Eat Local Week: Promoting a Renaissance of Local Sustainable Food and Farming
Transition Sarasota is a young and growing outpost of the worldwide Transition Movement to promote local community resilience and selfreliance. Headed by Don Hall, the organization has made amazing inroads in its short tenure. While there’s a political undertone to the group’s initiatives, Transition’s primary message is one of appreciation of the land and the caretakers of our natural resources.
“There’s a perception that farming is a low-level, low pay occupation. This is simply not true,” Hall stated. “Familyrun farms are a job creation industry that is too often overlooked. Local food is not ‘small potatoes’ in terms of creating solid, middle-class jobs that last.”
Hall commented: “Through one of our primary initiatives, the Suncoast Gleaning Project, volunteers meet almost every Monday morning at Jessica’s Farm
in Sarasota to pick surplus produce for All Faiths Food Bank. It’s a win-win-win proposition. The Food Bank and those who depend upon it get fresh local produce, the farmer gets a tax write-off, and volunteers get to take home a free bag of produce in appreciation for their time. Last year, we picked and donated 32,000 pounds of produce, with about a dozen volunteers serving for two hours once a week.”
Hall is also excited about the upcoming “Eat Local Week,” April 14-22, 2012. “This gives us a tremendous opportunity to promote another of our initiatives, the 10% Local Food Shift Pledge. We encourage everyone to make a conscious decision to purchase 10% of their produce and proteins from local farmers. It’s not only a great way to support the local agricultural community, but the food itself is superior.
We know we can’t transition our local food system overnight, but Transition Sarasota strives to educate our community on the value of bringing food to fork while reducing our dependence on fossil fuel to do so.”
The week-long celebration features a range of activities throughout Sarasota and Bradenton.