23

Saturday, Aug 23, 2014

Fog/Mist, 76 °F

compassLogo
30 Mile Meal

Paige Alost (right) assists in serving a locally-sourced meal at the 30 Mile Meal Discovery Day Wednesday at the Dairy Barn Arts Center.

Photographer: Wayne Thomas

30 Mile Meal

The novel food initiative attracted a diverse mix of attendees, many of whom are hoping to implement 30 Mile Meal initiatives in their own communities.

Photographer: Wayne Thomas

30 Mile Meal

As part of Ohio University's Earth Month commemoration, 30 Mile Meal Discovery Day celebrated the local food movement and its many partners in Athens.

Photographer: Wayne Thomas

Featured Stories


30 Mile Meal Discovery Day punctuates final week of Earth Month 2012


Athens has a rich history of sustainable practices and local food economies. So it's no wonder that the community's 30 Mile Meal Project – which supports the growth of local food markets within a 30-mile radius of Athens – has evolved into a model for local food initiatives.

On Wednesday, project coordinators shared their secrets of success during the 30 Mile Meal Discovery Day at the Dairy Barn Arts Center. As part of Ohio University's Earth Month commemoration, the event celebrated the local food movement and its many partners in Athens.

The novel food initiative attracted a diverse mix of attendees, which included local food council members, farmers, natural food chefs, sustainable agriculturists and campaign and marketing directors. Many were hoping to implement 30 Mile Meal initiatives in their own communities.

"It's important to expand the local food economy because it creates connections that are horizontal between each other in local communities, instead of vertical through food chains that go out of the community, drawing the money out as well," said Jim Converse, a farmers market manager from Youngstown, Ohio, who attended the event.

As the "most local of locavore initiatives in the country," 30 Mile Meal celebrates and promotes the abundance of farms, the bounty of restaurants serving locally sourced menus, local food markets and the food-producing community in Southeast Ohio, according to the project's website. The initiative is a collaboration of the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) and more than 130 local food partners.
 
In addition to a project overview, the 30 Mile Meal Discovery Day featured a panel discussion with:

•  Michelle Ajamian, co-owner of Shagbark Seed & Mill and the director of the Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative
•  Tom Redfern, sustainable agriculture coordinator at Rural Action
•  Stacy Peters, owner of O'Chocolate and Few Miles Market
•  Michelle Wasserman, co-owner of Casa Nueva
•  Matt Starline from Starline Organics

Project directors also assisted in mapping participants' assets and 30-mile radius of their own.

"The benefits go to so many people," said Converse. "They go to growers to keep their farms and stay in business. It also helps consumers buy fresh local food and see their money reinvested in the local economy."

For more information on the 30 Mile Meal Project contact Natalie Woodroofe, project manager at nwoodroofe@athensohio.com or visit http://www.athensohio.com/30mile.