Barn Storm Tour

for Local Food

Coming to a Carolina Farmers’ Market Near You!

CFSA Barn Storm Tour for Local Food LogoAt the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, we love local food and farmers! This summer, we’re criss-crossing the Carolinas to meet as many farmers and foodies who share our passion for a local, organic food system and a sustainable community.

Our goal: We believe that powerful, truthful, well-told stories can change the course of history. This summer, we plan to tell stories that create a huge buzz around local food and sustainable farms to raise awareness of the 2012 Federal Farm Bill.

First stops – Pittsboro and Durham

Rochelle Sparko: lawyer by day, urban farmer at every other hour. Photo taken at Darko Urban Farm, Durham, NC, by Eric Waters.

As we finalize our Barn Storm Tour stops, we’ve got the Triangle ready to go. For those of you in Raleigh, Durham, Pittsboro, Chapel Hill, Cary, Hillsborough, Garner and throughout the Triangle — we’d love to see you this weekend! All events are free, fun and open to the public (and on Sunday, even your pooch can come!)

SATURDAY, July 7, 1:30 pm
Local Food Meet-up at City Tap (after a full morning at the Chatham Mills Farmers Market)
We will be tabling at the Chatham Mills Farmers Market all morning and talking to community members and farmers about the Farm Bill and our brand new Local Food Finder. Stop by to say hello, and stick around for our Local Food Meet-up at City Tap. Come hang out with us and your local farmers and friends to learn how you can help make local food in Chatham Co. thrive even more. City Tap owner Steve Cote will graciously prepare free finger foods for meetup attendees using the most fresh ingredients he can find at market that morning. And all NC beers will be $1 off!
SUNDAY, July 8, 2 pm
Meet your urban farmers (we’ll have at least 6 farms representing) and learn about the beautiful, abundant fields they’ve created in their own backyards to bring you the most fresh, most local food you can get. Learn how to sign up for a CSA share, and find out how to utilize CFSA’s new Local Food Finder to discover what’s growing just down the street from you. Grab a plow-to-pint Fullsteam beer, mingle with farmers and friends and stay for the live music on Olde Timey Funday. Plus, Olde North State BBQ truck will be parked outside. Makes for a perfect, old-fashioned Southern Sunday.  If you plan to attend this one, identify this plant and win a bag of produce from Darko Urban Farm!
Participating farmers include:

Homegrown City Farms (Durham)
Darko Urban Farm (Durham)
MamaSprings (Durham)
Angier Ave. Neighborhood Farm with Bountiful Backyards (Durham)
Raleigh City Farm (Raleigh)
Woodfruit Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (Carrboro/Durham)

We can’t wait to meet you all! We’re ready to hear how CFSA can help with what matters in your community and at your table. The best organic methods, how to provide equal good food access for all or even if you want to pass along your favorite pickling recipe — let’s talk!

Barn Storm Tour 2012: Sweeping Through a Market Near You

Jared and Victoria chomp on bacon from Coon Rock Farm, a sampling at Western Wake Farmers Market's Meat Day. Photo by Sandy Straw, Coon Rock farmhand.

Today marks the first day of summer — a hot, humid, Carolina summer for us here in the South. It also means that our favorite fresh foods are finally coaxed into blooming. Summer promises, at last, a kitchen counter top studded with crimson red tomatoes. That’s my favorite balmy evening treat, a misshapen bulge of an heirloom in my hand. (Eve had it wrong going for that apple. Must’ve been September.)

Summer also beckons more customers to market and, this year, our very first Barn Storm Tour! From July through October, Jared and I (Victoria) will be touring throughout the communities of North and South Carolina to meet as many farmers and local food-loving folks who share our passion for a local, organic food system and a sustainable community as we can.

We have two main goals for this tour:
1) To promote our new Local Food Finder, a user-friendly online database for farmers, local food artisans and purveyors to showcase their hard work and for consumers to easily find what they’re looking for based on location. Looking for heirloom tomatoes near your condo in Raleigh? We got you.

2) To raise awareness of the 2012 Federal Farm Bill and how you, as a conscious consumer, can help affect it for the better.

We’ll be hosting fun community meetups (where you’ll snack AND learn). And we’ll be collecting stories that we can share throughout the country. Powerful, truthful, well-told stories can change the course of history.
Tour dates will be announced shortly as our schedule shapes up. If you’re in the Triangle this weekend, stop by our booth at the Carrboro Farmers Market this Saturday. We’d love to chat with you.

And join us in our efforts! We’re looking for volunteers throughout the Carolinas to help us tell the stories of their communities. Send us a note at jared@ and victoria@.

See y’all soon,
Jared and Victoria

Help CFSA Reform Agriculture in America

The Farm Bill is a massive piece of legislation that comes up every five years or so, and sets US policy for a variety of food-related issues: food stamps and school lunches; soil and water conservation; subsidies for growing certain crops; beginning farmer support programs; and so much more.

The last forty-plus years of Farm Bill policies have driven millions of farmers off the land; failed to protect our soils, water and air; spurred epidemics of obesity and diabetes; and threatened our ability to feed ourselves in the future.

The Solution: Local, Organic Food and Farming

Plan to join us as we hit the road this July through October to visit farmers’ markets, farm-to-fork eateries and other local food hot spots. We’ll be talking to lots of farmers and meeting lots of other great folks – and telling the local food stories of the Carolinas. Your stories. Successful food enterpreneurs growing the local economy one jar of jam or quart of salsa at a time. Folks teaching kids how to grow their own healthy food. Restaurants and CSA that build community around delicious, in-season foods. Wild agro-tourism destinations. Beginning farmers just digging in. We’ll be capturing what’s great about local food and organic farming and highlight how the Farm Bill can help or hinder these kinds of success stories.

Calling All Farmers’ Market Managers!

How your market and your farmers will benefit from participation:

  • All of your farmers will be added to our online food and farm database, called the Local Food Finder.
  • We will publicize our visit throughout the state and in the local community, helping to drive attendance at the market.
  • We will document our visit in photo, video and blog posts that profile your market and highlight your great work in the community.
  • We will be planning a community-based social event (e.g., meet-ups) either before or after the market day where we will engage your local community to discuss food and farm issues and foster additional support for local food.
  • We will be coordinating with local elected officials and inviting them to attend the market and the meet-ups. Learn More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Barn Storm Tour for Local Food Hits More Than 35 Stops throughout Carolinas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2012
Contact:  Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Victoria Bouloubasis, Barn Storm Tour Coordinator
(919) 260-1232 or victoria@
www.
Barn Storm Tour for Local Food Hits More Than 35 Stops throughout Carolinas
With a summer harvest in full swing, the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association launched its first Barn Storm Tour of the Carolinas last week. The tour sends two intrepid CFSA employees to more than 35 farmers markets and stops throughout North and South Carolina from now through October, providing resources to help farmers and restaurateurs grow their businesses.
The tour’s goals include creating a more robust Local Food Finder (www.carolinalocalfood.org), CFSA’s new one-stop website for finding local food, farms, food artisans, food trucks and restaurants. Consumers can search for local food purveyors based on location or specified search term and will be directed to full farm, restaurant and shop profiles with details on how to buy their goods.
Another focus of the tour is the 2012 Farm Bill, a piece of federal legislation that is revamped every five years, affecting food in a myriad of ways that includes farms, both big and small, and federal assistance programs like SNAP benefits.  Just last week the US Senate passed its version of the bill, but there is still much work to do to ensure that this massive piece of legislation helps—rather than hinders—local, sustainable agriculture.
“People don’t think they can make a difference in big legislation, but they can,” says Jared Cates, CFSA’s Community Mobilizer. “Calling your representative is easy, and gives you a direct way to affect the local food system for the better. These representatives need to hear from North and South Carolinians to ensure that sustainable agriculture priorities are part of the bill.”
The House bill includes direct spending cuts of $35 billion, about $11 billion more than the Senate-passed bill. The bill is set to be addressed by the House of Representatives Agriculture Committee  tomorrow, July 11.
At each tour stop, CFSA will collect local food stories that demonstrate just how much farmers and food businesses grow and support the local economy and why consumers should buy local and organic.
“Every city and small town here in the Carolinas has its own nuanced appreciation for local food,” said Victoria Bouloubasis, Barn Storm Tour Coordinator.  “Our goal on the tour is to find what naturally matters most within each community. The big idea is to tell those powerful food and farming stories that will inspire more people to support sustainable agriculture.”
The tour features CFSA-sponsored community meetups at each stop, like the very successful and casual Meet Your Urban Farmer event at Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery on July 8. They’ll allow for farmers and food artisans to showcase their hard work, and for conscious consumers to learn how to become more involved and supportive of these efforts.
Tour dates, tour map and more information can be found at www.carolinafarmstewards.org/bst.
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Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a 33-year-old non-profit with over 2,300 members that advocates for fair farm and food policies, builds the systems family farms need to thrive, and educates communities about local, organic farming. Our vision is the creation of a regional food system in the Carolinas that is good for farmers, good for consumers, and good for the land. To learn more, visit www..

How Can You Get Involved?

We will document our tour as it happens with photos, blog posts, short videos and social media feeds.  Help us compound the energy, excitement and engagement that the events will generate:

  • Follow us on CFSA’s Facebook and Twitter pages,
  • Check out our blog posts telling the great local food stories we find on the road, and
  • Plan to come on out and volunteer or meet up with us when we’re in your town! Learn More