I met with Jason Clark, the director of 2nd Harvest INW and some others to talk about getting 2nd Harvest involved in the Eat Local Challenge. Each year they process 13-14 million pounds of food that gets passed on to food banks throughout the Inland Northwest. By the way, they will take that truckload of zucchini your not quite sure what to do with.
It was interesting to hear them talk about the same challenges grocery stores are wrestling with; rising diesel fuel costs, a desire to work more with local farmers but a lack of proven models of how to do so. Our conversation also got me thinking about preserving foods for use in food banks. Food banks don't want home canned foods for good reason, but what if there was a local canning operation that processed fresh local foods for use during the winter months? We are going to promote one of their events through the Eat Local Challenge, Gleaning at Greenbluff. It happens outside the September window, but it is a great event. The weekend of November 1,2 volunteers are invited to Greenbluff farms to glean apples, squash and any other foods left in the fields, all going to 2nd Harvest. Are there other area farms that would like to participate in this?
Here's the tentative calendar of events so far for the Spokane Eat Local Challenge:
- All the area Farmers Markets are weekly events
- 9/4/08 Futurewise Feast with Friends – protecting farmland by celebrating some of the best regional cuisine & libations, 6:30-9:30pm at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars
RSVP by 9/1 at 509.838.1965, www.futurewise.org/spokane
- 9/13, East End Neighborhood Street Fair, Launch of Main Market Co-op Memberships!
- 9/13 – Fresh Abundance Grand Opening Event – Division Location
- 9/14 – Main Market Co-op last of the 2008 series IN THE FIELD at Zakarison Farm in Pullman. A multi-generational farm, now transitioning to organic and even more impressive, exploring methods of farming that use less fuel... Committed to stewarding our land, producing healthy food and conserving our resources... Meet the director of the new WSU organic farming program too! Purchase tickets on the “Learn” page of www.mainmarket.coop by 9/12/08.
- 9/24 –
- Slow Food Spokane River Salmon Nation Dinner at Hill’s Restaurant & Lounge
Food from local farmers & fisherman, https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/41305
- 9/25 – 9/27 – Sustainable Food Film Festival, Eat With You Own Eyes
WA Sustainable Food & Farming Network and Slow Food Spokane River fundraiser event with 3 film-maker screenings and first release and author signing of Chefs on the Farm, from Quillisascut Farm. https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/41314. Download eat_with_your_eyes1.pdf brochure.
- 11/1-11/2 - Gleaning at Greenbluff 2nd Harvest event
We are also pulling together some gift certificates, and prizes to encourage people to take the challenge. Let me know if you have something to offer.