Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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EatBeat: Preserving Food – a Growing Green Communities Event Saturday at Pine Jog Environmental Center

January 12th, 2013 · 4 Comments


Join me today, Saturday, January 12 at Pine Jog Environmental Education Center in West Palm Beach for a day of exhibits, panel discussions and food as part of the Growing Green Communities: Preserving Food Traditions.

A number of experts in a variety of food and gardening topics will be on hand from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the family-oriented event. Free gardening exhibits, food demos and hands-on exhibits are planned.

Tickets are available at through the website www.SlowFoodGladesToCoast.com. (Adults $15, children $5). The schedule of panelists and demos can be found at the website.

Presenters and panelists include:

Kristina Baines, panelist and installation exhibitor

Kristina is a socio-cultural applied anthropologist, with a focus on Ecological and Medical Anthropology. Her current research focuses on the intersection of traditional ecological knowledge and practice, and health and wellness, particularly among Maya communities in Belize, Guatemala and southeast Florida. In Lake Worth, she is currently collaborating with the Guatemala Maya Center and Palm Beach County School Board’s “Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities” initiative to facilitate the construction of keyhole gardens at the homes of Maya families in the community.

She has also conducted recent research in Peru and has designed and taught educational programs focused on nutrition and environmental heritage topics with several of her research communities. She is dedicated to sharing the value of anthropological methodologies with a wide audience and has recently developed a collaborative, innovative experiential art event based on her dissertation research contribution, “embodied ecological heritage.” While her research interests are broad and she is interested in most everything that people do, among former students and in some circles, she is sometimes referred to as “the corn lady.”

John Forti, keynote speaker, presenter

John Forti is a lecturer, garden historian, ethnobotanist and garden writer. He is Curator of Historic Landscapes at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, N.H. and previously served as the Director of Horticulture at Plimoth Plantation Museum. John founded Slow Food Seacoast, and serves on the bio-diversity committee for Slow Food USA. He recently attended Terra Madre in Italy as an international delegate. He serves as vice-chair of the board for the Herb Society of America’s New England Unit. He posts regularly as “The Heirloom Gardener – John Forti” on Facebook.

Brendhan Horne, presenter

Brendhan has been beekeeping for 10 years. What started out as a hobby has become a full time business. Brendhan served as vice president and president of the Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association. The association helps educate the public on bees and beekeeping. Presentations and talks can be arranged for your group, school, club or church.

In 2006 Brendhan formed the bee removal company Bee Barf Apiaries to help people with hive removals from their home. Sometimes bees take up residence in places they are not wanted. Bee Barf Apiaries does removals to save bees, not kill them. “We do removals from roofs, walls, trees, and all sorts of other places. Our clients include Palm Beach County, Lake Worth Drainage District and probably one of your neighbors. We do hundreds of removals every year.”

Susan Lerner, presenter

Susan Lerner’s personal mission is to facilitate transformation. A former physical therapist frustrated by the limitations of traditional medicine, she is a Hippocrates Health Educator, a 15-year raw-fooder and organizes the largest ongoing raw food potluck in South Florida at The Center for Inspired Living in West Palm Beach. Susan is also a freelance photographer as well as an ordained ADL minister. She is a local coordinator for the Food & Water Watch “Let Me Decide” campaign to get genetically engineered foods labeled in Florida and hosts the regular Campaign Action Meetings at The Center on Monday evenings.

Jessica McCleary, Certified Master Food Preserver, presenter

Jessica McCleary is a co-owner and operator of Exotic Findings Nursery. Manager farm operations and marketing for 2.5 acre specialty crop farm. Products include Scotch Bonnet peppers, herbs, and value added products (herbal teas, jams/jellies fruit toppings and syrups). As a certified Master Preserver, Jessica wants to promote food safety and take the fear out of the food preservation process.

Laurie Mecca, panelist

Laurie Mecca is currently a fifth grade teacher in an environmentally-focused school, Pine Jog Elementary, also known as the first Gold LEED Certified Public School in Florida. With 32 years of teaching and leadership experience, she recently received Palm Beach County’s 2012 Outstanding Elementary Science Teacher, 2012 Environmental Educator of the Year Honoree, 2012 Florida’s Green School Award for Pine Jog O.W.L. Team for which she founded and sponsors, 2011 Dwyer Award Finalist for Outstanding Achievement in Elementary Education and PBC Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardener.

Growing and preserving fruits and vegetables was the way of life during her childhood. Using this experience with gardening and family farms, she enjoys managing the school’s 4000-plant hydroponic garden to help connect children to their foods’ “roots” once again. Her dedication to children in her extra-curricular Our World LEED-ers, known as the O.W.L. Team, and in an afterschool gardening class motivates children to grow gardens at home. Her family farm connections include her husband’s family, Mecca Farms, and her sister’s family, Pero Family Farms, both of which moved to south Florida from western New York.

Jo Jo Milano, dairy goat farmer, presenter

Goodness Gracious Acres/Delilah’s Dairy is a 1.5 acre working goat dairy located in Loxahatchee, Fla. Selling raw milk products, old fashioned goat milk soap, fresh eggs, cheese and art. GGA has been in business since 2004- showing purebred Nubian and Lamancha’s, bred for superior genetics and milkability-participating in all American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) programs including Dairy Herd Improvement (DHIR) and Linear Appraisals. Our mission: To live simply. To take pride in our work. To treat our animals kindly. To feed as organic as possible. To not force animals to work. To milk cleanly daily. To produce superior batches of handmade, artisan soap. To be good stewards and tread lightly.

Noel Ramos, presenter

Noel has been involved with tropical agriculture and food sustainability in South Florida for the past 25 years and has been a board member of Slow Food Miami and Glades-To-Coast as well as the Broward Rare Fruit Council. He has written over a dozen articles and book reviews which have appeared in the California Fruit Gardeners, the Rare Fruit Council International magazine and several others. His botanical photographs have also been published in many of these same publications as well as in the New York Times and Slow Food websites.

Noel has traveled extensively to many private farms, botanical gardens and research stations through out the U.S, Europe and Latin America and lectures throughout the state to different agricultural and environmental organizations. He also leads botanical and agricultural tours in Florida, Puerto Rico, California, Honduras and Costa Rica. Currently at his garden in Coral Springs Florida, he is growing and fruiting many species of rare tropical fruits including sapotes, jakfruit, mangos, coffee, cacao and annonas.

Nancy Roe, panel moderator

Nancy Roe is originally from western Pennsylvania, but has lived and farmed in Arizona and Texas, as well as Florida. She has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Horticulture from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in Vegetable Crops from the University of Florida. Since 2000, she and her husband have owned Farming Systems Research, which raises vegetables for sale through a 400 member CSA and to local restaurants, and conducts research in sustainable agriculture.

Samuel W. Scott, Ph.D., panel member

Dr. Scott is a graduate of the University of Florida with over twenty-seven years (27) of experience in international economics and international business development; his areas of expertise consist of international trade, international business, marketing, finance, economic development, agribusiness management and risk management (marketing. financial an operational risks)

Dr. Scott has been involved in several operations with various international agencies, state, federal, multilateral agencies and private industries. His work has been geared toward economic development, risk management, small business (SME) development, investment banking/project finance, import/export management, international management consulting and market research, market development, export readiness, trade finance, food safety, enterprise diversification planning, marketing planning, strategic planning, management audits, financial management, community loan fund development, microfinance and investment banking, economic development, real estate development and investment.

He is currently director at the North-South Institute for economic development, international business and trade, sustainable systems, renewable resource development, education and professional development.


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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Diane Campion // Jan 14, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Thank you for your participation in our Growing Green Communities -Preserving Food Traditions event on Saturday. You were a wonderful Mistress of Ceremonies.
    Let’s continue to let people know where their food is coming from and the stories of the people who grow it.

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