What is your local foodshed?Leader: Kris Holstrom, Tomten Farm, Hastings Mesa, CO
Panel: Greg Vlaming, extension agent
Tony Daranyi, Indian Ridge Farm, Norwood, CO
Chad Scothorn, Cosmopolitan restaurant, Telluride, CO
Dave James, James Ranch near Durango
Denise Mongan, Telluride festival recycling (for second half of panel)
Where does our food come from?
Where does our waste go?
What is a foodshed?
How do we secure our food supply and decrease our waste system?
Kris Holstrom: Tomten Farms, grows organic food at 9000 ft, one of only two organic growers in the county
Tony Daranyi: Indian Ridge Farm in Norwood, San Miguel County, 7000ft, raises grass fed poultry, hogs, vegetables (not commercial) garden & greenhouse, brokers beef and lamb grass fed, no grain, lean flavorful, wife Barclay has a bakery where she bakes bread & granola and delicious cakes.
Chad Scothorn: Owns the Cosmopolitan restaurant, why restaurants do or don't use local organic produce, has to balance making money with shopping locally, people want politically correct food and respond when they get organic, they don't do it even 80%, they would like to but it's not economical
Greg Vlaming: organic farmer from Durango, extension agent, extends research based information to the people, CSU, lagging behind on research, works with Farmers Market & local growers
Dave James: Rancher 10 miles from Durango for 44 years, kids work the land also, they are blessed, their livestock is given a grass only diet, beef and cheese and pork use only grass and whey and brewers grain, interested in low input agriculture, if cow does not bring calf they get rid of it, they are ruthless
Foodshed: most food comes from so far away, how can we shrink our foodshed? How can we get it close to home? All our food here is imported.
We will have to pay more for our food. Durango analyzed cost of shipping food. You save if you don't pay freight on food. Can't beat something grown locally. 30 miles from Telluride there is a vibrant agricultural world, which served as the traditional foodshed for Telluride. Over time things shifted to importing. Norwood has a farming infrastructure in place. Telluride is not connected to the food in Norwood.
Volume is an issue for a restaurant, small farmers cannot supply on a large scale. Farmers should cooperate with one another to supply restaurants.
We should accept that we can't eat out of season and we should not support that. Consumers can drive the market by eating in season.
Eat seasonally. Very few make the sacrifices, like giving up citrus in the summer when it's out of season.
Q: What do you do if you are the director of the farmers market when people request out of season produce? How do you turn away customers?
A: You have to because it's not realistic. The Beauty of the farmers market is that we get to educate people on the seasonal food. Farm stand makes a connect between consumers and farmers.
Q: When cow doesn't produce where does it go?
A: It gets sold.
Q: What about respect for life?
A: The farmer is concerned about the life of his family, it drives decisions, yet we incorporate respect in how the animals are raised.
Q: Is there a way for a restaurant to educate the customer?
A: We do educate with the products we serve, the economics drive the rest. Customers are spoiled, you can't tell them the mixed greens ran out. The customers generally aren't concerned about animal rights or seasonal produce. He (Chad) would buy locally if there was a dependable source, but the local farmers don't produce the volume to supply a restaurant. 35 employees depend on Chad. Baby steps are the network of farmers. In Montrose he can get anything cheap, here he pays through the nose. Network of farmers is key to getting to the ideal. He can get product locally if he seeks it out, but it takes a lot of effort.
Indian Ridge processes 100 birds / week, we bless them prior to slaughter, raised from chicks, farming is death and dying, lots of lessons, animal death provides us with life.
You can make money in a restaurant on chicken, because they are sold overpriced, some dishes make money some always lose, Chad will buy chicken from Tony
We do not pay the true cost of our food.
Q: Is there a national agency educating public?
A: We're small; we have found farmers markets are the way to educate. We sell out and educate customers. The masses are going to enjoy organic products because the big corporations have become organic. Watch the definitions: Free Range is defined as 1 square foot more for a chicken. Meet the public and explain, cheap organic food is not going to happen.
Regulatory agencies are not going to do an outreach, big companies are trying to water down the standards, there will be a new nomenclature that is beyond organic.
Farming is not an easy life, east end has great potential, right now there isn't even a stand at the farmers market from the west end, excluding Indian Ridge, west end does not trust us.
Food: Flavor, national movement, organics is a national movement, corporations are taking it over the word will be meaningless, support local & support fresh, means more than organic, less dependence in many ways, being in control of your own destiny, buying in to the place you live, vitality of the food from your region, organic food from a factory is not the same
How do we get more people farming? Some are born into land? You can't charge enough for food to support a farm, growing food is radical. How do we find land if it's unaffordable?
Farmers won't be able to own the land and farm it. Conservation easements can be tweaked, people need passion, owning land wont happen; it's simply not affordable
Farmers will need other income. Year round production is exhausting, a farmer can grow food and starve to death
No Land, No money, No problem? is a book about getting farmers back on the land affordably. Wealthy people have bought lands that were farmed, they want agricultural status, and they will hire farmers to keep the status. You don't own the land, is motivation lost when you don't own the land?
Denise: Ran composting & recycling program at all festivals over the last three years. The last 3 years have started to reduce the garbage going to landfills, it involves separating trash, non-contaminated recycling & compost, we reduced trash by 50% over the last three years, although it is not always successful. Compost, great strides, where
does trash go? Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reduce, don't use. We are very wasteful; we put lots in the trash. Festivals have achieved a lot to reduce waste under the new program. Vendors buy compostable plates, etc., and bulk, education is important, we have a lot of space in this country, we burn gas to get trash out of the valley, Kris Holstrom quit collecting all the festival compost, where will it go? In Germany they weigh trash and charge by the weight, people don't throw as much out if they have to pay for it. It comes down to the dollar; it's cheap to
throw stuff out,
Company who makes product should own the machine; the manufacturer should be responsible for the end of the life of the machine when it is through working. Local composting facility, must be a licensed facility, we require a permanent facility.
Would restaurants use a composting service?
Yes, it was discussed 6 years ago, what happened? Real estate is a problem and we have a bear problem. It has to happen daily because of the bears and we will pay for it. Compost is 40-50% of restaurant trash volume. No space to store cardboard. All recycle is glass. Space is a problem. Real estate is problem, better economy we could buy more expensive products, if economy were better we could buy better and be more environmental.
Glass is the least recyclable product, glass has no life. It sits in a pile. People don't trust the recycling; they don't believe that it's really happening.
Q: Economy, recession on the way how will the community continue to invest in sustainability in a recession?
Baby steps. Region as a system, don't spend so much money getting food here. If we do it all here we've shortened cycle. New facility would provide jobs (composting) Create school and community garden and greenhouse, kids can teach parents
Sustainability will not cost money, we are so subsidized, we are used to getting resources for nothing, farmers market vendors don't over price, compare with grocery, price is competitive with market prices. Food is so subsidized we don't know the true cost of the food we buy (true market)
Local scale, pay more during growing season, but you are investing in your neighbors, it's valuable
Sustainability Upsizing? book Gunter Pauli, why are bad things cheap and good things expensive, new technology & design can actually make bad thing expensive and good things cheap.
Coming Home To Eat? by Gary Nabham. Mr. Nabham survived for a year within 200 miles of his house, Indians taught him what to eat, didn't eat any food from out of his area, was astounded at the variety of food available locally.
Slow Food movement, Italian mad about McDonalds, celebrates local, regional, organic foods, money raised helps farmers would like to see a local convivium
Subsidies were taken away from farmers in New Zealand, 1% went bankrupt, if subsidies were taken away here, 50% would go bankrupt. James Ranch copies New Zealand. US would be healthy, subsidies for rice and cotton, hopes farm bill will reward farmers that are innovative, don?t have to be big. It would be good to get rid of subsidies
Some negative trade offs as well
Central America would also be affected; we?re driving thousands of farmers out of business in Central America, China, Brazil,
Buy directly it's healthy
Foodshed concept, like watershed, get food close to home, distribution channels are a problem, warehouses and trucks, how can we set up a small scale delivery service in the region?
Joel Salatin is developing a distribution system in Virginia; he takes orders from buying club, and puts the order together. CSA's consumer to farmer direct, farmers come in their own vehicle, it's not the best
Q? Co Housing, Co Farming ownership is important, People want to reinvest in economy, people will buy land for farmers how do people get together. It took years in Boulder to make co housing happen.
How do rich and poor get together?
Distribution. LaBoca Center for Sustainability, cooperative on a biodiesel van so farmers can share the van and use it for distribution
Service with box of produce? CSA, stayed tuned, community supported agriculture, Circle A farms will be doing it, Mesa Verde guide to food and fiber 4 corners, southwest marketing network
Food coop, delivers once a month we have Rainbow and Tucson, can join at library delivers once a month, bulk, grocery, not much produce, not local, big truck once a month. Baby steps
All have one car, Joel Salatin consumer should use car to buy products, refreshing to have people drive their car to your farm stand, customer go to farmer, it?s FUN! Different from a grocery store.