Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006
Life and Work

Slow Living Summit to focus on farms, food, food systems

BRATTLEBORO—The fifth annual Slow Living Summit will take place in Brattleboro on June 3-5 and will be focused on farms, food, and food systems.

The summit is presented by Strolling of the Heifers, a Vermont-based food advocacy organization that works to connect people with local food and to support innovation and entrepreneurship at farms and food businesses.

Subtitled “Food, Mindfully,” the summit will explore “the journey of food,” with topics including nourishment and wellness, food entrepreneurship, food systems, food justice, and food policy.

Shanta L. Evans-Crowley, the conference coordinator, said “the summit aims to bring together experts, policymakers, entrepreneurs, educators, students, farmers, artists and concerned citizens, in order to foster cross-sector conversations and collaborations.”

Evans-Crowley said support from sponsors and foundations again makes it possible for the summit to offer subsidized registrations for people not able to afford the full registration rates.

“We encourage everyone to visit the website and explore the program, and if you want to come but can’t afford the full fee, please check out the stipended registration option, which is open to summiteers with lower incomes, as well as for seniors, farmers, and artists.” There is also a discounted student rate.

The summit offers five major plenary sessions along with more than 25 breakout sessions, including question-and-answer follow-up sessions with plenary speakers. Continuing a practice initiated in 2014, Evans-Crowley is pairing each of the plenary speakers with artists who will present concurrent artistic interpretations of the speaker’s message.

Major summit speakers include:

• Alisa Gravitz, the CEO of Green America (formerly Co-op America), which develops marketplace solutions to social and environmental problems with a focus on tackling climate change, building fair trading systems, stopping corporate abuse, and growing the green economy. Gravitz will speak on “Growing the Green Economy;”

• Dr. Michael Finkelstein, the “Slow Medicine Doctor” — featured in media including The New York Times and CNN; a health blogger for The Huffington Post; presenter at venues ranging from GE Corporation and Omega Institute; and author of Slow Medicine. Finkelstein’s topic is “Food for Mind, Body and Soul;”

• Laura Lengnick, of the Local Food Research Center at the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project in Ashville N.C. Lengnick, a researcher, policy-maker, educator, and farmer, is the lead author of the USDA report “Climate Change and U.S. Agriculture: Effects and Adaptation.” She will speak on “Resilient Agriculture;”

• Vicki Robin, social innovator, writer, and speaker, coauthor of the international best-seller, Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence. Her new book is, Blessing the Hands that Feed Us; Lessons from a 10-Mile Diet. She was called by The New York Times the “prophet of consumption downsizers;”

• Allison Hooper, co-founder and CEO, Vermont Creamery. At the helm of the artisan cheese movement in Vermont and as president of the American Cheese Society from 2005 to 2008, Hooper has been a voice for and mentor to U.S. cheesemakers. Author of In a Cheesemaker’s Kitchen. She will speak on “Land and Legacy;”

• Judith D. Schwartz is a journalist and author whose work looks at soil as a hub for multiple environmental, economic and social challenges—and for solutions. Author of Cows Save the Planet. Her Summit topic is “How Changing the Way We Grow Food Can Restore Ecosystems and Reverse Global Warming;”

• Alex Wilson is the founder of Building Green and the Resilient Design Institute, both based in Brattleboro. RDI works to advance the many facets of resilience at personal, community and regional scales. Wilson will speak on “Resilient Food Systems.”

Plenary sessions take place at the Latchis Theatre. Most breakout sessions are taking place at Marlboro College Graduate Center, and other events are slated for the River Garden.

“What makes this conference different,” Evans-Crowley said, “is that it doesn’t happen in a sterile conference center environment. Instead, Main Street, Brattleboro is what connects all the sessions, so summiteers get fresh air, and they get to experience Brattleboro.”

Rather than serving a buffet lunch, summit organizers this year encourage attendees to lunch at downtown eateries, many of which serve locally-sourced foods.

Besides the plenaries and breakouts, the summit offers a number of cooking demonstrations by local chefs; a Wednesday evening “story slam” called “What’s Eating You” in which attendees are invited to share funny and lighthearted tales about their food experiences; and a Thursday evening open-mic musical evening.

The full summit schedule, biographies of speakers and artists, and registration information can be found at www.slowlivingsummit.org.

What do you think? Leave us a comment

Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.

Add Comment

* Required information
1000
What is the day after Friday?
Captcha Image
Powered by Commentics

Comments (12)

Sort By
Topic: Page One
5/5 (2)
1 2 3 > Last
Gravatar
New
Tamara Stenn
Gravatar
1
0
0
Aug 2018
Tamara Stenn (Brattleboro, Vermont, US) says...

Thanks for writing this Elayne. I was thinking the same thing myself. The silence we received from the hospital is quite deafening. Unfortunately we\'ve had to continue working with the hospital as other (minor) heath issues come up.

Gravatar
New
Judith Skillman
Gravatar
1
0
0
Aug 2018
Judith Skillman (Newcastle, US) says...

Excellent and informative writing about the media and about the state of our nation. We must support the press speak truth to power, now more than ever before.

Gravatar
Regular
Ruby Bode
Gravatar
10
0
5
Aug 2018
Top Poster
First Poster
Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

We are also obliged to criticize the press when they merely echo the lies of the powerful. In this case, much of the press has taken a side, not just against the policies of the President, but against the election itself on behalf of the parties of war and Wall St. Just as the US has in the past agitated in other countries for coups against democratic outcomes they don’t like, much of the press, including this editorial, is now agitating for a coup here at home.

Gravatar
New
Peter Ford
Gravatar
1
1
0
Aug 2018
Peter Ford (Dallas) says...

Nailed it - Thank you.

Gravatar
New
TB Smith
Gravatar
1
0
1
Aug 2018
TB Smith (Ba, Oklahoma, US) says...

The divisiveness brought on by this shamefully poor excuse for a president has been once again, borne out by this article, and the responses to it .. his most devoted followers are the most gullible and easily swayed sheeple since the \"Kool-Aid party in Jonestown\" ... those who stand up the most fervently to this dictator \"wanabe\", will , inthe end, see him and the fellow purveyors of his garbage rhetoric like FOX News, Alex Jones, Breitbart, etc., crumble and be dumped like stale crackers (pardon the pun) .. we must impeach this tyrant before too much damage is done, either from within or outside our borders.

Gravatar
Regular
Ruby Bode
Gravatar
10
0
5
Aug 2018
Top Poster
First Poster
Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

So it’s OK that access to outlets that simply recognize Trump as President is indeed being shut down? But isn’t that exactly what this editorial is against? Should outlets that cheered on Obama’s wars and love of Wall St have likewise been shut down? Only John Birch Society–inspired screeds against Trump indicate the “legitimate” press?

Gravatar
Regular
Ruby Bode
Gravatar
10
0
5
Aug 2018
Top Poster
First Poster
Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

TB Smith’s comment in apparent support of the us-vs-them tone of this editorial illustrates why so many people distrust so much of the press (although, again, it appears to be only pro-Trump and anti-imperialist outlets that are actually being shut down): They are promulgating hysterical claims about fascism, Russians, and “crackers” not in the interest of the people, but wholly on behalf of the neoliberal/neoconservative program of Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama to deny Trump the Presidency and even remove him from office – not democratically, but by coup if necessary. That makes the press rather anti-democratic and, indeed, against the people.

Gravatar
New
Amelia Stone
Gravatar
1
0
0
Aug 2018
Amelia Stone (E Dummerston, Vermont, US) says...

Kudos to the Boston Globe for encouraging newspapers across the country to remind us all of the value of a free press, and to the Commons for hearing that call. The NYTimes article, A Free Press Needs You, concludes with the following: \"If you haven’t already, please subscribe to your local papers. Praise them when you think they’ve done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We’re all in this together.\" Today I plan to subscribe.

Page 1 of 3
1 2 3 > Last
 
 

Originally published in The Commons issue #302 (Wednesday, April 22, 2015). This story appeared on page A2.

Related stories