What happens when you organize over 28 small groups to discuss food values and issues, and include a local farmer or food producer in each one? Find out at the NWEI North American Gathering this year with our co-hosts, innovative organizers Judy Alexander, Dick Bergeron and Peter Bates.  They facilitated Menu for the Future small group discussions to support local farmers and educate eaters, and as a result local eaters changed their food choices, and the market for local food products expanded.

Thanks to Peak Moment TV, which is dedicated to building local reliance, you can meet our Port Townsend NWEI North American Gathering co-hosts by clicking here to watch a clip from their interview about their work creating more sustainable local food systems and a more vibrant, healthy community.

They’ll be offering a workshop during the conference weekend (September 15-18th) on Community Building, Sustainable Food and Neighborhood Activism, where they will share how in 2010 their local NWEI Steering Committee undertook an ambitious project to see if a tipping point might be reached in support of local food, farms, and farmers. NWEI, in partnership with The Port Townsend Farmer’s Market, The Port Townsend Food Co-op, and the Chimacum Grange, in a county of 30,000, launched over 28 Menu for the Future courses.

Each group had participant food producers informing the dialogue, from local farmers, fishermen, restauranteurs, cheese makers, and community gardeners, bringing home the message that being able to source our food locally is critically important for reasons pertaining to health, economy, ecology, and community.

Thanks Port Townsend for setting such an inspiring example of change!