“Good Food for All” was on the menu at Café Wren in Luck on the evening of Saturday, September 29th. The evening’s fundraising dinner helped kick start the Northwest Wisconsin Regional Food Network’s “Good Food for All” program through donations from area community members, who contributed $25-$100 each for a local foods dinner prepared by area farmers, chefs, and community members.
Regional Food Network Coordinator Tracey Mofle welcomed guests to the dinner, explaining that “the funds raised tonight will go directly toward subsidizing the costs of food purchased from local farmers by and for those in need.” She went on to say that the program would help low-income community members access healthy, local foods in three ways: by subsidizing the wholesale cost of local foods purchased through West Wind Community Co-op for low-income meal programs like senior dining and summer feeding sites, by providing discounted CSA shares and other produce to customers using food stamps through West Wind’s Local Ordering Service, and by providing coupon incentives for those who use food stamps, WIC and senior nutrition program vouchers at area farmers’ markets.
The Cornucopia Institute’s Mark Kastel addressed the fifty attendees with information about the health benefits of organic, local and sustainably raised foods in contrast with those obtained through the industrial food system. Singer/songwriter Ailinn followed Kastel on the stage with her original poetry and folk music.
The more than $500 raised from the dinner event will be used by program organizers to secure matching funds from area foundations and donors. These community funds will directly offset food costs and ensure farmers receive a fair price when providing food for low-income, local customers. The fund will complement a recent USDA Farmers’ Market Promotion Program grant awarded to West Wind Community Co-op for building its ability to serve low-income families through accepting food stamps.
Local farms and businesses who donated to the event include Café Wren, Grecco’s on the St. Croix, Indian Creek Orchard Winery & Grille, Anathoth Community Farm, Serendipity Springs, J & R Growers, Blackbrook Farm, and Foxtail Farm.
The Northwest Wisconsin Regional Food Network plans to hold more fundraising dinners to benefit the “Good Food for All” program throughout the region during the coming fall and winter. Contact Tracey Mofle at 715-790-9177 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and to help support this program.
Lutheran Church’s Sunday Service will be part of something bigger on Sunday,
September 30th—and not just in the usual way. West Denmark
worshipers will join with others at the Soupstock IV harvest festival at
Anathoth Community Farm outside of Luck for a 10:00 am service like no other, in
an outdoor tent right on the farm.
Led by West
Denmark Pastor Mike Rozumalski, the Soupstock Ecumenical Service will be open
to those from all faith backgrounds. For those who come early, an on-farm
breakfast, wild edibles walk, Qigong session, music, and other activities will
precede the service from 8:00 – 10:00 am. Immediately following at 11:00 am will
be a family sing-along, activities for children of all ages including fairy
house building, sustainable living tours, and a native pollinators workshop.
The decision to
merge the service with the harvest festival came easily to the event’s
organizers. “Our Soupstock events are geared for families and focused on
building community,” says Soupstock planning committee member Tracey Mofle. “Having
a service can really enhance the experience of being out on the farm for our
festival-goers. With a Sunday event, we realize it’s hard for many families to
miss church, so we try to bring church to them.”
that different farms throughout northwest Wisconsin take turns hosting the annual
Soupstock event. “We were thrilled when we found out West Denmark was willing
to work with us this year as we hold Soupstock in the Luck area – I think it’s
a really good fit,” she says.
The fee for
Soupstock admission ($5 for adults and $10 for families and carpools) will be waived
for those just attending the service. Family activities including mural
painting, “veggie races,” cow pie bingo, and more will run throughout the late
morning and afternoon. A free cup of local soup comes with the admission price.
In addition to the farm breakfast, which also commemorates Anathoth Community
Farm’s 25th Anniversary, a full lunch menu will be available.
information on Soupstock IV, including directions to Anathoth Community Farm,
visit the Northwest Wisconsin Regional Food Network’s website at www.nwrfn.org or contact Arianne Peterson at
715-554-3735 or email@example.com.
Information on West Denmark Lutheran Church is available at www.westdenmark.org.
September 30th, Anathoth Community Farm in rural Luck will host Soupstock IV,
an annual harvest festival put on by the Northwest Wisconsin Regional Food
Network. Soupstock IV will celebrate organic and sustainable food and farming with
a variety of activities from 8:30 – 5:00.
This year's event
will feature keynote speaker Mark Kastel, co-founder and Senior Farm Policy
Analyst of the Cornucopia Institute, at 1:00 pm.
presentation, “Restoring Integrity in Our Food Systems” will focus on building resilient,
community-based food systems that strengthen regional economies and benefit our
health. Kastel, a national expert on food choices and their impact on our
health will share his organization’s
experience in working to preserve the integrity of local and organic foods on
the national policy level. The Cornucopia Institute’s mission is to promote
economic justice for family scale farming. The Institute has a strong
membership base throughout the country and is based in Cornucopia,
Kastel is frequently quoted in the pages of the New
York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and also appears often on
Wisconsin and National Public Radio.
In addition to
the keynote talk, which will include a Town
Hall style community conversation, Soupstock IV will feature
other speakers and workshops on sustainable-agriculture. Workshop topics will
include local food and public health, permaculture, native pollinators, and
sustainable living systems.
Music, a farmers’
market, information and demonstration areas, cider pressing, veggie races, a
mural painting, and many other activities for kids and adults will run
throughout the day.
The goal of the event
is to raise awareness about food and farming issues, allowing people to
experience and celebrate farms in the region. Past Soupstock events have been
held at the Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary & Nature Center in Sarona and Little
Footprint Farm in Turtle Lake. This year’s event is co-sponsored by Island City
Co-op, Martha's Mushrooms, McKinley Enterprises, Cafe Wren, Natural Alternative
Co-op, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College Extension, Main Street
Market Co-op, West Wind Community Co-op, Anathoth Community Farm, Land
Stewardship Project, Michael Fields Agriculture Institute, Wisconsin Farmers'
Union, Fine Acres Market, Sterling Homestead, and Farmer to Farmer.
For more information on
Soupstock IV, including directions to Anathoth Community Farm, visit the
Northwest Wisconsin Regional Food Network’s website at www.nwrfn.org or contact Tracey Mofle
at 715-790-9177 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on
the Cornucopia Institute is available at www.cornucopia.org.
Community Farm of rural Luck and Community Homestead of rural Osceola will host
UW-Extension composting expert, Jonathan Rivin, for a two-part workshop on
Monday, August 6th from 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. The workshop is targeted to commercial-scale
vegetable growers from throughout the northwest Wisconsin region.
The workshop will
begin at 8:30a.m. at Anathoth Community Farm with a short presentation on the
variety of composting methods used on small-medium size farms followed by a tour
and discussion about how to scale up composting activities at Anathoth. Participants should plan to carpool or drive
from Anathoth to the Osceola site around 10:30 a.m. Community Homestead farm managers will provide
a tour and demonstration of the composting methods used on their farm,
including compost tea production. Please
bring a bag lunch and rain gear; drinks will be provided.
Jonathan Rivin is
a Waste Management Specialist with the UW Extension, Solid and Hazardous Waste
Education Center (SHWEC), at the University of Wisconsin. Jonathan’s expertise is in organic waste
management, with an emphasis in composting. Anathoth Community Farm has
recently expanded into pastured poultry, pastured pork, and commercial
vegetable production for West Wind Community Co-op. Community Homestead is a non-profit rural
community living and working with people with special needs. Their business enterprises include an organic
dairy, an organic bakery, and a large-scale market garden that supports their
CSA, the Osceola Farmers’ Market, West Wind Community Co-op and other retail
Community Farm is located at 740 Round Lake Road, Luck, WI. As you arrive, follow the main gravel
driveway all the way back to where it ends at their market garden site. Community Homestead is located at 501 280th
St, Osceola, WI. As you arrive at
Community Homestead, enter the driveway just to the north of the dairy barn and
follow back to the Community Center.
workshop is co-sponsored by UW-Extension, the Northwest Wisconsin Regional Food
Network and the Hay River Transition Initiative. For more information or to pre-register (not
required), please email or call Tracey Mofle at email@example.com or (715) 790-9177.
On Sunday, June 17th
and Monday, June 18th, the Northwest Wisconsin Regional Food Network
will collaborate with the Rice Lake Public Library, the Hay River
Transition Initiative, and Main Street Market to welcome celebrated
organic vegetable farmer and author Atina Diffley
as part of a Local Foods Reception series honoring area growers and
local food efforts. The events will be held from 7:00 – 9:00 pm on
the 17th at the Prairie Farm Village Hall, and from
7:00-9:00 in the Rice Lake Public Library’s Friendship Room; both will
feature light local and organic refreshments produced by area farmers.
The public is encouraged to attend these free receptions.
Atina Diffley, who has over twenty-five years’ experience as an organic farmer and farming consultant, will share excerpts from her new book,
Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works. A memoir of making essential relationships work
in the face of challenges as natural as weather and as unnatural as corporate politics,
Turn Here Sweet Corn is a firsthand history of getting in at the
“ground level” of organic farming. One of the first certified organic
produce farms in the Midwest, the Diffleys’ Gardens of Eagan helped to
usher in a new kind of green revolution in the
heart of America’s farmland. After surviving punishing storms and the
devastating loss of fifth-generation Diffley
family land to suburban development, the Diffleys faced the ultimate
challenge: the threat of eminent domain for a crude oil pipeline
by one of the largest privately owned companies in the world, Koch
Industries. As Atina Diffley
tells her David-versus-Goliath tale, she gives readers everything from
expert instruction in organic farming to an entrepreneur’s manual on how
to grow a business
to a legal thriller about battling corporate arrogance to a love story
about a single mother falling for a good, big-hearted man. Copies of the
book will be available for purchase at the events, where Diffley will also sign them, and two copies will be donated
to the Rice Lake Public Library.
The Local Foods
Reception will also highlight several regional farmers, who are working
together with others through West WInd Community Co-op to provide fresh,
produce and other organic products to schools, hospitals, and other
wholesale and individual customers in the region. No RSVP is required
for this free event; for more information, please contact Northwest
Wisconsin Regional Food Network Coordinator Tracey
Mofle at 715-790-9177 or firstname.lastname@example.org
March 23rd, the 2012 Northwest Wisconsin Regional Food Summit will
create a space for celebrating and connecting local food initiatives led by
farmers and other community members, institutions, businesses, and
organizations. Anyone with an interest in sharing about their local projects
and developing a more just and sustainable food system in the region is
encouraged to attend the Summit, which will be held at the Lac Courte Oreilles
Ojibwa Community College near Hayward, WI.
of the event is “Expanding Community Food Connections,” and internationally
recognized keynote speaker, John Peck, of Family Farm Defenders will address
the topic of food sovereignty, a solution to most of the food and farm problems
facing our world today. His
presentation will set the stage for discussions and action planning by farmers
and other local community leaders from throughout the region.
begins at 9am and will include both formal and information presentations on
farmer owned and operated co-ops, community gardens and other local food access
projects, and student-led outreach projects. Community members will learn more about the Northwest
Wisconsin Regional Food Network and have opportunities to engage in an action
planning session for developing a food policy working group, and other outreach
projects being planned for late summer and fall. A lunch featuring local foods will be served in the
Student Center; a lunch donation will help to support a local food access
project supported by student interns and other community volunteers.
This is a
FREE community event. To
pre-register for the Northwest Wisconsin Regional Food Network’s 2012 Summit,
email Amber Marlow at marlowa[at]lco[dot]edu or call 715-634-4790
Ext 156. The Summit is made possible with funding from Heifer USA and support
from Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College.