Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Mighty Totonka Thanks for Last Night!

Last night was the first public forum for the Re-Imagining Cleveland program, and I was asked to give a five minute presentation on Old Husher's Farm! The event was held in the Great Lakes Brewing Company Tasting Room and put on by E4S and Local Food Cleveland. The place was packed with 250 attendees, making the room a little warm in a good way even in a short-sleeve. The energy felt like a Sedona-vortex with everybody riding the same wave of fervored excitement.

Peter McDermott emceed. Lilah Zautner from Neighborhood Progress briefed the crowd on the whole Re-Imagining Cleveland program. Morgan Taggart from OSU Extension explained the unique hurdles us farmers are currently facing in terms of zoning, fences, sheds, etc. and what Cleveland is and will be doing about these hurdles. Ifeoma Ezepue talked about the amazing only-in-Cleveland grant program called Gardening for Greenbacks. My peers, Barb Strauss, Mansfield Frazier, Virginia Houston, and Jamel Humphrey also presented their projects. Mansfield, let me tell you, I'm looking forward to a bottle of your wine in a few years.

At any rate, I had a total blast and met so many kind people wanting to help me and Cleveland Urban Ag in so many ways. A mighty totonka thanks to everybody in attendance and those who wanted to attend. And a special mighty totonka thanks to these individuals:

To Peter McDermott, who invited me to present last night, who literally created Local Food Cleveland and is generally like Voltron's head guiding this nebulous grassroots food movement in Cleveland.

To Bobbi Reichtell for buying me a beer, being the guidling light behind Neighborhood Progress and Re-Imagining Cleveland, and for initially helping me navigate through ohiogreenprint.org.

To Angela Shuckahosee, who I had the pleasure of meeting last night, who helped me get the thumb of approval from Councilman, Martin J. Sweeney's office so many months back, and who is still willing to help.

To Brad Deane from Senator Sherrod Brown's Cleveland office for making it out last night and offering his hands to get dirty on Old Husher's Farm. Brad's immediate re-iteration of this point via a personal email this morning has made my day.

To Councilman Joe Cimperman for being in attendance and just keeping his ear to the floor of what's going on in Cleveland.

To Jared Earley from Whole Foods Market. The fact that a giant corporation cares enough to come out and listen to what these micro-scaled farm projects are all about is really encouraging. Thank you again for potentially wanting to help with Farm Aid and sales outlets. I will be in touch.

To Carl Skalak, who is the weather-hardened trailblazer of the Cleveland Farm scene with his Blue Pike Farm. I appreciate the offer for drip irrigation help.

To Hank Habermann and his offer of a small supply of paw paw trees and the opportunity to help teach a mushroom growing seminar for the Green Triangle Project.

To Eric and Annabel Stoffer of Bay Branch Farm, who have been just good social people.

To Ryan Kennedy, whose infectious positive energy is something to be felt. I look forward to bouncing ideas off of him in the future.

To Molly Vaughn and Vikki Horowitz for wanting to help with Farm Aid.

To E4S and Local Food Cleveland for having me and providing these networking opportunities.

To Neighborhood Progress, Great Lakes Brewing Company, and Ohio City Pasta for sponsoring these events and in helping anchor the Cleveland Food Scene. I'm having the last of last year's homegrown and made spaghetti sauce on three bundles of Ohio City Pasta's linguini for dinner later tonight. Yum.

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