deliver good food. Take care, eat well, and be well!  

Soup and Salad - Great Summer Food

Ina Denburg, our Health and Wellness columnist, recently ran right into one of the contradictions of our current food system: blueberries from the same source for two very different prices ($4.99 at Whole Foods and $2.99 at a local conventional supermarket). Summer SoupHer comments:

 

Now, I'm not new to eating healthy real food, and I know good food ought to cost more, but I admit my knee-jerk response to local blueberries was not to be paying $5. I'd expect that in winter when they'd come from South America perhaps (I don't buy them then), but from my home in the Garden State? What's up with that?

 

What does Ina do? Start telephoning folks along the supply chain to find out why. In the meantime, she resorts to making soup - soup solves all problems! Read more here - and get instructions for a wonderful summer soup.

 

Salmon Salad On the other hand, Kate Hilmer, our Eating Well on a Budget columnist, has been experimenting with colorful, healthy, and tasty vegetables in all kinds of salads. And she calculates the cost of doing it yourself versus eating at a salad buffet. Read it here in Salad, glorious salad!   

Kate says: 


Today I'm here to glorify the food phenomenon we know as salad: that combination of greens and vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, that's savory and sweet and bitter with all different textures thrown in, and topped with any type of sauce from thick and creamy to a simple oil and vinegar. Salads are extremely versatile, affordable, and nourishing.

Now, head out to your nearest farmers market, your CSA pick up point, or your backyard garden, and start making your own summer soups and salads!
A Mother's Dream

Two years ago, Genet Bayesa witnessed her family shrink and expand at the same time.

 Rufael Group Garden

When her sister finally succumbed to HIV/AIDS, Genet lost a loved one and simultaneously became the caretaker for her HIV-positive toddler niece.  

 

Genet not only faced raising her own two children, but had to come up with the money for necessary food to keep the fragile body of little Aberresh alive.

 

Then she discovered Rufael Group Garden and found a way to provide both money and good food for her family. Today, Genet dreams of creating a cooperative with her Group Garden and diversifying the agriculture portfolio by adding animals and a possible dairy farm. "I don't want my life to happen to my children. I want their life to be greater than mine," she says. Read A Mother's Dream here.
Reading List

Les Halles, L'Album du Coeur de Paris, Jacques Prévert (Heinz Moos Verlag, 1963)  

 

Les Halles - Andre PrevertImagine: It's 4:30 in the morning; trucks are pulling up to unload fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, flowers, and more. Chefs and wholesalers make deals with a handshake and crates of produce and other food products are loaded into vans and lorries for delivery. While the rest of the world sleeps, the wholesale market is awake and doing business.  

 

Every large city had its central market. One of the most famous is Les Halles in Paris, which was first open air and then covered in 1183 to create shelters for the merchants. Nearly 700 years later (1873), Les Halles was christened the "Belly of Paris" by novelist Émile Zola.  

 

Sadly the historic Les Halles was dismantled in 1971 and moved to the edge of the city, to the Paris suburb of Rungis. In Prévert's book you will see photos of the market as it looked in the early 1960s.  

 

There are more books on GoodFood World and more coming every week. Enjoy! 
At Your Service!

Gail Nickel-KailingWe can help you get your products to market! You put your heart and soul into growing, preparing, packaging, and delivering whole, minimally processed, local/regional, and organic or sustainable food. Marketing your products to discerning consumers can be a challenge.

 

Green Business StrategiesWe can fix that! I am a former corporate marketing professional seeking clients in the good food world - organic and sustainable farmers, food processors, retailers, restaurateurs - who want to reach more customers and buyers through a creative, affordable, collaborative process that includes business planning, marketing program development, a bold web presence, or social media marketing.  

 

Let's get you more customers, generate more sales, and boost your bottom line.  

 

Consulting and business services for small socially-innovative businesses and grass-roots "good food" producers and processors. Visit Green Business Strategies and learn more. 

Your Chance to Contribute Content, Advice, Input

We welcome photos, tips, observations, and links to stories about the world of good food. Send us stories about what you've seen or heard. Tell us what we're doing right. We like "atta boys!" Got a beef? Send it on... we need to know! Here's the place to do it.   

 

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See you next week!

 

Gail Nickel-Kailing and Ken Kailing

Co-Publishers/Editors

 

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