Monday, February 25, 2013

MOSES Organic Farming Conference 2013

Again, I return from the MOSES Organic Farming conference inspired and eager to put my notes into action!  This year, the conference was a bit of a bittersweet experience - it was the first time being away from my 5-month old daughter for more than a few hours!  Though I bonded with other moms there, it did make it challenging at points to focus on the conference.

Fortunately, this conference is full of intriguing and insightful farmers, producers, students and food-enthusiasts that I was able to keep my mind off of my separation anxiety!  ;-)

Highlights for me this year included:

  • Vegetable Crop Rotation - not only did this session offer great information within the 1.5 workshop, but also gave some great book/resource recommendations (FREE through the SARE website!).  One thing that I hadn't considered before - mid-season cover cropping to restore soil nutrients.
  • GMO-OMG Filmmaker keynote - this is an exciting film that has yet to make its way to the U.S.  The clips that we saw were well-made, easy to understand and relate to.  The filmmakers' goal to reach the 'average' U.S. consumer are definitely within reach, as long as their distribution plans are grassroots and intentional. 
  • Exhibition hall - being my second year at the conference, I was able to better engage in the exhibits, rather than just be overwhelmed by the aisles and aisles of tables, information, and products.  I had a great conversation with ladies from the Wisconsin Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, connected with an organic herbalist about possibly partnering for wholesale herb distribution, and found out about an exciting fundraising opportunity through Seeds of Change.  Even when the workshops were too full to enjoy, I still learned a lot! 

Next year is the 25th anniversary of the conference. Check out the MOSES website for more information and other pictures from this year's gathering. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fruity Nutty Neighborhood

I'm excited to announce that Walker's Point is one of six Milwaukee neighborhoods chosen to host a fruit and nut orchard!

Check out the link here to the 3.5 minute video put together by CORE/El Centro and Bucketworks, showcasing our neighborhood participants and the impact these edible plants would have on our community.

This video was a lot of fun to put together; though it was challenging at times to find green space to plant a tree or two, I was so happy with the overwhelming support I received from those who I met during the process.  Even if they didn't have the time/space to host their own tree, all the neighbors were supportive of the initiative.  We will be holding our first 'group meeting' in early April to finalize the tree selection and planting details.

Check out the Victory Garden Initiative website to see more about the other neighborhoods that were chosen, and watch other group's video applications.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Workshops at CORE/El Centro

I am excited to announce some upcoming workshops being held at CORE/El Centro this spring!

Healthy Cooking Classes

I have posted previously about this exciting partnership with the Art Institute of Wisconsin International Culinary Arts program - which continues!  Our next series of classes begins February 19th - these topics have been chosen based on feedback from clients and previous workshop attendees.  We hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19th 6:00-7:30pm: Nutrition for Weight Loss

Tuesday, March 19th 6:00-7:30pm: Gluten-Free Foods (focus on Ancient Grains)

Tuesday, April 23rd 6:00-7:30pm: Heart Healthy Meals

All classes cost $5.00 and include 2-3 recipes, tastings, and a heaping serving of nutritional information!  Spaces are limited for these hands-on classes, so please call me to register: 414-225-4267

Garden Workshops

We are offering two workshops in March to help get your garden off to a healthy start this year!  Both workshops are $5.00 and include a wealth of resources, tools and in-class planning time.  Participants will also be able to take home organic seeds for their own garden.

Saturday, March 2nd, 2-4pm: Planning for Small-Space Gardens

This workshop will review some fundamental principles of gardening and planning.  Participants will receive a number of planning tools and techniques as well as some in-class planning time to put their knowledge to practice.

Saturday, March 30th, 2-4pm: Getting an Early Start

This workshop will build on the first by sharing and showing specific techniques to get a head start on the season - planting indoors and using floating row cover in your garden to start growing food early.  Participants will plant and take home organic seeds to put out in their garden mid-May.

Holistic Nutrition

We don't have a specific date for this class, but I just had to announce an exciting partnership with the Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts.  In April/May we will be offering a FREE 4-part series based on the Bauman Eat 4 Health program.  Two lucky participants from the class will be selected to receive 6 weekly individual nutrition consultation sessions, too!  Stay tuned to CORE/El Centro's website and/or facebook page for more info.