Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fresh Network Continues




On Thursday, January 27th, over sixty local food producers, grocers, business owners, chefs, academics, and concerned consumers gathered as the united “Clinton County Fresh Network” to discuss the future of our local food economy.

Established in 2009, the Fresh Network aims to create a viable and sustainable local food system with direct links between local farmers, food sellers, and consumers. In its first full year of existence, the Fresh Network focused on making these vital connections and sharing local product information on their website – www.ccfreshnetwork.com. As the Network moves forward, we need to collectively develop tangible strategies – a roadmap – that will bring our vision of a strong and sustainable local food economy into action.

At the January 27th meeting, Fresh Network participants began the groundwork for this roadmap by discussing three initial questions: how do we create a viable and sustainable local food economy, how do we make small farms successful, and how do we increase market access for local food producers in southwest Ohio.

The unique perspectives shared in this discussion are essential to the Fresh Network, as every idea can help form the direction and necessary steps towards developing a strong local food economy. A report on the ideas that arose from this meeting is being compiled and will be shared with the public on the Fresh Network website. This report will also determine the topic of the next Fresh Network meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, February 23rd, in the Mason Center in Kettering Hall at Wilmington College. The meeting will run from 6:30 – 8:00 pm and is open to the public (RSVP preferred).

For questions, more information, or to become involved with the Clinton County Fresh Network, please contact Dessie Buchanan at 937-382-6661 x 488 or dessie@clintoncountyfarmersmarket.com. The Fresh Network is a collaborative effort of the Clinton County Commissioners, Wilmington College, Grow Food Grow Hope, the OSU Extension Services of Clinton County, the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT), and the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission.

To read more about February's first meeting please see the Wilmington News Journal's article "Planning the future of local food."

For more of Grow Food, Grow Hope "In the News" please see our News Archive.

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