On Tuesday January 11th the SF Public Library is hosting a discussion panel as part of this year’s SF EATS program calendar. I’ll be speaking with other leaders in the local farm to table movement.
As described by the organizers: “This panel discussion investigates how local and organically grown produce shapes San Francisco cooking and dining. Panelists include: Mark Sullivan, chef, Spruce; Dave Stockdale, Executive Director of the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA); Sam Mogannam, owner of Bi-Rite Market; and Jeannette Ferrary, food writer and historian. The moderator will be Dava Guthmiller of Slow Food San Francisco. Speakers explore current food trends and how these trends shape and influence future dining in San Francisco, and on a national scale.”
What is key for me is reinforcing our role as the retailer in providing consumers with farm direct food. Most of the produce sold at retail these days is through distributors that have no interest in sustainable agriculture, land stewardship, fair treatment of laborers or environmental stewardship. Their interest is to sell.
I hope that through the panel I can showcase the benefits of having direct and personal relationships with the farmers. We seek out farmers like Ginger Balakian of Balakian Farms, who considers her 4 full-time and 20 or so seasonal workers part of a large extended family. Or Maria Catalan of Catalan farms, who learned farming techniques from her grandfather as a child in Guerrera, Mexico; as one of the first Latina migrant farm workers in the U.S. to own a farm, Maria runs educational programs to share her love and knowledge and grows some of the best produce around.
Come join us from 6-7:30 p.m, in Koret Auditorium, SF Public Library main location (100 Larkin Street at Grove), lower level. Click here for more info.