What I'm anticipating to be the Woodstock of food starts tomorrow in San Francisco at Slow Food Nation. Today I visited the Slow Food Victory Garden that's been installed on the grounds of the Civic Center and which harkens back to the 1940s when there was a Victory Garden planted here for several years just after WWII.
I talked briefly with the garden manager and designer, Kelsey Siegel, formerly the garden manager for the Edible Schoolyard Project. He said he's heard people say that the Victory Garden is the best thing that's ever come to the Civic Center. And he's also heard people say that they've never seen broccoli growing before. You can tell he loves talking about the garden, sharing it with tour groups and especially little kids. He says that everyone who sees it feels happier for it.
Tomorrow the Slow Food Congress votes on the adoption of a new vision, mission and strategy for Slow Food USA and signs the petition for a Food Bill Declaration, "a call to action to frame future food and agricultural policies to benefit all Americans."
Slow Food USA Draft Vision, Mission, and Strategy
Food is a common language and a universal right. Slow Food USA envisions a world in which all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it and good for the planet. In essence, food that is good, clean, and fair.
Seeking to create dramatic and lasting change in the food system, Slow Food USA reconnects Americans with the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils and waters that produce our food. We work to inspire a transformation in food policy, production practices, and market forces so that they ensure equity, sustainability and pleasure in the food we eat.
Slow Food USA's primary purpose for the next five years is to stimulate and lead a movement that is changing the food system in the United States. To achieve this, we will carry out the following strategies:
1. Build a large, diverse, active and regionally organized grassroots network.
2. Create and support market-driven and local food systems projects that promote biodiversity and sustainable practices.
3. Create and support food-centered educational projects.
4. Organize major conferences that convene diverse stakeholders and public events that deliver transformative food experiences.
5. Advocate for increased public awareness of and progressive policies in areas that impact the food system.
6. Increase Slow Food USA's organizational capacity.
And there's more expansion on the particulars of the strategy, etc., but I'll leave it at this for now.
Did I mention I was excited about Slow Food Nation? How about a Victory Garden on the grounds of the capital in Lansing? I think Jennifer Granholm would like this idea. Have you heard there's a campaign to grow a vegetable garden on the White House lawn?