It's a mouthful, but can you guess what CFSA SAC stands for? Some of you might have seen our tweets this weekend and wondered...where are they and why do I care? CFSA is the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and they hold a Sustainable Agriculture Conference every year. It was in Durham last weekend and it was amazing.
The mission of the CFSA is to advocate, educate and build connections to create sustainable food systems centered on local and organic agriculture. There are many advantages to membership (just $25 for new members), but the SAC annual conference is the highlight. Programs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday appeal to people of all backgrounds who are interested in food and/or farming. It's not just for farmers. This year workshops ranged from Backyard Economics to Making Fabulous Mead, from Urban Beekeeping to High Tunnels, and from Growing Rice in North Carolina to Renewable Energy on a Small Farm. Networking with people from every aspect of agriculture and farming allows you to truly become a part of this community.
There were many highlights throughout the weekend, but the #1 highlight is always the amazing local food feast. The local foods feast featured only seasonal food and was comprised of over 90% local foods. The keynote speaker this year was Joan Dye Gussow, an inspiring activist of local food. Joan spoke about the politics behind industrial and local foods and how a small piece of land can produce healthy, nutritious food. Her message was to pay attention and be aware, that nature is ultimately in charge, and most importantly, to always promote seasonal and local whole foods. Another highlight was the Farm to Table discussion moderated by none other than Andrea Reusing from Lantern restaurant in Chapel Hill.
One interesting bit of information we learned is that for every one calorie eaten from food we buy at the grocery store, it takes 7-12 calories of fuel (transportation, packaging, etc.) to get that food to our table.
If you're interested in food, you won't want to miss the next conference in Greenville, SC in October 2012. Hope to see you there!