Food Diversity

Interview with Gary Paul Nabhan at the George Jones Farm in Oberlin on April 17, 2011. Gary talks about Great Lakes and Appalachian Food Traditions. Ohio was the center of apple diversity, due in part to Johnny Appleseed. Appalachia has more diversity of fruits, vegetables, and grains than the rest of North America combined. Filmed by LESS Productions and edited by Brad Masi. For more information on Gary Paul Nabhan, see

Local Food and Climate Change

During his recent visit to Oberlin College, I had an opportunity to have a conversation with Bill McKibben about climate change and local food systems. Bill McKibben is one of the leading thinkers and actors around efforts to mobilize around climate change issues. Bill McKibben is the author of a number for books that advocate solutions to getting us off of our fossil fuel dependency, including Deep Economy and his most recent title, Eaarth (pronounced like Arnold Swartzenager would say Earth). Local food systems are one among a number of strategies for adapting to and respond to a changing climate. We had minor flooding in Oberlin during the day of his talk. Learn more about his work to organize global networks to address climate change at

Michael Shuman at City Club of Cleveland

Michael Shuman, Project Director for the Northeast Ohio Local Food Assessment and Plan, presents a case for considering the economic development benefits of food localization in Northeast Ohio. Shuman serves as the Director of Research for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), a national organization promoting growth of small, locally owned business networks across the country. He is also author of several books, most notably The SmartMart Revolution, and Going Local.

Eden Vision Community Cook-Off Trailer

Brief trailer for upcoming event organized by Eden Vision, based out of Elyria, Ohio, which promotes urban agriculture in Lorain County. Nationally renown biologist, writer, and local foods advocate Gary Paul Nabhan will give a workshop at the House of Healing Church at 1417 West Avenue on April 18, 2011. Come at 5:00 for a "soul roll" cooking workshop with Mr. Ed and stay for the Teen Greens cook-off.

Tags: oberlin
Rhizomic Growth

Collaboration designer and author Jack Ricchiuto presents the concept of rhizomic growth, based on the growth of plants like ginger that send out underground stems or rhizomes that grow other stems. In a social setting, rhizomic growth refers to a more collaborative system, in which gardens grow other gardens or businesses grow other businesses. In this time of economic struggle, this model presents a new approch to growing organizations, communities, and economies that are more dynamic, more innovative, and more collaborative. Rather than looking at individual farms or restaurants as compeitors with each other, can they become collaborators, helping to support and grow each other and over time grow an overall local food economy?

Local Roots 2011

Local Roots, based in downtown Wooster, embodies rhizomic growth. A small group of farmers, educators, artists, financiers, and consumers got together in 2009 with a vision for a retail local foods storefront in downtown Wooster. A year and a half later, they have 140 farmer-members and  more than 400 consumer members occupying two previously vacant downtown storefronts in Wooster. Rolling up their sleeves, farmers and volunteers are busy at work expanding the store to include a certified kitchen space that can be used to prepare local foods for the in-store cafe or for use by the farmers that comprise the cooperative. Local Roots demonstrates a business model where a business can help to incubate other businesses and farm-based enterprises. Could this happen in your community?