local food systems
For some, the word “local” can be ambiguous. But Health’s Kitchen restaurant in Riverside, California, has strict rules regarding where it obtains its produce. Ideally, it must come from farms located in the City of Riverside, and when this isn’t possible, only Riverside County farms will suffice.
“Fresh produce is the main event on the menu,” says Health’s Kitchen co-owner Robin Meadows. “There are a few restaurants that obtain some of their food locally, but we get 100 percent of our produce from local farmers.”
To Combat Obesity in Riverside’s Eastside Neighborhood, HEAL Program Tackles Local Food Access and NutritionFebruary 8, 2016 | Marissa Gawel
As of 2012, in Riverside, California’s Eastside neighborhood, more than half of the adults and almost a quarter of the teenagers, were considered overweight. To stem this rising tide of obesity, Kaiser Permanente awarded a $1 million grant to establish a Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Zone program to improve the Eastside community’s overall wellness through education and increased access to healthy local food.
Kaiser sees the HEAL Zone program as a community benefit, according to health manager Cecilia Arias.
“Wellness isn’t just about the absence of illness. It’s about how you live,” she says. “Is your community supportive of you having a healthy lifestyle? Is it safe for you to go out to exercise and walk or do something the park?”
Press release – Last week, on behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined together to announce the selection of 27 communities in 22 states that will participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food.
Developed as a partnership among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority, this initiative is part of the White House Rural Council’s Rural Impact work to improve quality of life and upward mobility for children and families in rural and tribal communities.
“Local Foods, Local Places helps people access healthy local food and supports new businesses in neighborhoods that need investment,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The program is good for the environment, public health and the economy. By helping bring healthy local food to market and offering new walking and biking options, Local Foods, Local Places can help improve air quality, support local economies, and protect undeveloped green space.”
By focusing on building a quality product, encouraging community and supporting their farmer customers, Laramie, Wyoming-based Bright Agrotech looks to have a bright and busy future ahead of it.
The company has continued to grow since Seedstock first profiled them here in 2012, something CEO and founder Dr. Nate Storey attributes to the broad appeal of the company’s mission.
“No matter if you’re like the uber liberal kind of person on the left side of things, or a super conservative person on the right side of things, everyone can get on board with the idea that local production is better,” says Storey. “Everyone can get on board with the idea that when we spend money in our communities, that money stays in our communities.”
(Press Release) – RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Riverside is stepping up its culinary game through the development of two new downtown dining destinations — Chow Alley@Courthouse Piazza and the Mess Hall on Market — that will dramatically increase the number of eating options in a downtown area that already has seen a food revolution in the past few years.
“Chow Alley and the Mess Hall will take our budding foodie culture in Riverside to a whole new level,” Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “Downtown Riverside already is a dining and entertainment destination in western Riverside County, and these projects will put us on the map across Southern California.”
Chow Alley@Courthouse Piazza calls for extending the successful Main Street pedestrian mall by closing Main between 10th and 11th streets and creating a piazza for outdoor dining, farmers’ markets, and entertainment in front of the historic Riverside County Courthouse. A dozen eateries operating out of modern cargo containers would fill a renovated outdoor space between the Courthouse and Market Street.
Only TWO DAYS Remain to Get Early Bird Discounted Tix for “GrowRIVERSIDE: The Future of Local Food” ConferenceMarch 22, 2015 | seedstock
RIVERSIDE, CA – Only 2 DAYS REMAIN to obtain Early Bird DISCOUNTED REGISTRATION Tickets for the “GrowRIVERSIDE: The Future of Local Food” Conference (Purchase here: http://growriverside.eventbrite.com). The event, to be held June 11-13, at the Riverside Convention Center, 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.
In compliment to featured keynote presentations on “How the Local Food Market Opportunity Strengthens Community, Environment and Economy,” “Developing Business Models to Support Small Farmers and Strengthen the Local Food System,” and “The Importance of Local Food in Addressing the Nutrition Needs of Riverside’s and by extension America’s Children,” the two-day program will offer a series of panels including:
- Local Food Access for All – An exploration of how to make fresh and local food available to all in an economically viable manner; addressing food deserts and food access in Riverside and beyond;
- Building a Local Food Market – A discussion of how to scale the local food marketplace in Riverside and beyond via the creation of food hubs, appealing to institutional buyers from hospitals to schools;
- Local Agriculture Innovation – an examination of various technologies (aquaponics, irrigation technology, et al) as well as new business models (CSA, direct marketing) enabling the development of economically sustainable small-scale farming operations;
The program, organized for the City of Riverside by Seedstock co-founder Robert Puro, has been formulated as a model for any and all cities looking to enhance local and urban agriculture. The deadline to purchase tickets at the “early bird” price ends Tuesday, March 24. For additional information pertaining to the event, ticket prices, program speakers, and registration, please visit www.growriverside.com
CONFIRMED SPEAKERS INCLUDE:
Mark Winne – Co-founder of the Connecticut Food Policy Council
Robert Egger – Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen
Dwight Detter – Local Forager for Whole Foods Market
Viviana Franco – Executive Director of From Lot To Spot
Fortino Morales III – UC Riverside Community Garden Coordinator
Rodney K. Taylor – Director of Nutrition Services, for the Riverside Unified School District
Robert Tse – State Broadband Coordinator for USDA CA Rural Development
Erika Block – Local Orbit
Bob Knight – Founder of Inland Orange Conservancy and Old Grove Orange, Inc.
Rishi Kumar – Founder of The Growing Home
David Rosenstein – Founder of EVO Farm & Chair of the Aquaponics Association – Western Region
Pierre Sleiman – Founder of Go Green Agriculture
Krysia Zajonc – CEO and Co-founder of Local Food Lab
Jim Bergantz – Sales Engineer at Agra Tech, Inc.
Mateo Aguilar – Co-founder of Local Food Lab
Hop Hopkins – Co-founder of Panther Ridge Farm
… and more!
More information on the conference: http://growriverside.com
Grow Riverside Conference to Examine Economic, Community Benefits of Local Sustainable Agriculture in Urban AreasJanuary 14, 2015 | seedstock
This year’s conference at the Riverside Convention Center sets its focus on “The Future of Local Food” with the goal of sharing vital lessons and information with many municipalities.
Using Riverside’s significant accomplishments over the past 12 months as a model, the conference will examine the City’s initial steps to build and strengthen its local food system as well as explore solutions to help other cities and local governments establish and bolster their own similar initiatives.
Following on the success of last year’s inaugural Grow Riverside – Citrus and Beyond! Conference, which drew a sold out audience of over 420 entrepreneurs, residents, growers, business execs, non profit participants, researchers and students focused on propelling the growth of urban agriculture and the local food marketplace in cities across the country, Seedstock in partnership with the City and Community of Riverside is happy to announce that it will be hosting the 2nd Annual Grow Riverside Conference – The Future of Local Food.
Building off of the momentum of last year’s conference as well as local food development and growth in the City of Riverside, the conference will explore solutions to help cities establish and bolster their local food system initiatives. Using the City of Riverside as a model, the program will look at the steps the City has taken to begin to build and strengthen its local food system.