Food for Thought Books

We returned to Amherst, this time in downtown to serve food and stir-up some conversation on the streets and within Food for Thought Books (FFT) where we had an excellent panel discussion on local food systems and projects. Our Amherst crowd was composed of a typical cross-section of my current home-town: high school students just out of classes, college students, workers, academics and some families. TK, our host from FFT, and I introduced our panel for an engaging and enlightening conversation. Our panelist were: Maggie Shar, Environmental Educator, Worker/Owner, Valley Green Feast; Diego Angarita, Food Systems Organizer and Youth Coordinator, Nuestras Raices; Arianna Thompson, Holyoke Food & Fitness Policy Council Research and Communications Coordinator; Craig Fear, Certified Nutritional Therapist, Pioneer Valley Nutritional Therapy; and Tory Fields, a farmer from Next Barn Over, a CSA in Hadley. After introductions and a short description from each panelist about what they do, we took questions from the audience which ranged from the practical (how can I get shares at your farm?) to the political/local (how can we increase food access for our own disenfranchised communities?). The varied experiences and broad knowledge of the panel made for deep, and in some cases detailed, responses. The conversation could have easily gone on for many more hours, but it was the start of one of those catalytic conversations we had hoped Movable Feast would encourage. As we filtered out to the night-time Amherst street to get our last taste of O’Brian’s excellent corn chowder, the fluorescent glow of the trailer lights appeared as a warm beacon.

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