Friday, November 01, 2013

An (Evolving) Plan for Santa Fe's Food Future

The New Mexico landscape is one of many contrasts: deserts, mountains, meadows, orchards, and gardens; dry as the bones in the cemetery, our final resting place. Part of what defines our querencia, which gives us this sense of place, is our food, contrary to those who say that there can be no sense of place in today's global experiment. And our food cannot be separated from how we work the land and how we water our crops.

Again we learn from folklore: paravos, paranos, y para los animalitos de Dios; for you, for us, and for God's animals (and plants). Water is a don divino, a divine right, not a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder. This dry landscape, with a beauty only we might understand and find sustenance in, is what defines our querencia. 
- Estevan Arellano New Mexican, Historian, Farmer, and Writer
That quote from Estevan Arellano introduces Planning for Santa Fe's Food Future. This is a dynamic blueprint that will evolve over the next several weeks and months, with the Santa Fe Food Policy Council and partners continuing to gather input from the nutrition, farming and consumer communities. Organizers have already put a lot of work into the plan and offer you  this draft document. (Even though this is not the completed version, the document already has some great information and beautiful photographs).
This plan represents the first step of our collective journey to building a local, healthy, and prosperous food system for Santa Fe County. Over the upcoming year, this document will serve as a tool to reach out to all corners of our county to gain input, understanding, and build relationships around how to design a local food system that works for us. Our process will culminate in the development of a final strategic food plan for the city and county of Santa Fe--- a detailed roadmap for action and accountability.

Within this process there is an opportunity for every person, organization and agency to help transform our local food system; with collective effort and innovative collaboration we can accomplish more as a community than we ever could alone. We will see this plan evolve from a call to action to a success story; its impacts felt in our daily lives. Together we will celebrate progress, overcome boundaries, strengthen partnerships, identify common shared goals and commit to action.

The plan was introduced as part of a Food Day Event on October 24 at the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute.  While the plan is still evolving and discussion is continuing, I recommend that you scroll down to Page 20 to the section entitled, At a glance: our recommendations. And stay tuned for updates.

Here is a video of the Oct. 24 discusssions, courtesy of  Jeff Ethan Green, a grassroots advocate of sustainability and healthy food systems.

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