I usually never retreat from food. Just ask my mom (peach cobbler) or my wife (Indian food) or my dad (chile rellenos).
However, this Friday and Saturday, I hope to join many of you at the third annual Homegrown Food Retreat titled Cultivate Your Role in the Local Food System.
Sponsored and hosted by The Growing Partners of Southwest Colorado, the two-day event at Fort Lewis College will showcase many of the successes in support of our local food system. Happenings at the local level in terms of food security and advocacy are just a few of the topics that will be addressed.
The retreat will begin at 7 p.m. Friday with a presentation from nationally acclaimed community food activist and author Mark Winne in Noble Hall, Room 130. According to Winnes website (www.markwinne.com), Winne has dedicated his professional life and writing to enabling people to find solutions to their own food problems as well as those that face their communities and the world.
The Growing Partners could not have asked for a better kickoff to the 2011 Homegrown Retreat. Winnes experience and viewpoint support the partners mission: to implement sustainable local food projects that address food security for underserved populations in La Plata County.
On Saturday, the Food Retreat will continue with a full day of discussion and presentations designed to help define and develop your role in our local food system. Locally focused topics such as food advocacy in the home, voting with your wallet and producing your own year-round food will be complemented by bigger-picture topics, such as how gardens can act as a means to strengthening our partnerships with youths and the community; or how to address potential future local food system policies.
The retreat also is an opportunity to share what you and others are doing in our community. Maybe it is starting a neighborhood garden, participating with your childs school garden, learning about what other communities are doing regarding local food promotion or even what vegetables you have had success growing.
Our local food hero, Durango Mayor Michael Rendon, will give a keynote address Saturday morning. As someone who has been an example of what can be done at the home, community and policy level, Rendon epitomizes what many of us look for in a neighbor, a leader and a friend.
Rendon will be followed by an interactive workshop from Winne, who will be focusing on local food systems policy, and maybe we all can forge a direction for all our communities on food-related topics.
Because all of us within this partnership are dedicated to making our community active in the local food system, this event is free to the community. The local food lunch (bring your own eating instruments) and food advocacy kit hopefully will leave your belly and brain full of good things to take home along with a common direction for our community on food-related topics.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6464 Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.