Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September is Ann Arbor's 1st Local Food Month!

Did you know that Michigan has the 2nd most diverse agricultural production of actual food that we eat (not commodity crops)? No? You're not alone. Most people don't know that Michigan is 2nd only to California in terms of the large number of different types of food grown in the state (everything from asparagus to zucchini with lots in between!).

Yes, this is a big deal, big enough to show off what is being done in our area and show off the tireless work of many local citizens who are passionate about building our local community, our region, and our economy with good (make that great!) locally grown foods.

Join the University of Michigan's Matthei Botanical Gardens Local Table at one of their many many programs. I picked up my local foods 'passport' today and got my first stamp from Farmer John of My Family Farm at The Ann Arbor Farmers' Market this morning.

In addition, here is a run-down of what is going on in Ann Arbor during September that is being sponsored by Slow Food Huron Valley!

If you are in the area, please 'come-on down' and join in on one, two, more, or all of the events. I hope to see some of you during the month. :-)

Yum, yum!
Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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September is a HUGE month for us. If you haven't heard already, we're
working on three major events that are all just around the corner.
Please come, bring a friend and tell a neighbor.

Did you hear that Mayor Hieftje signed our proclamation declaring
September Local Food Month for Ann Arbor? Text of the proclamation is
below. We've just gotten word that Governor Jennifer Granholm has also
proclaimed September Local Food Month for Michigan! There are all
kinds of great events this month - come out, enjoy, and be a part of
re-making a good, clean and fair food system.

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 3rd
Announcing our LOCAL FOOD ACTION HERO AWARDS AND SCREENING OF CHRIS BEDFORD'S NEW FILM: "COMING HOME"
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6:00 - 9:00pm, Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty
Tickets $5, available at the Michigan Theater box office

Kicking off this September's Local Food Month, Slow Food Huron Valley
is thrilled to announce our first ever Local Food Action Hero Award.
We'll be unveiling this year's winner on Thursday night. Please come
to celebrate the recipient, eat great food, learn more about what's
happening in our vibrant community, and share in working toward good
food for all.

For this event at the beautiful Michigan Theater, we are excited to
host Chris Bedford's new film called "Coming Home: E.F. Schumacher and
the Reinvention of the Local Economy." After the film, we'll get a
chance to talk with the filmmaker himself and take part in a
discussion about the many wonderful re-localization and capacity
building efforts in our own area.

Please join us afterwards too for a happy hour and after-party at the
new Grange Kitchen and Bar at 118 W. Liberty Street!

This event is made possible with the generous support of Whole Foods
Cranbrook - Slow Food Huron Valley was a recipient of their spring
Community Support Day!


MONDAY SEPTEMBER 7th
Let's ask our representatives for healthy food in schools! Come to our
"TIME FOR LUNCH" Potluck Picnic
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12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Mitchell Elementary School Grounds, 3550 Pittsview Dr. in Ann Arbor, MI
Please bring a dish to pass, write a letter and enter our raffle

Slow Food Huron Valley is organizing an "Eat-in" in Ann Arbor, and we
invite you to join us for this fun, family potluck and advocacy event.
The goal of the event is to raise awareness about the potential for
change in the Child Nutrition Act’s reauthorization, and show our
policymakers that there is support for more nutritious school lunches
among parents and community members. We will have activities for
kids, music, door prizes and information about the bill and how
parents (and kids, too!) can contact their representatives in
Congress. The more people come out, the stronger our voice!

The Child Nutrition Act, which mandates the National School Lunch
Program, is up for revision and reauthorization this year. As you may
know, food service directors are limited in their options for sourcing
local, fresh, whole foods by the required bidding process and low
budget meal plan – they have about $1 to spend on food for each
lunch. Children are eating nutritionally inadequate meals as a
result. Parents are growing concerned, Farm-to-School programs are
gaining in popularity, and the time has come to make a change.

Our partners include: Mitchell Elementary School, Ann Arbor Public
Schools and AAPS Food Service, Project Grow and GO! Gardening,
Agrarian Adventure, Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Students
Advocating Nutrition, and more!

Contact: Deirdra Stockmann, Slow Food Huron Valley – deirdras@gmail.com

For more information on the national event and the Child Nutrition
Act, visit: http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/campaign/time_for_lunch


SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 12th
HOMEGROWN FESTIVAL Celebrating Local Food and Community
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5:00 - 10:00pm
Ann Arbor Farmers Market, 315 Detroit St.
http://homegrownfestival.org

The HomeGrown Festival celebrates local food and community and seeks
to focus broad mainstream attention on the community-wide benefits
(and pleasure!) of eating from our own foodshed. Entry is free.
Tickets on sale ($1-$6) for food and drink. This year’s Festival offers:

Food! Delicious, creative food: sourced from Michigan farms, made by
some of our area’s best local chefs. Including:
- A Knife's Work
- Arbor Brewing Company
- Dr. Lu's Healing Cuisine
- Grange Kitchen and Bar
- Karen's Homemade Meals and Desserts
- Pilar's Catering
- Silvio's Pizza
- Slows Bar B Q
- Tranche de Vie Catering
- Zingerman's Deli

• Music! From: Billy King, First Flight, Chris Buhalis, Ann Arbor Dub
Project
• Michigan Beer and Wine! The Pioneer Wine Trail and Michigan Beer
Garden Tent — new this year!
• Tomatoes! Project Grow: heirloom tomato tasting (my husband and I will be staffing this table from 5-7)
• Kids' Activities! Learn about bees, pressing cider, planting
vegetables and get your face painted like an ear of corn.
• Plus much more!

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PROCLAMATION
Local Food Month
September, 2009

WHEREAS, local food systems comprise our local community-based
farmers, gardeners, restaurants, chefs, farmers markets, grocers,
consumers; and

WHEREAS, local food systems promote healthy food for all, which is
especially important for those who are food insecure including low-
income and minority populations; and

WHEREAS, local food systems promote energy efficiency, land
preservation, decreased transportation costs; and

WHEREAS, local food systems improve food supply which is essential
to local emergency preparedness and local self-reliance; and

WHEREAS, improving our local, regional, and statewide food systems
advances the local economic opportunity, environmental stewardship,
community, and social justice; and

WHEREAS, our local food system represents an important part of Ann
Arbor’s community and regional economies; and

WHEREAS, promoting our local food system is essential to the City
of Ann Arbor and its residents; and

WHEREAS, celebrating our local food system through Local Food
Month promotes all of these goals.

NOW THEREFORE, I, John Hieftje, Mayor of Ann Arbor, Michigan, do
hereby proclaim September, 2009, as: Local Food Month, and encourage
citizens of Ann Arbor to engage in our local foodshed.

1 comment:

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Wonderful post, Diana, which you may have guessed from my phone call!