The growing local food movement is connecting consumers with how, where, and by whom their food is produced. “Yet small farmers and food businesses struggle to sell their goods to local buyers at profit-generating prices.” A study from UC Davis argues that authentic regional brands rather than labels defined by the proximity of production can capture complex consumer values, support farming communities, and attract new food entrepreneurs. Dr. Karen Kiesel is a UC Davis Professor who co-authored “New Marketing Opprtunities for Local Food Producers” and joins our podcast for table talk about what marketing ‘Provenance’ means to consumers, retailers, restaurants and farmers. https://kiesel.ucdavis.edu/
On Vancouver Island in British Columbia Ben Glassen is following the advice that Joel Salatin has shared in books, speaking engagements and on the Farm To Table Talk Podcast. Using Joel’s model, Ben is providing Pastured Poultry for Vancouver Island families by moving chickens across the field daily to evenly spread the wear, fertilization and ensuring the birds are always happily on fresh grass. He followed Joel Salatin’s four principals for a young farmer: 1) Borrow land 2) Mobile infrastructure 3) Modular units to scale 4) Direct market to the end user. It’s a solution to the problem faced by many: how to start farming when you are rich in enthusiasm but not in land or money. www.GlassenFarms.com Instagram @GlassenFarms
Ben’s Favorite Podcasters: Rodger Wasson- Farm To Table Talk; Diego Footer – Permaculture Voices, Grass Fed Life, Farm Small Farm Smart; Darby Simpson- Grassfed Life; John Suscovich – Farm Marketing Solutions and Growing Farms Podcast; Tim Young – Small Farm Nation; Terrance Layhew – The Intellectual Agrarian; Mike Badger – The Fighting Farmer Podcast; Justin Rhodes – You Tube and Abundant Permaculture, leading to Joel Salatin, leading to Wendall Berry, leading to Sir Albert Howard leading to…..
Do we Eat Right? Yes, maybe. What should we eat? There are professionals to help us answer questions like this. They’re called Registered Dietitians and over 10,000 of them attended the Food Nutrition Conference and Expo #FNCE in Philadelphia, sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. One of the highly respected Dietitians in Philadelphia for #FNCE, Sharon Palmer joins the table talk to explore what’s the buzzt and what’s to come as we strive to eat right. Sharon is an author, registered Dietitian, expert on the food system and a foremost proponent of plant based diets. Dietitians tell us what we should eat, so should they also be able to tell us how the food is grown and why certain farming systems or sources are better for us than others? #FNCE @sharonpalmer www.eatright.org
Celebrating agricultural bounty in the midst of a record-setting 150,00 festival goers, great conversations take place about food and farming. What does Farm to Fork mean for farmers, restaurant chefs and consumers? To answer that and related questions 4 special guests sat down at a table, on a stage in a tent at the world famous, Sacramento Farm to Fork Festival. Our guests are Chef Toki Sawada of Binchoyaki; Don Watson of Napa Valley Lamb and Wooly Weeders; Camellia Enriquez Miller of Produce Express and Twin Peaks Orchards and Michael Passmore, owner of Passmore Fish Ranch. Surrounded with the fun sounds of the Festival, we jump in for a brisk conversation of what brings us all to the table.
Groundwater is a critical under-measured resource that is in a precarious state. In the U.S. ground water provides 44% of drinking water and 42% of the irrigation supply; globally it’s closer to 70% of irrigation supply. It provides the base flow for our streams, rivers and lakes. Our virtual savings account for food production, property value and strong local communities. that we take for granted at our future peril. New technologies can assist food producers of all shapes and sizes to manage this most important ingredient of everything we eat. Marian Singer is the CEO of Wellntel, an ag-tech start-up that is providing solutions for monitoring the state of our wells. She joins our table to explore the makings of a groundwater revolution. www.wellntel.com
Good food, well grown, makes us happy, but can the food be happy too? At least one company suggests that is the case: the aptly named “Happy Egg”. Originating in England, before sustainable food became popular, the Happy Egg is a pioneer of free range farming. The CEO of Happy Egg, Dan Ansperger, is a Missouri farm boy who finds a brand new way to deliver “happy”. This episode of Farm To Table Talk explores the consumer demand for food with a good story and how egg farmers are adjusting to meet that demand. Happy Egg is a pioneer of free range egg farming with hens roaming free on over eight acres of pasture. It was the first free range egg producer to receive the American Humane® Association certification. Flock sizes are regulated, giving year-round outdoor access, providing play kits and tree coverage, outdoor watering systems, and ample room for the hens to dust-bathe, forage, exercise, and roam. Here’s to an egg finding a happy place on your plate. www.happyegg.co
“Bridge Dinner”. Who says metaphors can’t stick to your ribs? When a bridge is closed to bring people together over food, you are witnessing a metaphor coming alive. In Sacramento the Tower Bridge Dinner over the Sacramento River in front of the Capitol serves over 800 guests and is the crowning event of the Annual Farm to Fork street Festival attended by over 140,000. A team of chefs, over a one thousand volunteers and local farmers bring their best to the bridge for a delicious dining experience that earns mutual respect and gratitude. Farm To Table Talk was on the (windy) bridge to talk to chefs, farmers and guests. In this episode we visit with Mike Testa the CEO of Visit Sacramento, Sawyer Hotel Executive Chef Pat Prager, Eilers Farms, Hennii Eilers McIntire and Bridge Chef Molly Hawks of Hawks Restaurant. #SACFARM2FORK
A few years ago Sacramento declared itself to be the Farm to Fork Capitol. It was a bold claim that was immediately challenged by other communities who felt that they deserved to be the “Capitol”. Some jumped on Social media to say “Oh yeah. We’re just as good or better.” Well, let the competition begin because everybody wins if cities all over strive to be outstanding in this field. To shed light on the reasons, methods and results of becoming a leader in Farm To Fork we gather during the Sacramento Farm To Fork Festival Week at one of the leading Farm To Fork restaurants, Mulvaney’s B&L with an enthusiastic audience, BanjoFiddle music, food, wine and an outstanding panel including: Rich Collins, Farmer, Founder of CA Endives, Past Chairman of CA Alliance With Family Farms; Allyson Harvie, Chef de Cuisine at Ella Dining Room, Bridge Dinner Chef; Santana Diaz, Executive Chef, Food and Nutrition Services UC Davis Health; and Bobbin Mulvaney, Co Owner/Chef of Mulvaney’s B&L. A lively conversation and questions from a well informed audience ensued on becoming and living the Farm To Fork Lifestyle that is Sacramento today. www.farmtoforkcaptiol.com
It’s said that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, or the other side of the ocean, or the other side of the continent. One lucky couple and their daughter are finding out for sure as they chase their farming dreams from the UK to Texas, then California and now the Hudson River Valley of New York. Melissa Philips and Jack Whetlan are British natives who’ve always had a passion for the environment, sustainability and regenerative agriculture. They realized that’s what they wanted to make their life’s work. Jack’s entirely “un-farmy” job as a Director of Sales brought them to the US and where they permanent residency. Melissa pursued a masters in sustainability sciences and in 2016 they welcomed Phoenix into the world. Then the big change: “we decided to pack up our lives, throw in the towel on our careers and hit the road in pursuit of something more meaningful.” Melissa was podcast guest on Farm to Table Talk at Eco Farm in 2017 and Jack was in 2018 when he announced their intentions to leave their happy situation at Kearns Family Farm in California and start a new farm in New York. We got them together to update us on their farming adventures in the new land. www.hiddenacrefarm
“Flipping the Table”is the appropriate title of a new podcast hosted by Michael Dimock, the President of Roots of Change. “Roots of Change is working to ensure that every aspect of our food from the time it’s grown to the time it’s eaten – can be healthy, safe, profitable and fair.” Since Farm To Table Talk and the Flipping The Table Podcast share interest and concern for the future of food and farming, it was only natural that the hosts, Michael Dimock and Rodger Wasson set down to record a shared podcast comparing their journeys and agricultural perspectives. On Flipping the Tables this was episode #45 “Dueling podcasters”. Here we just call it “Building Trust” which is something these friends with often contrasting views, have done with each other and as much as possible for today and tomorrow’s food system. https://www.rootsofchange.org/flippingthetablepodcast/available-episodes/ #rootfsofchange #flippingthetable #podcast #disruptthesystem