A collaboration between Cultivating Community and Slow Food Melbourne, the Growers and Eaters Forum will bring together farmers and food experts committed to healthy and resilient food systems for the future.
Giving the keynote address at the Growers and Eaters Forum in Bendigo, US farmer and pioneering voice in sustainable farming Michael Ableman explains: “We need to work to rebuild the real economy, the one based on seeds and sunlight and individuals and communities growing together.”
Food co-operatives, community-supported agriculture, farmers markets, urban agriculture and poly-farming are all on the menu.
The all-day event will celebrate innovative projects and initiatives that are creatively reshaping relations between growers and eaters, valuing the people and communities who produce our food.
The Growers and Eaters forum is an opportunity for the city and country to better understand the farmers who produce our food and the daily challenges they face and to explore practical ways to get involved – either as a grower or as an eater – in the food system at a grassroots level.
Other speakers include Les Cameron, Goulburn Valley Food Co-operative; Carol Vincent, South Australian Farmers Federation; Neil Barr, Bendigo, author of The House on the Hill and Rod May, Captain’s Creek Organic Farm.
Attendees will be able to participate in practical, how-to workshops in the afternoon which will explore gardening and composting, raising animals, food-based social enterprises and soil health featuring local beef farmer Allen Snaith of Warialda Belted Galloways, Kirsten Larsen of Eaterprises, Ben Falloon of Taranaki Farm, soil expert Dr Mary Cole and more.
In addition to the hands-on workshops, the event will also include a session led by Food Fossickers and the Bendigo Community Food Network to give Bendigo residents an opportunity to get involved in the local food networks around them.
The conference, to be held on Monday, April 23 from 8.30am to 5pm at the Salvation Army’s Gravel Hill complex in Mundy Street, will include a long, slow lunch featuring produce and wine from the region.
Bookings essential at www. trybooking.com/BEHC ($80 waged/$60 concession). More information at www.slowfoodmelbourne.com.au/events/growers-and-eaters-2012
- Vicki Harrington