Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Local Food Sustainability Planning Meeting

Hello All, last night at the Virgin Olive Market in downtown Orlando we hosted a planning meeting for our "local food resource guide." The turnout was fantastic, so much in fact that there were a few participants leaning in to listen and contribute from the hallway.

The meeting lasted approximately one hour and following is a summary of what was discussed. If interested in the full meeting notes, do not hesitate to contact me.

The project has begun with website design and development, and is working on developing a system which will allow open access to all contributing partners. Currently, representatives at the Planing Council are collecting regional data from the six counties of Central Florida, and a comprehensive (yet unfinalized) listing can be obtained from Slow Foods. The list specifications include those farms supplying to the community and restaurants that utilize local food.

The guide, which will be online and available for print, will include a map with address and basic information pertaining to the location listed. Ideas are being accepted as to what else can be included, one example being articles highlighting relevant events and projects within our local area.

As of now, design is based around ease of access both to information and the addition of information to the system by users. As a vision of the completed product, individuals will be able to search using their zip-code and receive information on accessible food, markets, farms, restaurants that serve these foods, and companies that will assist in building your own garden. Basically, a vibrant local food economy.

A proposal was passed around and the group targeted an answer to stand as the goal and mission of the project. Such were promoting consumption of local food (without seeming weird), increasing demand and therefore supply, encouraging farmers in our region to diversify their crops and therefore break away from subsidies, transparency of the food process (growing, harvesting, transport and finally appearing on a shelf), and education of consumers.

Coming from such brainstorming was born an idea in which micro-supply can be viable by supplying personal crops to a licensed produce peddler for selling. If this is of interest to you, please contact

With a central food resource, interest and support can be generated for the project and the door can be opened to the public, garnering legislative support and renegotiation of current food legislation.

1 comment:

  1. Good job Ashley! Welcome aboard with us! Thanks for posting such great writing in support of this local food guide project. We need you!

    When is the next meeting? Be sure to include this info for our readers.