The Long Island Small Farm Summit, run by a coalition including NOFA, North Shore Land Alliance, and Slow Food Huntington was held at SUNY Old Westbury on Friday. The best part was its surprisingly great success with over 400 attendees! The keynote speaker was Joel Salatin, the self-described “environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer” of Food Inc. and Omnivore’s Dilemma fame. He delivered an inspiring and humorous talk on 10 urban myths about farming, that had the full auditorium in stitches. The goal of the event was to raise awareness about local food efforts such as community gardens, farmers’ markets, and school gardens and to promote action toward sustainable food policies. Exhibitors included local farms, Sustainable Long Island, tables with books about farming and gardening, and of course yours truly (Sustainability Institute at Molloy College). It was a very inspiring event and clearly showed that the empowerment of having access to local, healthy food is an issue that has struck a chord on Long Island and beyond. See: www.longislandsmallfarmcentral.com.
Colin Beavan, No Impact Man, speaks at Molloy
Colin Beavan, a.k.a. No Impact Man, visited the Molloy College campus this week as part of the Earth Week celebration. He spoke to about 100 attendees about the need for people to recognize the connectivity among us all, and the need to not polarize issues. We all need to do the best we can to protect the earth as well deal with many other issues, and though we may have different ideas about how to do that, we are all in the same boat. We can’t remain selfish and “fighting over deck chairs on the Titanic.” His own epiphany came when he walked into his air conditioned apartment one day and realized that our country was at war over the fuel needed to run that air conditioner. He wanted to live a life that did not require fighting over, and thus came the idea for the No Impact project. He still rides his bike, remains vegetarian, and doesn’t use air conditioning. See http://noimpactproject.org/.
Honored by LI Progressive Coalition
Thank you to the LI Progressive Coalition for honoring me and many other worthy folks, including Huntington Councilwoman Glenda Jackson, Congressman Tim Bishop, and immigrant activist Dr. Luis Valenzuela, at their annual luncheon yesterday! I got a beautiful plaque in the category of “Environmental Vision in Sustainable Development” and a lovely introduction by Jonathan Grindell, fellow vegetarian and prius-driver. : ) Thanks to all my colleagues and family who came out to support me, at the beautiful Timber Point Country Club in Great River, NY.
I wore my beautiful black organic cotton, “Jacquie O” dress by Fin, which many people commented on. 🙂
Town of Oyster Bay Women of Distinction
Tonight I was honored by the Town of Oyster Bay, NY as a Woman of Distinction! Eight women are selected each year for this honor for their efforts in various areas such as volunteerism, health care, business, and the arts. My category was government, for my work through the Sustainability Institute on our Clean Energy Leadership Task Force and various energy policies. It was a great ceremony and each winner was very worthy of the title. We each got an introduction by a Town Council member and proclamation. Our names will be engraved on a plaque that will hang in Oyster Bay Town Hall forever-more!
Organic Lawn Care Piece for News 12
Today I filmed an interview on organic lawn care with Elizabeth Hashagen of News 12! Thank you to Elizabeth for her terrific “Go Green with 12” segments each week that help keep Long Islanders informed of what they can do to protect the environment. It will air the week of April 11th, so when it does, I’ll add the link!
Food & Faith Conference, CT
I spent Martin Luther King Day traveling by ferry up to New Haven, Connecticut to the Food & Faith conference hosted by the Unitarian Fellowship of New Haven. I was joined by several others from Long Island who work to bring local food opportunities to Long Island, including Fran Whittelsy of the Gateway Community Farm in Huntington, NY plus Bhavani Jaroff and her helper Yolanda, who both are involved with Slow Food Huntington and iEatGreen. We learned about similar efforts happening in CT and how places of worship can be involved in the local food movement. We learned that groups there have worked to start gardens at schools so kids can learn how to grow their own food. Great idea!