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2nd Annual Earth Conference - Food: Changing the World One Bite at a Time

Keynote Speaker - Dr. Lisa Heldke

Keynote Speaker Dr. Lisa Heldke, Gustavus Adolphus College, Professor of Philosophy

Just FOOD or JUST food?

A pioneer in the area of Philosophy of Food, Heldke has written one book, co-edited three others, and published many articles on the topics of food, food justice, and the ethics and power dynamics of eating.  Her work continually explores the question, "How can food be a vehicle for social change?"
Putting actual sweat behind her words, Heldke, co-founder of the St. Peter Community Garden, helped organize the St. Peter Food Co-op educational series and challenges those around her to think deeply and act justly about that which we often take for granted - food.  Heldke, and avid baker, and her partner host "Third Sunday Suppers," monthly soup nights aimed at creating community around good food.


Interactive Morning Reflection

Conference attendees were each given an apple and led through an apple-themed reflection.

Morning Panel

"Locale Buffet," a panel of speakers from sustainable farms and businesses.
Lisa Durkee, Amboy Cottage Cafe
Heidi Morlock, Belle Plaine
Florence Minar, New Prague

Afternoon Workshops

The afternoon consisted of two hour-long sessions.  Participants could choose from the following 4 workshops which 2 they wanted to attend.

1. Taking Action for Local and Regional Food Systems
Mark Schultz, Land Stewardship Program
Schultz is Director of Programs and Public Policy Program Director for the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) in Minnesota.  LSP believes in the power of people to bring about positive changes on the land and in their communities.  With his years of experience, Schultz spoke to ways that citizens can use to make their efforts effective.  Schultz lives in Minneapolis with his family and has been a staff person for LSP for 16 years.

2. Myth: Fast Foods are Faster
Kathleen Storms SSND, Co-founder of the Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry
Sister Kathleen is an avid gardener, cook, and canner.  In her workshop she explored the trend in our fast-paced and often activity-driven schedules to revert to fast foods to tak care of family and community food needs.  Obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease are often the result.  As a busy person with an often crazy schedule, Sister Kathleen counters the dilemma with healthy foods.  Having developed a repertoire of quick-fix nutritious meals that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes, she will provide meal plans, recipes, and share thoughts about alternatives to a growing trend toward reliance on fast foods.

3. Shaping Local Food Efforts
Kathleen and Annette Fernholz SSNDs, Gardeners, Farmers, and Educators
Sisters Kathleen and Annette are living a dream realized on Earthrise Farm near Madison, Minnesota.  Their story begins with love of the land and learning to work with it and neighboring farmers in order to produce healthy food.  Sisters Kathleen and Annette tell of involving community, starting a farmers market, establishing cooperatives, all with an emphasis on education,  Learn how it works and what YOU can do to help change the world.

4. Digging Deeper, Growing Together
Presentation from Community Gardeners at Good Counsel
With a mission centered around access to nutritious food as a human right, the community gardens at Good Counsel provide a vibrant green space for people to grow food and nurture community.  This panel explored the concept of gardening in a community setting.  Find out some of the reasons people garden in community gardens, how they benefit from the experience, and what they and their families gain beyond nutritious foods.

Farmer's Harvest Market

At the end of the conference, participants were invited to shop at a Farmer's Harvest Market featuring local farmers with vegetables, meats, jams, wool, and other farm products set up in the Rounding Dining Room adjacent to the Conference Center.