Monday, February 15, 2010

Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming gains ground

The Groundswell Center for Food and Farming launched last year, and the group is off to a running start. The Center aims to provide comprehensive farm-based training and education programs in the Ithaca area.

Ithaca Local Food System from HabitatSeven on Vimeo.

Ithaca’s local food system (including Groundswell) is featured as a case study in this video developed by the “Agriculture Bridge” project and it will be used in college classrooms in the US and abroad as an online teaching tool in sustainable development.

Other Groundswell projects include:

*Collaborating with Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) and specificallyDr. Kelly Wessell, Chair of the Environmental Studies program, to begin planning several classes for TC3 students including an intensive 8-week Summer Practicum, which will be launched in 2010.

*Working with a small group of local farmers and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, to organize the new Finger Lakes “CRAFT” -- Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training, which will provide enhanced education and training programs for beginning farmers in the area.

*Working with faculty and staff of the New Roots Charter School to begin designing a farm-based curriculum for high school students. In early September, New Roots faculty visited West Haven Farm, and by mid September, all 110 New Roots students had spent a day at the farm with farm managers Todd McLane and John Bokaer-Smith.

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