A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bluegrass Local Food Summit: Celebrates
food, health, environment, local economies

Interested in knowing more or sharing more about food – all about food? Then check out the Bluegrass Local Food Summit March 22-24.


It’s the place to celebrate food, learn from each other, and develop common understandings about the links between food, health, the environment and local economies.


Convened by Lexington’s Sustainable Communities Network, headed by Jim Embry, the summit will be held at Crestwood Christian Church, 1882 Bellefonte Drive. It will include farmers, statewide government and business leadership, educators, chefs, activists and any concerned citizen – including those who want to know about raising chickens, keeping bees, making a rain barrel or raising goats in the city.


The group promotes the health and well-being of children, families, farms, local economies and the environment by increasing access to locally grown and processed food in schools, hospitals, restaurants, institutions, groceries, food pantries and by supporting food and garden-based education in Kentucky.


2012 Bluegrass Local Food Summit Outline:


Thursday, March 22 devoted to local elected government officials and their staff creating policies and programs that support local food systems in a comprehensive way.


Friday, March 23 speakers and workshops: Farm to School/Institution, Food Policy Council, Climate Change and Food, Sustainable Farming Methods, Faith and Food, Food Justice/Health Disparity, Food Sovereignty,


Saturday, March 24 1)School Garden Workshop; 2) Homesteading Workshops: Raising Bees/ Chickens/Goats, Composting, Organic Gardening, Rain Gardens, Healthy Cooking, Edible Lawns 3) Youth Gathering on Food and Sustainability- workshops, presentations, work projects, tours led by youth.


Tuesday, March 27, 6-9 p.m. free film screening of Farmageddon Central Public Library Theater.


Speakers are John-Mark Hack of Marksbury Farm Market and Susan Miller of Bluegrass Chevre.


You can register online at www.sustainlex.org.


Here are details about the Sustainable Living Workshops – each one is $20 — on Saturday, March 24:


Workshop 1: Beekeeping Basics, 1:30-3:30 p.m.


Instructor Tammy Horn, author of “Bee Economy: What Women and Bees Can Teach Us about Local Trade and the Global Market.” The beginning course will cover all aspects of basic beekeeping including honey bee biology, local, equipment requirements, honey bee sources, and producing, harvesting, extracting, bottling and sell honey and hive products.


Workshop 2: Raising Chickens, 1:30-3:30 p.m.


Instructors Wayne Davis and Beverly Davis will provide information on how to select breeds, common diseases, nutrition, housing and the environmental benefits and tastier aspect of organic poultry. Raising chickens is a sustainable, proficient and easy to tend in a backyard.


Workshop 3: Healthy Cooking, 10 a.m.-noon


Instructors chef Carolyn Gilles and Mary Katherine Miller of TheWholesomeChef.com bridge the gap between knowing and doing. “We believe in and support local food. We know eating more plants is good for our bodies.” The workshop will examine the whys and hows of local food (all diet types welcome) and then dive into recipes, cooking techniques and discussion of disease prevention and healing through food.


Workshop 4: The ABC’s of Composting, 1:30-3:30 p.m.


Instructor Chad Hilton of Employment Solutions, will explain that composting accelerates the national processes that recycle nutrients to produce humus which is the foundation of soil fertility. Nature can take years to make humus but you can do it more quickly by simple making homemade compost.


Workshop 5: Raising Goats in the City, 1:30-3:30 p.m.


Instructor Susan Miller of Bluegrass Chevre, Farmshead Goats will teach you what it means to be a goat farmer and how to make good use of goat’s milk. The class is geared toward keeping dairy goats, but the information is helpful for any goat-keeper. The class will cover the basics: nutrition, milking, shelter, breeding, parasite management, common health concerns, pasture management – and that goat milk can also be used to make yogurt, soap and ice cream.


Workshop 6: Make Your Own Rain Barrel, 10 a.m.–noon


Obiora Embry, E Consulting LLC and Bluegrass Pride is the instructor. A rain barrel is an inexpensive means of capturing and storing water to use latter. By installing a rain barrel you will not only help reduce pollution from storm water runoff but will also have a supply of free non-chlorinated Ph neutral water for your vegetable garden, potted plants and more.


For more information, contact Sustainable Communities Network www.sustainlex.org, embryjim@gmail.com, 859-270-3699


Photo of Embry from www.sustainlex.org/

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