Starting a small food business isn’t easy; high start-up costs and strict regulations can prevent even the savviest of small food entrepreneurs from realizing their dream. If you live in California’s Coachella Valley, however, starting a small food business has gotten a bit easier thanks to ShareKitchen, a commercial kitchen incubator in Cathedral City.
Angela Janus started ShareKitchen in 2012 after years of watching her friends in the food business struggle to get good ideas off the ground. Janus, who had 25 years of experience in the hospitality and food industry, recognized that there were many barriers to starting a small food business, some of which were too hard for small food entrepreneurs to overcome on their own.
Farm-to-school guru and Riverside Unified School District director of Nutrition Services Rodney Taylor oversees the daily food needs of 43,000 students, but on May 16, Taylor and his culinary team will prepare and serve food to 60 guests at the 2nd Dinner in the Grove, which benefits GrowRIVERSIDE.
This event, set at Fox Farm in Riverside, will support the upcoming GrowRIVERSIDE conference, slated June 11-13 in Riverside, California. Additionally, the dinner will celebrate the RUSD Nutrition Team’s accomplishments and continuing efforts in feeding healthy, local food to students in the district, as well as Riverside County’s rich citrus and agricultural heritage.
RUSD Nutrition Services won’t merely prepare the food—Taylor and others on his staff will speak on the importance of local food and farmers to the district. Host farmer Scott Berndt of Fox Farm and Lana Hapeman of Hapeman Ranch will also speak about the importance of preserving urban farmland in Riverside and elsewhere.
Excerpt: When it comes to finances, sustainable agriculture isn’t all that sustainable. Community-supported agriculture (CSA)—a model where customers buy a whole season of food from one farmer—does hedge some risk for farmers but you certainly won’t get rich doing it.
A possible new food hub is on the horizon in DeKalb, Illinois.
Dan Kenney of DeKalb County Community Gardens came up with the idea after seeing the success of community gardens in the county. The countywide community garden project kicked off in 2012, and now boasts 40 different locations.
“We try to promote local food and local farmers, and we heard that food hubs are a key component in local food,” Kenney says.
He believes that a food hub located in DeKalb County, located west of Chicago in the northern part of the state, would have a major advantage just due to its geographic location. Interstate 88 (which runs east and west) and Interstate 39 (north and south) traverse through the county, which is in relative close proximity to Chicago, the Illinois-Wisconsin state line and the Mississippi River. Kenney is also encouraged at the success of food hubs elsewhere in the state, including Peoria and Chicago.
(Riverside, CA) – Edward Avalos, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, and Arthur “A.G.” Kawamura, former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, have been added as featured speakers for the 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: The Future of Local Food, conference organizers announced today.
The inclusion of these nationally known experts intensifies an already strong line-up of sustainable urban agriculture experts, city planners, farmers and others slated to speak at the June 11-13 event. Presented by Seedstock in partnership with the City of Riverside, the conference fosters the growth of a sustainable local food and agriculture system that directly benefits Riverside as well as provides blueprints that communities across the country can utilize, officials said. Avalos and Kawamura join Mark Winne, a nationally recognized expert in community food policy and systems, as conference featured speakers.
Local food producers in Northwest Michigan are entering an era of collaboration thanks to the emergence of the Grand Traverse Food Innovation Hub. The food hub is an important step toward a more connected and cooperative local food community in the region and is in the early stages of bringing diverse local food companies together to share a workspace and possibly more, if everything goes according to plan.
NYU’s Urban Farm Lab is not your typical classroom, but for students at NYU’s Food Studies program, it’s where they learn one very important lesson: how to grow food in the big city.
The Urban Farm Lab was the inspiration of NYU graduate student Daniel Bowman Simon who thought there should be an urban garden on campus. Unfortunately, the administration didn’t agree— at least not at first. But after five years of campaigning, Bowman Simon and members of NYU’s Food Studies Department got the administration on board, and the NYU Urban Farm Lab was born.
Imagine a housing development built around green space. But instead of a golf course or park, a farm is at the community’s centerpiece. This concept is becoming reality in Durham, North Carolina.
The feature amenity of Wetrock Farm, with 141 home sites, will be a 15-acre sustainable farm managed by professionals. Organic fruits and vegetables will be grown at the farm, which will host a farm stand and space for educational and recreational programs. Residents will enjoy access to the locally-grown produce, and will be able to participate in the growing of food as much as they desire. Developer Rick Bagel also hopes to attain organic certification for the farm.
Excerpt: Boulder and Denver have become hubs for tech start-ups, and the northern Colorado region is dotted with widely respected scientific research institutions.
Excerpt: The Agriculture Department really wants American consumers to buy local foods. Whatever that means.
Rich in protein and requiring relatively few resources to raise, the United Nations says insects should be on our plates.
Though bugs make up part of a healthy, diverse diet in many non-Western cultures, Americans and Europeans generally consider eating insects to be disgusting, even ‘primitive.’ But a growing movement by edible insect enthusiasts like Kevin Bachhuber is looking to change this perception.
Eating certain types of insects is common is Thailand, where Bachhuber picked up a taste for them in 2006 while traveling. Fried crickets are a common bar food, and though “it feels a little Fear-Factor-y at first,” he says a couple beers help wash them down the first time. From then on, he says, “They’re really good!”