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The Future of Local Food, January 30-31

Kids at FarmFriday the 30th, 7pm and Saturday the 31st from 10 to 4
Both at United Methodist Church, 250 California St., Santa Cruz (near Bay)
Admission: Friday $5-$15, Saturday Free; Lunch $10 with

How will Santa Cruzans feed ourselves in 2020? What will be our creative solutions to the challenges of expensive energy and a warmer, drier climate? Taking a close look at our local food supply and its future is the theme of a pair of upcoming events we are organizing at the end of January. In an evening panel event and a follow-up community day of conversation and brainstorming, Santa Cruzans will have the opportunity both to hear perspectives from some of our local food mavens and to contribute their own ideas to the mix.  

The Friday evening event will feature a local farm slide show by blogger and photographer Tana Butler (, along with contributions from Mark Lipson (Organic Farming Research Foundation), Ildi Carlisle-Cummins (Community Alliance with Family Farmers), Deborah Yashar (Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association) and others.

On Saturday, community members are invited to set the agenda themselves in a day of small group conversations on the topic of the future of food in Santa Cruz. This will be the first of a series of Open Space days that we will organize on various topics. Open Space Technology is a well-tested approach to creating productive meetings of community groups (as well as nonprofits and corporations). At the beginning of the day, participants will announce their ideas for discussion groups. These topics will be posted on a schedule of several sessions that participants will be able to attend throughout the day. Every group will have a note taker, and every participant will have access to notes from every group's meeting at the end of the day.

Both events are co-sponsored by the Ecological Farming Association (EFA), Ecology Action (EA), UCSC's Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), the Open Space Alliance (OSA), and California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). We are also pleased that New Leaf Community Markets will be sponsoring the lunch on Saturday of yummy, local, organic food.

See you on the 30th and 31st as we explore how this essential part of the relocalization process could look for us here in Santa Cruz.