On the heels of the success of the first GrowRIVERSIDE Community Gathering comes the second in the series of gatherings, which will take place on Thursday, May 7 at Stewarts Boathouse at Fairmount Park from 6:00pm – 8:30pm and focus on the development of value-added local food businesses. Register here for the free event: http://growriversidegathering.eventbrite.com
The event will feature a panel discussion with local Riverside value-added food business owners and presentations by Angela Janus, Founder of ShareKitchen, on how the company’s incubator program works to help value-added local food businesses grow and thrive in Riverside, and Nick Melquiades of the Riverside Food Co-op, who will discuss how the group works with the community and provides new market access for local farmers.
There will also be an open forum discussion in which attending community members will have the floor to discuss any local food initiatives that they are working on and how others in the community can get involved.
Riverside, CA April 21 – Edward Avalos, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, and Arthur “A.G.” Kawamura, former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, have been added as featured speakers for the 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: The Future of Local Food, conference organizers announced today.
The inclusion of these nationally known experts intensifies an already strong line-up of sustainable urban agriculture experts, city planners, farmers and others slated to speak at the June 11-13 event. Presented by Seedstock in partnership with the City of Riverside, the conference fosters the growth of a sustainable local food and agriculture system that directly benefits Riverside as well as provides blueprints that communities across the country can utilize, officials said. Avalos and Kawamura join Mark Winne, a nationally recognized expert in community food policy and systems, as conference featured speakers.
Q&A: City Councilmember Andy Melendrez on the Importance of Sustainable Food and Agriculture to Riverside, CAApril 16, 2015 | AJ Hughes
Q&A: City Councilmember Andy Melendrez on the Importance of Sustainable Food and Agriculture to Riverside, CA
Riverside City Councilmember Andy Melendrez is a supporter of GrowRIVERSIDE and local foods, and is enthusiastic about educating Riverside residents on the importance of local and sustainable food and agriculture.
In an effort to provide more education to the public about the importance of sustainable agriculture in Riverside and the surrounding communities, Melendrez started a lecture series on healthy sustainable living. The first lecture, on genetically modified organisms, took place on Nov. 6, 2014.
Seedstock caught up with Melendrez to ask him his thoughts about food and agriculture in Riverside, his hopes for the GrowRIVERSIDE conference, and more.
Seedstock: Why did you decide to launch a lecture series? How is that going, and what are your future plans for these lectures?
When consultant Richard Conlin attended the inaugural GrowRIVERSIDE conference in 2014, he talked to people about the many ideas involving Riverside’s Greenbelt that never materialized. Conlin, who has a history of helping members of a community and stakeholders hammer out policies, offered to help make some of these ideas a reality. They accepted his proposal, which resulted in the Riverside Food Systems Alliance (RFSA).
The RFSA started meeting last September, and on April 16, it will present its action plan to the Riverside City Council for formal adoption.
Future of Local Food Reminder: Register now for SEED SAVER DISCOUNT Tickets for the GrowRIVERSIDE Conference in JuneApril 14, 2015 | seedstock
GrowRIVERSIDE: The Future of Local Food presented by Seedstock in partnership with the City of Riverside will assist cities in examining and developing solutions to develop and strengthen their urban agriculture and local food infrastructure. Experts in farming small plots, new business creation, local food marketplace development and community food access will come together to offer solutions on how Riverside can become a model for other cities to follow.
Topics of focus include:
- Urban Farming Business Models that Benefit Community and Economy
- Accelerating your Food Business Enterprise
- Community Food Systems
- Growing with Less Water
- The Power of Compost
- Hydroponic and Aquaponic Systems and their Role in the Future of Local Food
- Local Food Marketing
- Food Policy
- Funding a New Food Business
- Food Access
- Climate Smart Agriculture
As water supplies dwindle, cultivatable land grows scarce and more expensive to purchase and market demand for local food continues to grow, indoor farming utilizing hydroponic and aquaponic technology will increasingly play a role in food production. To examine the economic, community and environmental benefits of developing indoor farms in or on the fringes of cities, the 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: The Future of Local Food will host a session entitled “Launching an Indoor Farming Enterprise.” The session will feature thought leaders and experts from the indoor farming space including:
Pierre Sleiman is the founder and CEO of Go Green Agriculture, an innovative company that grows produce inside high-tech greenhouses using hydroponics. Go Green’s mission is to setup greenhouses across the country to provide local jobs and fresh, delicious, and nutritious produce to the community. Pierre has become involved in the mission of accelerating the movement towards local and sustainable farming and fostering interest in youth to choose agriculture as an exciting career.
Local food and agriculture is a major component of the Healthy Riverside County Initiative, designed to assist residents of Riverside County, California live healthy lives.
The initiative’s roots started growing in April 2011, when the Riverside County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution to encourage all county departments to support healthy lifestyles.
In June 2012, Riverside County CEO Jay Orr included this mission of improved health in a larger vision: to make Riverside County the No. 1 place to live in the United States. One of the goals incorporated into this vision was to improve health in the country through policies, initiatives, systems and partnerships.
The City of Riverside, California is committed to being green, but city officials know that in order to do this, Riverside must also be blue.
And with yesterday’s announcement of the state’s first-ever water restriction, it’s fair to say the city is ahead of the curve.
Green Riverside was born when a group of businesspeople in the city created a strategy for growth in Riverside. This strategy revolves around environmental innovation and sustainability that includes all city entities, including government, business and residents.
Newly Added GrowRIVERSIDE Keynotes to Address Climate Smart Urban Agriculture and Regional Food SystemsApril 1, 2015 | seedstock
GrowRIVERSIDE today announced that A.G. Kawamura, former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (2003-2010) and Leah Di Bernardo, slow food visionary and award-winning Chef and founder of E.A.T Marketplace, a Cultivating Good partnership, have been added as keynotes to the upcoming “2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE: Future of Local Food” Conference. At the conference, which will take place on June 11 – 12 at The Riverside Convention Center (with Community Day on June 13), A.G. will give an address on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) for Urban Farms, while Leah will discuss the importance of linking city and county local food efforts toward the end of strengthening community, economic and environment and creating a robust regional food system.
Second GrowRIVERSIDE “Dinner in the Grove” set for Saturday, May 16; to Deliver Farm-to-School TwistMarch 30, 2015 | seedstock
The Nutrition Services team at Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) works tirelessly on a daily basis to provide healthy farm-to-school options to the approximately 43,000 students spread across 31 schools located in the district. But, on Saturday, May 16, under the stars and amidst the groves and fruit trees at Fox Farm / Hapeman Ranch in the City of Riverside, RUSD’s culinary brain trust will focus their attention on just 60 diners lucky enough to claim tickets for the 2nd GrowRIVERSIDE “Dinner in the Grove”.
Bringing the same enthusiasm that they usually reserve for farm-to-school lunches, RUSD’s Nutrition Services team will prepare a farm-to-table meal utilizing locally sourced food from growers across the county as well as from the farm of host and sponsor, Fox Farm / Hapeman Ranch. Sponsor, Torch Coffee, a Riverside roaster will offer coffee sourced from farmers who are sustainable financially, environmentally, and socially.
Fox Farm / Hapeman Ranch, situated in the City of Riverside, is a unique 2.5-acres farm with a stocked fish pond, corrals, chicken coop and a 65 tree orchard.
The dinner will support the upcoming 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference, celebrate Riverside’s citrus heritage and local produce and the efforts of RUSD Nutrition Services to serve health farm fresh meals to the children of Riverside.
Rodney Taylor and members of the RUSD Nutrition Services team will speak on the importance of local food and farmers to RUSD while Scott Berndt of Fox Farm and Lana Hapeman of Hapeman Ranch will discuss urban farming as well as the importance of preserving farmland in the City of Riverside.