Sowing Seeds Here and Now!: A Chesapeake Area Urban Farming Summit
Friday, June 18th, 2010 at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
Do you believe that everyone has a right to nutritious produce?
Urban Farming is a movement to return the cultivation of our meals to our neighborhoods and cities, revitalizing vacant lots and abandoned properties, productively employing local residents, uniting communities, and ensuring greater social justice. Urban agriculture efforts speak to the well-being and health of our bodies, our society, our environment, the Chesapeake Bay, and our County. It also speaks to our basic right to choose good and have access to good safe nutritious food.
What we put in our bodies is integral our immediate and long term health, and has also greatly impacts the world in which we live. Industrial agriculture has been implicated in many of the world’s ills, from reducing biodiversity due to corporate patenting and genetic engineering, water and ground pollution and contamination due to overuse of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, and depletion of forests, water and soil resources. Many express concern about working conditions of agricultural workers and the abusive conditions of raising and slaughtering poultry and livestock. Others wonder about the additional expenses and environmental costs of the transportation, packaging, and over-processing of many foods we eat daily.
With fewer than 2% of our nation’s people working as farmers, many people wonder how our food system got so far away from US. With the return of the urban agriculture and farmers market movement, we all are beginning to look again at creating a more efficient and ethical food system that can employ more people to sustain our basic needs by (re)turning to small scale safe and local production of food.
As more of us significantly question who decides and produces what we consume, we also see an escalation of food deserts in inner cities– places where food of any kind is hard to come by anywhere, other than a few limited convenience stores and fast food establishments.
So, if your answer to our original question is a resounding YES!– we all do have a right to nutritious food for our bodies and souls, then Join us in reclaiming our health, our land, and our communities, and help us to sow seeds for the future!
In collaboration with key partners across the Chesapeake area, Engaged Community Offshoots, Inc. (http://www.ecoffshoots.org) is organizing and hosting Sowing Seeds Here and Now!: A Chesapeake Area Urban Farming Summit (http://sowingseedshereandnow.com) on Friday, June 18th, 2010 at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.
Join farmers and public health practitioners, policy advocates and teachers, city planners, local food entrepreneurs and people like yourself, to work together to identify and smash barriers to urban farming, and to embrace lessons learned by people around the country who are advancing urban agriculture to meet our complex community needs.
You can micro-sponsor the training of an Urban Farmer from http://sowingseedshereandnow.com
Hands on trainings, inspiring stories, and constructive strategies for justice and health will flourish in the three tracks of the one day Summit. Our Keynote speaker and inspiration is Will Allen of Growing Power (http://www.growingpower.org)
Track 1:Urban Farming Technical Workshops (3 simultaneous hands on workshops)
Track 2: Healthy People and the Environment (A: Health Focus, B: Environment Focus, C: Equity Focus)
Track 3: Policy and Planning for Community & Economic Development: (A: Land Use. B: Incentives, C: Policy and Planning)