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JA slide show
Track 4 - Local Food Communities

Program - Sponsors - Registration - Lodging - Rideshare

Track Sponsor


We all need to eat every day. Farmers are the linchpin of our local, sustainable food community, but the actions of consumers, food advocates and others also have a significant impact. This track will focus on different ways that we can bring local food into our communities and ways to move beyond consumption to make communities a part of food policy and production as well.


Friday, January 17

SESSION I - 2:30 – 3:45 pm

Building Community and Sales at Farmers Markets

Maddy Beckwith, Washington, DC - FRESHFARM Markets
Amy Crone, MD - Maryland Farmers Market Association
Lynn Rubin, Columbia, MD - Market to Mealtime

This workshop will provide a brief overview of programs available at farmers markets in Maryland, including an exciting new opportunity for markets and farmers to access free technology to accept electronic payments (SNAP, credit & debit). Participants will then hear about the history and success of local nonprofit FRESHFARM Markets and learn of their current programming at the 11 producer-only markets they manage in the DC area. The Chef to Market series will be highlighted as a replicable program that markets can implement at their own markets to increase customer attendance, sales, and opportunities for publicity. Lastly, participants will learn about methods to make farmers' markets more accessible to all. Ideas for educational programs to increasing consumer knowledge about selecting, storing, and preparing produce through the Market to Mealtime curriculum will be outlined, along with descriptions of means for markets to incorporate these ideas into their market programming.

SESSION II - 4:00 - 5:15 pm

Not Farm From the Tree - Rethinking the Orchard

Lincoln Smith, Bowie, MD - Forested, LLC
Eric Kelly, Baltimore, MD - Baltimore Orchard Project

Lincoln Smith will talk about an era in which people have strained the world's ecosystems to meet their needs; a forest garden provides a critical combination of benefits for people and planet -- cleaning water, building soil, and providing a bounty of food and supplies.

Eric Kelly's presentation will focus on urban orchardry.

Saturday, January 18

SESSION III - 8:30 - 9:45 am

Food Safety Modernization Act, What You Need to Know

 Ariana Lotti, Washington, DC - NSAC

 In 2010, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act -- the biggest overhauls of our nation's food safety laws since the 1930s. In early 2013, the Food and Drug Administration released proposed regulations for produce safety and for food facilities that manufacture food for human consumption. The proposed regulations contained significant issues of concern for sustainable and organic farmers, local and regional food businesses, and consumers who care about where their food comes from. The comment period closed in late November, 2013, and the agency now has to review public comments and revise its draft regulations. This workshop will provide information and background about the Act, the proposed regulations, and the issues in the proposed rules, as well as discuss the status of the regulations and opportunities to engage in 2014.

SESSION IV - 10:00 - 11:15 am

How Local Food Councils Make a Difference


Spencer Neale  Christine Bergmark  Jessica Weiss
Richmond, VA   Hughesville, MD  MD
Virginia Food System Council  SMADC  Montgomery County Food Council

Speakers will discuss: Local Food Councils: Policy and Planning at the county level and best practices for structure and stakeholder partnerships, the plusses and minuses of a government sanctioned or independent body and how to best utilize the engagement, enthusiasm and expertise of it's members.

SESSION V - 3:30 - 4:45 pm

From Farm to Bottle: The Benefits of Real Cider

Curt Sherrer, Monkton, MD - Millstone Cellars

Curt Sherrer will describe the history and process of producing local hard ciders, and the inherent benefits to the consumer, the farmer and the environment. Attendees will gain an awareness of a forgotten, but healthful and traditional, farm product that is quickly being re-discovered for its qualities and benefits.