Farm to Fork

EVENTS

Food and the Wisconsin Idea

Date: September 20, 2017, 3-5pm
Location: Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, UW-Madison
details

CIAS Harvest Dinner 2017

Date: October 29, 2017, 5:30pm
Location: University Club, UW-Madison
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Edible Startup Summit

Date: November 17-18, 2017
Location: American Family Center, Madison, WI
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more events

SUCCESS STORIES

The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers: Keeping the Dream of Farming Alive

As older farmers retire, fewer young farmers are stepping in to take their place. The number of beginning farmers dropped 20 percent in the last five-year census period, and the average US farmer now tops 58 years of age. more

CIAS Mini-Grants Support Graduate Student Research in Sustainable Agriculture

CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, our competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems. more



Coming into the Foodshed

Posted June 1996

Bioregionalists have championed the utility of the concept of the watershed as an organizing framework for thought and action directed to understanding and implementing appropriate and respectful human interaction with particular pieces of land. In a creative analogue to the watershed, permaculturist Arthur Getz has recently introduced the term “foodshed” to facilitate critical thought about where our food is coming from and how it is getting to us.

We find the “foodshed” to be a particularly rich and evocative metaphor; but it is much more than metaphor. Like its analogue the watershed, the foodshed can serve us as a conceptual and methodological unit of analysis that provides a frame for action as well as thought. Food comes to most of us now through a global food system which is destructive of both natural and social communities. In this article we explore a variety of routes for the conceptual and practical elaboration of the foodshed.

While corporations which are the principal beneficiaries of a global food system now dominate the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of food, alternatives are emerging which together could form the basis for foodshed development. Just as many farmers are recognizing the social and environmental advantages to sustainable agriculture, so are many consumers coming to appreciate the benefits of fresh and sustainably produced food. Such producers and consumers are being linked through such innovative arrangements as community supported agriculture and farmers markets. Alternative producers, alternative consumers, and alternative small entrepreneurs are rediscovering community and finding common ground in municipal and community food councils.

Recognition of one’s residence within a foodshed can confer a sense of connection and responsibility to a particular locality. The foodshed can provide a place for us to ground ourselves in the biological and social realities of living on the land and from the land in a place that we can call home, a place to which we are or can become native.

Read the full report (pdf file)