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Local Food: Building a Delicious Future

Posted on Thursday January 13th 2011

Did you know that today the food we eat travels, on average, 1500 miles before it arrives on our plates? This was not always so, and many believe that we are on the edge of a revolution that will improve our lives and the food we eat as we return to some of our earlier practices.

PVI is partnering with the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee to explore how we can recapture the abundance and excitement of what the rich soils of the Pioneer Valley and Yankee ingenuity can offer to our future wellbeing.

John Waite, Director of the Franklin County Community Development Corporation will take the audience on a journey into the world and business of food. He will engage the audience in a dialogue with local farmers, food processors, schools, and businesses to explore the richness of our soils and the vision and creativity of farmers and business people.

We will explore how our demand for healthy food is fueling a revolution that reaches far beyond new farming techniques like permaculture, organic and nutrient-dense farming, to new systems and businesses that will help us avoid some of the impacts of spiraling fossil fuel costs and the effects of climate change while we reconnect and enjoy the abundance of what the Pioneer Valley can offer.

John Waite is a long-time advocate of the Franklin County CDC’s mission to “stimulate a more vital, rural economy, to maximize community control over our future economic destiny.” He has been involved in economic development for over 25 years, as a Business Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso, as a developer of a Micro-Loan Program for Refugees in Brooklyn, NY, and as Director of Peace Corps’ Business Education Program in Uzbekistan. In 2000, he became the Executive Director of the FCCDC. Since constructing the Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center at the CDC’s Venture Center in 2001, John and the CDC have become increasingly involved in the local food system, and John serves on the Steering Committee of Pioneer Valley Grows, a collaborative of more than 100 businesses and organizations involved in food and agriculture in the Pioneer Valley.


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