What part of the food system do you work on?
Marketing locally produced foods from small producers to consumers in the St. Louis area via a Combined CSA model—we are in our 10th season.
What other organizations in STL does your organization work with on food issues?
Though we have worked with several organizations in the past, such as Slow Food St. Louis, we currently are still involved with Missouri Coalition For the Environment.
Any projects in the works?
We have submitted a grant proposal for a project to work with International Institute for cross training refugee growers with our local farmers. We hope to provide a CSA for the immigrants, including more of produce they are missing from their homelands. Our farmers will help the immigrant farmers overcome the challenges of growing in our region, and their farmers will teach our farmers new produce and their own growing techniques.
Where do you see the future of STL’s food system?
Boy do I wish I had a crystal ball. I have a hope that people are going to come back around to caring more about their food being sourced locally. It seems like the last few years has seen a move from consumers supporting farmers’ markets and CSA’s to them supporting convenience services that deliver prepared meals or apportioned ingredient, easy-to-follow recipes that aren’t sourced locally.
What do you do outside of your job that supports the local food system?
I try to primarily support restaurants and markets that focus on locally sourced foods. I always ask where the foods are sourced from in order to let the establishment know that it’s important to the consumer. I talk local food to everyone everywhere I go to raise awareness.