EDIBLE COMMUNITIES, INC. is a publishing and information services company that creates editorially rich, community-based, local-foods publications in distinct culinary regions throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Through our publications, supporting websites, and events, we connect consumers with family farmers, growers, chefs, and food artisans of all kinds. We believe that every person has the right to affordable, fresh, healthful food on a daily basis and that knowing where our food comes from is a powerful thing. We are a for-profit, member-driven corporation - individuals who own our publications are local-foods advocates and residents of the communities they publish in - a business model that not only supports our values, but also preserves the integrity of our member publications and the communities we serve.and they live up to every glowing word of that mission statement. It was in the pages of Edible Sta Fe that I first discovered Deborah Madison, who has fast become my favorite food and cookbook writer, and every issue brings information about a local farmer or food/wine producer whom I am delighted to meet and add to my growing store of local resources. So, yesterday while browsing the website, I came upon the announcement that later this month the first Edible Communities Institute will be held - be still my heart - right here in New Mexico. In Santa Fe, to be exact. At The Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort Hotel & Spa, to be even more exact. If you follow the link do be sure to read the history of this place. If you are a Willa Cather fan you will already know some of it (A Death Comes for the Archbishop reader particularly.) This event is billed as: "a gathering of influential writers, thinkers and eaters celebrating sustainable ideas." And here is the announcement and agenda for the Institute, featuring an amazing roster of speakers and panelists, who will be discussing the issues that are currently closest to my heart, mind, and stomach: why sustainability matters, the importance of local and organic foods, the pushback of industrial agriculture, labor and human rights issues in the sustainable agriculture movement, and not the least of these, a panel on The Southwest Foodshed, Sustaining the Agricultural and Culinary Heritage of the Southwest, with Deborah Madison as one of the panelists.
I have to go now, make my online purchase of a ticket to this event, plan how I will explain the fifty buck extravagance to my partner, when we are sworn to a winter of belt-tightening. Don't worry, I'll think of something. Just getting a chance to go into the Bishop's Lodge is worth it to me. Then you throw in Tom Phillpott, Deborah Madison, Lisa Hamilton, and Fred Kirschenmann - how can I not go?