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Mile High Locavorist
27 minutes | Apr 4, 2017
From Gourmet Mushrooms to Permaculture Homestead w/Liz & Michael Nail | Mile High Fungi
If you went to the Union Station Farmers Market in the 2016 season, you saw an adorable couple running a stand stocked with gorgeous gourmet mushrooms. That’s Liz and Michael Nail and they are Mile High Fungi. Liz and Michael are “both passionate about fungus.” They’re pioneering the locally grown gourmet mushroom business here in the Mile High City. Not only that, they’ve already embarked on their next major effort, building what will become a full permaculture homestead. Liz and Michael both hail from the Pacific Northwest and studied sustainable agriculture and environmental science, earning degrees from Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Together, they spent many days foraging for wild mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest. Let me quote from their website; “For us, mushrooms just make sense. They blend our desire to provide healthy, local produce with finding creative solutions to harnessing the city’s organic waste stream. In this time of environmental instability, we strive to produce using the most sustainable methods available, including solar and LED technology. By partnering with local businesses we’re able to utilize resources from our community for our community. These amazing arborists, agriculturalists, wood workers, brewers and many more help us live the dream of sustainable mushroom farming.” – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – Mile High Fungi website Mile High Fungi on Instagram and Facebook Union Station Farmers Market Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farm CSA and Sprout City Farms CSA Colorado Cottage Foods Act of 2012 on Colorado Farm To Market website and on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council (SFPC) (My interview with Brian Coppom about Union Station Farmers Market) Colorado Small Business Development Center Network (CSBDC) (financial understanding) Colorado Department of Agriculture (regulatory understanding) Fooducopia Local and Organic Restaurant – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#29) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
32 minutes | Mar 3, 2017
Focus on Denver In Fight Against Food Waste w/Brendan McCrann and Reuben Gregory | Future Pointe
It's a big enough problem that is touching enough of these different segments of the industry: restaurant, retail, consumers, institutional, farm...that here in the Denver Metro area, there’s room for a lot of solutions...” – Brendan McCrann, Future Pointe Food waste. Over the last year or two, this issue has been finding its way into the headlines more and more, both at home and abroad. From features on John Oliver’s HBO show Last Week Tonight to major national initiatives in Europe, food waste has reached the mainstream consciousness. And Denver, of all places, is becoming a focal point for solving our food waste problem here in the US. In this episode, we’re going to talk about what’s happening now in food waste at the national, state and local levels as well as what we might see in the future. Exactly where we’ll go is unclear, as it’s still early days, but significant efforts are starting to come together and again, with Denver as a national focal point. Brendan McCrann is President of Future Pointe LLC, a Colorado-based enterprise recognized for its extensive experience and expertise developing solutions for food waste, including emergent technologies which mitigate harmful greenhouse gasses, generate fertilizer inputs and provide other societal benefits. Brendan founded Future Pointe in 2009. Reuben Gregory, a Denver local who serves on the mayor-appointed Sustainable Food Policy Council, is a Consultant with Future Pointe. Reuben has developed and implemented projects for food banks and farmers which keep food waste in the food system while saving - and often earning - money in the process. – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU'LL LEARN – Are we at a tipping point with respect to action on food waste? How food waste impacts global climate change How much food we're wasting, exactly What coalitions and actions are taking shape at the national, Colorado and Denver levels What major steps have already taken place, creating momentum What the focus on Denver could mean for us over the next few years, though it's still too early to know for sure What citizens can do to stay informed and get involved in food waste solutions – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – Future Pointe LLC Brendan@futurepointe.com and Reuben@futurepointe.com Food Waste: HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (YouTube) Dan Barber's 2015 NYC "wastED" experiment (The New Yorker) and now moving to London in 2017 (Eater) Food Recovery Act (Eater) "Wasted" NRDC 2012 Issue Paper (PDF) Virginia Till, EPA Region 8 (firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-312-6008) Boulder Food Rescue and Denver Food Rescue We Don’t Waste We Don't Waste and Coors Field (Colorado Public Radio) Metro Caring and Denver International Aiport (The Denver Post) Food Donation Takes off at PDX (Portland Airport) "Largest-ever campaign in Denver launched to reduce food waste" (video, Fox31 Denver) NRDC article on pilot cities of Nashville, New York City, and Denver (NRDC) Catherine Cox Blair (NRDC) Metro Caring Press Release Announcing Further With Food website (The Rockefeller Foundation) FurtherWithFood.org – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#28) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
30 minutes | Jan 4, 2017
Talking Turkey - A Marketplace Full of (Confusing) Choices
Natural. Organic. Local. Heritage. Heirloom. In this episode, I explore the confusing, even misleading range of choices we often face in the marketplace through the experience of buying an 18-pound turkey for my family's Thanksgiving celebration. I also delve a bit into the history of how today's modern turkey was created. Did I make the right choice? What would you have done? Let me know at email@example.com or at the website, www.milehighlocavorist.com. – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#26) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
33 minutes | Aug 24, 2016
Make the Most of Mid-Season Produce | Chef Elizabeth Buckingham
It’s August in the Mile-High City which means we’re in the middle of the harvest season in the Denver region. I’m pleased to welcome back Chef Elizabeth Buckingham of Moveable Feast Colorado to the second in a series of three episodes designed to help us get the most of the locally-grown fruit and vegetables we’ll see in the early, mid and late-harvest seasons in the Denver region. Check out the first episode in the series on early-season produce, some of which we are still seeing (leafy greens, herbs): Episode 22: Make the Most of Early Season Produce. In the mid-season, we’re seeing: The Holy Trinity: Tomatoes, peppers and summer squash Colorado’s best fruit: Melons from the Arkansas River Valley and peaches from the Palisade region Sweetcorn from the Olathe region Chef Elizabeth is going to talk us through: What we’re going to see in the mid-season What to look for when we buy How to best store it before we’re ready to use it How to prepare it Chef Elizabeth Buckingham is a Colorado native; she earned a Grande Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. A spontaneous scuba diving trip to the Bahamas following her culinary school graduation led to a passion for the ocean and the next eight years of her career, first cooking aboard dive boats and later progressing to head chef aboard private yachts worldwide. In 2009, Elizabeth returned to Colorado and started her own private chef venture, Moveable Feast Colorado, through which she offers all kinds of fun and useful services from in-home classes to edible garden setups. Elizabeth is also a certified Master Gardener and runs a tiny urban homestead complete with chickens and a large vegetable garden. She is an avid home canner and preserver, a passionate advocate of local food and thinks everyone should know how to cook at least a little bit. – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – Why you need to give ugly tomatoes a chance, and quickly, but skip the cooking Why you should consider eating zucchini raw, too How the size of a pepper tells you how spicy it is (generally, at least) Why plastic and the fridge don’t always extend the life of your produce How summer squash plants can make even a novice gardner feel like a pro Why with almost any veggie, a break in the skin signals a quick trip to the kitchen Why, surprisingly, September is our peak harvest month – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – Chef Elizabeth’s private chef service Moveable Feast Colorado Get on her mailing list for monthly event announcements by sending an email with the subject “Subscribe” to firstname.lastname@example.org Grant Achatz’s “Carmelized Zucchini & Onion Soup” (Make this immediately!) (Food & Wine) Colorado Melons’ Claim to Fame (5280 Magazine) – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#25) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
28 minutes | Aug 12, 2016
Reshaping Emergency Food Assistance with Turner Wyatt | Denver Food Rescue
“We’re a health equity organization before we’re a food security organization so we’re not going to deliver someone a totally unhealthy meal just for the sake of filling their stomach.” – Turner Wyatt Increasing healthful food access is an effort that has grown in prominence over the last few years. It’s a complicated issue. So many factors influence healthful food access – the built environment, food costs, shelf-life, government regulation, nutrition, even social norms and stigmas. Denver Food Rescue is a young organization meeting the challenge of expanding healthful food access with a unique operating model featuring bicycles, fresh local produce and a “no-cost grocery” concept. In 2015, they delivered enough food for 175,000 healthy meals with a focus on health, not just calories. “Denver Food Rescue is a health equity nonprofit that uses an innovative bicycle-based delivery system to increase the nutritional value in the emergency food assistance system.” And while reducing food waste is not their primary goal, Denver Food Rescue makes a big difference on that front, as well, rescuing 210,000 pounds of food last year. Plus they’re making big strides by employing technology to expand their reach and getting the attention of some big-time donors. *Correction: In my introduction, I incorrectly stated that Denver Food Rescue rescued 175 meals last year, not 175,000. Apologies! – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – Why their original operating model from Boulder had to adjust to Denver How low-middle income people fall into a healthful food access gap Why being resident-led in their neighborhoods sets them apart Why linking food waste reduction with hunger relief can be problematic for low-income communities How this model, by its very nature (i.e. bicycles), encourages food localization Why they see themselves as a “health equity” organization over a “food security” organization How you can “Plant An Extra Row” to help those in need to access fresh, local food – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – Denver Food Rescue Fresh Food Connect (The App) Fresh Food Connect Intro Video (YouTube) Rose Community Foundation Groundwork Denver Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) Impact 100 Metro Denver – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#24) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
31 minutes | Jul 13, 2016
What is Permaculture with Creighton Hofeditz | Denver Permaculture Guild
“Permaculture is the best toolkit we have to craft a truly sustainable future.” – Creighton Hofeditz Permaculture – just what is it, exactly? Here to tell us is Creighton Hofeditz, a CO native, permaculturalist, food educator and Board Member of the Denver Permaculture Guild. The Denver Permaculture Guild is a vibrant, sizeable and still growing group of folks focused on growing the practice and growing practitioners of permaculture in Denver. They also bring in some internationally recognized speakers from time to time and have a very active online community. This episode is broken in to two parts. Part 1 – What is permaculture? and Part 2 – What is the Denver Permaculture Guild? – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – The origins of permaculture The major elements and principles of permaculture design Why permaculture is necessarily customized to each place it’s applied How permaculture works with food production and with animals How you can get involved, in a big or small way, with permaculture and the Denver Permaculture Guild – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – Denver Permaculture Guild Website Denver Permaculture Guild (very active) Public Facebook Group Denver Permaculture Guild Facebook Page – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#23) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
32 minutes | Jun 16, 2016
Make the Most of Early Season Produce | Chef Elizabeth Buckingham
“I want people to know that fresh is a flavor and should be considered as such.” – Chef Elizabeth Buckingham We’re entering mid-June, the early harvest season in the Denver region. I’m pleased to welcome back Chef Elizabeth Buckingham of Moveable Feast Colorado to the first in a series of episodes to help us get the most of the produce we’ll see in the early, mid and late harvest seasons. In the early season, we’re expecting: Salad greens: lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens Herbs: mint, arugula, flat-leaf parsley Radishes Early onions: chives, scallions, walking onions Green garlic and garlic scapes Really limited time veggies like fava beans and early-season peas Chef Elizabeth is going to talk us through: What we’re going to see in early season What to look for when buying it How to best store it before we’re ready to use it How to prepare it Chef Elizabeth Buckingham is a Colorado native; she earned a Grande Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. A spontaneous scuba diving trip to the Bahamas following her culinary school graduation led to a passion for the ocean and the next eight years of her career, first cooking aboard dive boats and later progressing to head chef aboard private yachts worldwide. In 2009, Elizabeth returned to Colorado and started her own private chef venture,Moveable Feast Colorado, through which she offers all kinds of fun and useful services from in-home classes to edible garden setups. Elizabeth is also a certified Master Gardener and runs a tiny urban homestead complete with chickens and a large vegetable garden. She is an avid home canner and preserver, a passionate advocate of local food and thinks everyone should know how to cook at least a little bit. – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – Why early season produce seen in the culinary magazines isn’t what we see in Colorado Why keeping your greens airtight and washing them in advance isn’t the best move How making shakes (and juicing, to a lesser extent) is a great way to absorb a lot of greens Why you might want to make the farmers market the last stop on your list (and you should bring a cooler!) Why shopping at the farmers market takes a lot of the guesswork out of buying the best produce The power of an ice water bath to revive wilted greens Why asparagus, while an early-season veggie, isn’t generally a great bet in Colorado Why joining a CSA, and getting the most out of it, requires some adjustments to our cooking habits and our perception of value – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – Chef Elizabeth’s private chef service Moveable Feast Colorado Get on her mailing list by sending an email with the subject “Subscribe” to email@example.com Stonebridge Farm CSA (Kayann Short) and some great recipes broken down by season – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#22) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
28 minutes | May 29, 2016
Launching Union Station Farmers Market with Brian Coppom | Boulder County Farmers Market
“…What the markets offer in this growers-only context is an opportunity to reconnect to the food in a very meaningful way and it happens really simply by actually having that authentic connection to the source.” – Brian Coppom The heart of Denver finally has its own farmers market! Union Station Farmers Market will launch on Saturday, June 6 and run weekly until October 22nd. Union Station Farmers Market is operated by Boulder County Farmers Markets (BCFM), the non-profit that already runs the very well-respected and established farmers markets in Boulder and Longmont. According to their website, “We are a nonprofit organization operating producer-only farmers markets in Colorado since 1987. Our mission is to support, promote and expand local agriculture, making fresh products accessible to our community and strengthening relationships between local food producers and food consumers.” Brian Coppom is Executive Director of Boulder County Farmers Markets. Brian, his team at BCFM and all his vendors have a lofty goal – to make Union Station Farmers Market “Colorado’s Flagship Farmers Market.” Brian Coppom worked in the corporate world in product development, industrial design and telecom before joining Boulder County Farmers Markets in late 2013. Just two years later, in late 2015, he was surprised and pleased to win CEO of the Year from ColoradoBiz Magazine, despite carrying the title of Executive Director. He was also the first non-profit leader to win the award. – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – What making Union Station Farmers Market “Colorado’s Flagship Farmer’s Market” means The challenges Brian and his team have faced in setting up the market and how they overcame those The enduring value and challenge of being a growers-only market How the market will fit in among the already strong and growing food options in Lower Downtown Denver How this market could impact healthful food access in Denver How we might think about the economics of food for not only consumers but farmers, too How we, as a society, treat food versus how we treat other critical public needs – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – ColoradoBiz CEO of the Year 2015: Brian Coppom Union Station Farmers Market Boulder County Farmers Market Partners: Larimer Associates, RTD Denver, Downtown Denver Partnership, Denver Union Station plus others NPR Story on Double SNAP and Farmers Markets (Late 2014) SNAP and Farmers Markets (USDA) RTD’s New A-Line Train – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#21) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
36 minutes | Apr 30, 2016
10 Tips to Empower Beginner Cooks | Chef Elizabeth Buckingham
“There is literally no one thing that you can do that’s more beneficial to your health, both physically as well as financially, than cooking at home.” – Chef Elizabeth Buckingham Engaging with local, whole foods requires a skill and that skill is cooking. For many of us, it’s a skill we haven’t mastered but for all of us, it’s a skill we can master. It takes practice, confidence and a few tips from an expert chef and teacher. Chef Elizabeth Buckingham is a Colorado native; she earned a Grande Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. A spontaneous scuba diving trip to the Bahamas following her culinary school graduation led to a passion for the ocean and the next eight years of her career, first cooking aboard dive boats and later progressing to head chef aboard private yachts worldwide. In 2009, Elizabeth returned to Colorado and started her own private chef venture, Moveable Feast Colorado through which she offers all kinds of fun and useful services from in-home classes to edible garden setups. Elizabeth is also a certified Master Gardener and runs a tiny urban homestead complete with chickens and a large vegetable garden. She is an avid home canner and preserver, a passionate advocate of local food and thinks everyone should know how to cook at least a little bit. – BONUS AUDIO – Check out Ep19 Elizabeth Buckingham Bonus Audio with a few book recommendations from Chef Elizabeth Keys to Good Cooking by Harold McGee Cooked by Michael Pollan Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – Chef Elizabeth’s top tips to increase your confidence and success in the kitchen TODAY! Check out cook books from the library instead of buying them. Trust Julia Child. Don’t trust Internet recipes unless they’re reputable sources like Food & Wine, Bon Appétit and America’s Test Kitchen. Have a small dish of kosher salt wherever you’re cooking. Season as you go, in layers. Taste as you go. Salt is tops but fresh ground black pepper is another key ingredient. You can always underspice or undercook because you can fix that. You can’t fix overspiced or overcooked. Read the recipe BEFORE you start. Does it need to braise for 4-6 hours? Do you understand all the ingredients and techniques it calls for? Is this recipe appropriate for your ingredients and skill level? Know your oven. Ovens vary so learn to test doneness beyond simply cooking it as long as the recipe specifies. (Also, everything takes longer to cook at elevation, if you didn’t know.) Cook everything to the doneness you like, not that the recipe writer likes. Let meat rest. Generally, leave it covered for at least 5 minutes for something small but as long as 30 minutes for something big like a big roast or turkey. Don’t cut in to meat to test doneness. Use the “touch test” using the skin between the thumb and pointer finger or drop some coin on a serious meat thermometer. America’s Test Kitchen recommends Thermapen. Meat, as well as most things, keep cooking after being removed from heat. Don’t wait until it’s done but a bit before it’s done and pull it then. It’ll keep cooking a few more minutes. Cut your ingredients into similarly sized pieces. Vegetables should be sliced or cubed to similar sizes. Cuts of meat of varying thicknesses should be cut or pounded to a similar thickness. Think chicken breasts that are super thick at one end and half that at the other. Salmon steaks can taper from belly pieces to tail pieces. Uniform thickness means uniform cooking. Hone your knife skills. Cooking shows demo assembly but not the skills that enable that assembly. Pre-chopped ingredients abound but to really know and appreciate your food and reach true independence, you need knife skills. They’re also much more expensive by weight. Also, your CSA isn’t going to chop your veggies for you. Trust yourself and practice. It’s about what you like, not about what the chef or cookbook writer thinks you should like. And if you don’t like what you get, learn from it and try again. But keep practicing, be confident and be patient. Cooking takes practice. – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – Chef Elizabeth’s company Moveable Feast Colorado Get on her mailing list by sending an email with the subject “Subscribe” to firstname.lastname@example.org Thoroughly tested recipes from Food & Wine Magazine, Bon Appétit Magazine and America’s Test Kitchen The meat doneness test using your hand on YouTube Michael Pollan's "Cooked" TV series on Netflix – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#20) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
32 minutes | Apr 17, 2016
Building the Denver Food Plan Together with Blake Angelo | Denver Office of Economic Development
“We’re starting to hear ideas that I’ve never envisioned or never imagined coming out of these plans and that’s really the exciting part of a community process like this. We hear what our businesses really need. We hear what our residents really need to have successful lives and we’re able to say, “How do we bake that in to a longer term vision and then how do we turn that in to immediate action…” – Blake Angelo (Welcome to Season 2!!) The City and County of Denver are in the process of creating a city-wide food plan called the Denver Food Plan. This subtly-titled document will help shape Denver’s food future through the year 2030. Community Listening Sessions are running from March through early June, 2016. These well-run meetings are YOUR CHANCE to offer your thoughts on what Denver’s food system should look like. What are your priorities? What’s your vision? Let your government know! While the creation of the Denver Food Plan involves many people and organizations, in this episode, we speak to one leader closely linked to the creation of the plan. Blake Angelo is Manager of Food System Development for the Office of Economic Development at the City and County of Denver. Prior to this, Blake was Director for the Beanstalk Foundation and served as the first specialist in Urban Agriculture for Colorado State University Extension in Denver and Jefferson counties. He has a master’s degree in Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in Evolutionary and Ecological Biology. – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – How the Denver community, in many ways, has encouraged (even demanded) that the city create a food plan How important the food system is to Denver’s economy (thousands of jobs, billions of dollars) What role Denver’s community and citizens play in creating the city’s food priorities What elements of the food system the Denver Food Plan will cover, including Community, Health and Economy Which cities and regions around the country have already created food plans How our Colorado self-image as “thin and healthy” isn’t so true and the parallel challenges of both obesity and hunger How food has been and can be an engine for local business and job growth as well as greater health, sustainability, resiliency and culture What tangible deliverables we can expect from these meetings and how those will be used both near-term (2020) and long-term (2030) – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – http://www.denvergov.org/foodplan email@example.com Community Meetings Schedule (PDF) (When and where is my district meeting?) City Council District Maps (Which district do I live in?) Denver Office of Economic Development on Twitter @DenverOED and Facebook – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#19) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
25 minutes | Jan 25, 2016
Mid-Winter Check-In: Looking Forward, Looking Back | Mile High Locavorist
In this episode, I’d like to check in with you about the show; what’s gone well, what hasn’t, what we’ve learned and what I’d like to talk about in the next season. I also address some of the good and bad I’ve observed in both the local organic and the larger food system in the last year. This is a lightly produced, solo episode. Just you and me. – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#18) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
27 minutes | Nov 16, 2015
Making Your Garden Sing Next Spring with Jane Shellenberger | Colorado Gardener
"Growing on a small scale in the back yard is actually not that hard, even in Colorado. You're well rewarded - you can grow a lot even in a small space." - Jane Shellenberger Whether you already have a garden or you're thinking about starting one, if you want to have a great garden next spring and summer, you have to put in the work before winter sets in. Jane Shellenberger is a recognized expert in the field of organic gardening in the Western United States and especially Colorado. For almost twenty years, Jane has been Editor and Publisher of Colorado Gardener, a freely distributed news magazine published five times a year, focused on everything important to gardens and gardeners. Colorado Gardener has a readership of "well over 70,000" per issue and "emphasizes waterwise and environmentally sound practices" and local suppliers. Jane is also the author of Organic Gardener’s Companion, Growing Vegetables in the West and a regularly featured speaker at gardening and educational events across the Front Range. - IN THIS EPISODE, YOU'LL LEARN - What the chief challenges of gardening in Colorado are and how to overcome them How you can use the free tree leaves everyone's leaving on the curb to build amazing soil fertility How to, step by step, prep a section of your lawn to become a garden patch without doing a ton of work or using any chemicals - LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE - Colorado Gardener News Magazine Website (including full issues and her book) The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book: Secrets of the Famous Year-Round Mulch Method (Amazon) Sheet Mulching and Soil Preparation videos from Univ. of Massachusetts (YouTube) – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#17) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
27 minutes | Nov 4, 2015
Taking Local Food Mainstream with Elizabeth Mozer | Loco Food Distribution
“When people are making things on a smaller scale, usually they’re doing it with a lot more care and they’re not going to that size where you need crazy fillers and preservatives and…weird things.” – Elizabeth Mozer The best businesses are started by people solving problems that they themselves experience. While struggling to efficiently purchase local food for their Lyric Cinema Cafe in Fort Collins, Elizabeth Mozer and her husband Ben realized there was a gap in the marketplace. In 2011, LoCo Food Distribution started out of a basement. In 2015, they have $2.3M in revenue serving much of Colorado’s Front Range with thirteen employees. Tremendous growth and a testament to the idea that local food can make good business sense! Elizabeth Mozer is Founder, CEO and COO of LoCo Food Distribution. – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – What kinds of businesses are generating demand for local products How supply and demand varies across different products How they define local and how organic and sustainable relates to that How growing Colorado production is allowing them to shrink their geographic reach How the conversations with grocery chains have changed in the last few years – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – LoCo Food Distribution’s website LoCo’s intro video on Youtube – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#16) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
41 minutes | Oct 7, 2015
Empowering Communities to Heal Food Deserts with Eric Kornacki | Re:Vision
On the Westwood Food Coop – “I’m excited about it but my excitement doesn’t even compare to the excitement of this community when they say, ‘we’re going to own this store,’ and the pride there is palpable.” – Eric Kornacki Since 2007, Re:Vision has worked in the Westwood neighborhood in west Denver in pursuit of their mission to “develop resident leaders, cultivate community food systems, and grow self-sufficient economies.” Why Westwood? Well, it’s a food desert, one of many in Denver and across America. Over the last eight years, Re:Vision has gone from an idea inspired by a trip to Nicaragua to portfolio of programs that, among other things, supports over 400 families in growing their own food. This is the largest concentrated community-led urban agriculture project in America. Eric Kornacki is Executive Director & Co-Founder of Re:Vision. Along with his co-founder, Joseph Teipel, and a Re:Vision team that now numbers over twenty, Eric’s made a big impact in Denver already and has more in the works. Most notably, Re:Vision is in the process of opening the Westwood Food Cooperative, rehabilitating a 74,000 sq. neighborhood junkyard to house Denver’s very first full service grocery store that is led and run by a community living in a food desert. (I’m a happy charter member.) Listen in to a conversation with a man with a vision for how to transform urban food systems here and across the country. – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – What “food desert” really means and how they begin What makes Westwood a special neighborhood How the social determinants of health can perpetuate food deserts How Eric came full circle with his own eating habits What motivated Eric to start Re:Vision and move to the community he was serving How we need to “follow the money” in how our food dollars support our communities…or don’t What “market leakage” means and how Re:Vision plans to plug the hole How Eric inspired Westwood to meet their own needs by opening a grocery store that they own How the Westwood model can be replicated and how local models must match the communities they serve How people both in and outside food deserts can help with the problem of food access Why every community that relies on food from the outside is a food desert – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – Re:Vision’s Website Westwood Food Coop Eric’s TEDxMileHigh Talk Re:Vision’s Kickstarter for the Westwood Food Coop – Ends 10/23/2015 – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#15) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
29 minutes | Sep 11, 2015
Catalyzing Localism Beyond Expecations with Mickki Langston | Mile High Business Alliance
“…As we look at the opportunities we have to make a positive difference that actually feels like we’re doing something, food just seems like a very relevant and immediate option.” – Mickki Langston Mickki Langston founded Mile High Business Alliance in 2007. For the past 8 years, she and her team focused on organizing local business owners in working together to build a more resilient, connected and healthy Denver economy. MHBA worked with thousands of business owners to launch Denver’s ‘localism’ movement, including campaigns focused on local food, energy efficiency, independent retail, transit, and more. Their work changed the way people think about local businesses, local food, and building local capacity to fulfill on Denver’s needs and create economic opportunity. In fact, Mickki and MHBA was so successful in catalyzing localism that since Mickki and I spoke in July, MHBA has ceased operations! According to a post on their website, “Our community has embraced the ‘local first’ mentality in a way we never expected. What started off as an idea in my basement has now become a movement ingrained in Denver’s business community, and I could not be more proud. It’s rare for an organization to be able to reflect on its accomplishments and say, ‘that’s enough for now.'” Mickki will continue her work with the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council and the 4th Annual Local Food Summit this winter, among other things. She was recently named a Top 25 Influential Young Professional by ColoradoBiz Magazine. Despite the end of Mile High Business Alliance, this is still a great interview and I’m happy to share Mickki’s message with you! Correction to the episode: BALLE is not actually a chaptering organization. They are a non-profit based in Oakland, CA that leads localist conversations throughout North America, notably through their annual conference and fellowship program. Mickki is a “Local Economy Fellow” through the BALLE organization. – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – What all Coloradans have in common What localism is, in food and business in general How the way we buy things like coffee, even though coffee isn’t locally produced, can still impact our local economy How our spending choices contribute to deciding how humans live together on this planet How Denver’s demand for local food outstrips our current production capacity and what we can do about it – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – Mile High Business Alliance Local Food Summit Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) BALLE Trailer (2:50, YouTube) – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#14) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
41 minutes | Aug 20, 2015
Compost, Cannabis and GMO Songs with John-Paul Maxfield | Waste Farmers
"There was technology that came around that allowed nerds (which we proudly are) to tinker and to experiment and to play and we're seeing that in food." - John-Paul Maxfield Seen one way, Waste Farmers is a small company producing soil products for urban farmers (Maxfield's Organics) and marijuana growers (Batch:64) with plans to diversify into consumer food products, soon. Seen another way, Waste Farmers is a purpose-driven organization with ambitious, wide-reaching goals to change the world one innovation at a time. They just happen to be starting with some excellent work in farming and reshaping people's relationship with food. John-Paul Maxfield is the CEO and Founder of Waste Farmers. He leads a committed band of cosmic journeymen as they work to "grow food, eat well and live full" while developing simple solutions to complex problems. In this episode, he not only shares his knowledge but his musical talent as well - stay tuned for an original song at the end of the episode! - IN THIS EPISODE, YOU'LL LEARN - What is the #1 irrigated crop in America? (Hint - it isn't edible.) (Most of #2 isn't, either.) How food waste is really soil if you close the loop with composting How cannabis production has young farmers in Colorado How rapid industrialization has impacted cannabis production and users How he's grown his company from $9,000 and a pickup truck How sustainable food's evolution is similar to that of computer technology How technology can build confidence in people new to growing their own food Why agriculture's always been like Seinfeld's "horse race" Why we're only eating 200 of the 30,000 possible edible plants Why amaranth is a miracle plant with a long history poised for rebirth How our dollars are our votes and how Big Food is feeling the pressure - LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE - Waste Farmers Grow: Stories from the Urban Food Movement by Stephen Grace (2015) Learn to Compost with Denver Urban Gardens Maxfield's Organics (urban farming soil products) Batch:64 (cannabis farming soil products) Organic Cannabis Association Colorado State University’s Ag Innovation Summit Coal Town Reunion (John-Paul's band) – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#13) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
28 minutes | Aug 8, 2015
Launching a Magazine for Local Food Revolutionaries with Michael Brownlee | Local Food Shift
"One of the exciting things about the local food movement is that many people in it are beginning to experience a level of community they never experienced in their lives... People who connect in to this local food revolution are finding that there's a growing community here and being part of that community means something. And it is this growing community of eaters, focused on local food, that we want to reach with this magazine. This magazine is for them." Local Food Shift Magazine is a new quarterly publication, both in print and online, covering and catalyzing the local food revolution in Colorado. Colorado creatives are contributing top-quality content on the "awakening Colorado foodshed and its shift from a globalized industrial food system to a localized regional food supply chain." Local Food Shift's first issue comes out in September 2015. Michael Brownlee is Co-Publisher and Co-Editor of Local Food Shift Magazine, along with his partner Lynette Marie Hanthorn. Michael has "long been a catalyst in the process of food localization, working to ignite, inspire, guide, and empower those who are facing the challenges and opportunities of localizing our food supply and forging a new and restorative way for humanity to feed itself." Let's get behind Local Food Shift and help them reach 80,000 readers and more! - IN THIS EPISODE, YOU'LL LEARN - How the local food revolution is already underway...but has a long way to go How Local Food Shift differentiates from other food-oriented publications What kind of stories and content you can expect from Local Food Shift Why they have "members" and not just subscribers Where you can find this magazine (beyond your own mailbox, of course!) Which state tops the locavore index (hint, it's not Colorado...or California!!) The cool rewards Local Food Shift is giving to their Barnraiser contributors! How their funding model takes a page from Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) - LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE - Local Food Shift Magazine website Barnraiser Campaign website (Aug 4-Sep 4, 2015) Mike Callicrate | Ranch Foods Direct Locavore Index (ranking) | Strolling of the Heifers blog Re:Vision International (Westwood neighborhood) Westwood neighborhood in Denver (Google Maps) Arkansas Valley Organic Growers (near Pueblo) – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#12) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
35 minutes | Jul 30, 2015
Chef Jon Emanuel on Feeding 1,100 People with Life-Threatening Illnesses as Much Local and Organic As Possible…On A Budget
Chef Jon Emanuel on Feeding 1,100 People with Life-Threatening Illnesses as Much Local and Organic As Possible...On A Budget “We consider love an ingredient. When we prepare our meals, we are fully aware of who we are cooking for and why we are doing it.” – Chef Jon Emanuel Project Angel Heart “delivers nutritious meals to improve quality of life, at no cost, for those coping with life-threatening illness.” On top of that, they pursue ambitious sustainability and local purchasing goals. Project Angel Heart started in 1991 supporting a dozen AIDS sufferers with donated lasagna. They have since expanded to serve all life threatening illnesses and today, serve 1,100 people with weekly food deliveries, at no cost, in their time of need. That’s six chefs and countless volunteers making and delivering 5,500 restaurant-quality meals per week, customized to the unique dietary needs of each client. At the same time, they sourced 30% of their food locally and diverted over 50 tons of waste from landfills through composting and recycling in 2014. That’s impressive scale and complexity and Project Angel Heart plans to nearly triple in size over the next ten years. Chef Jon Emanuel is the Executive Chef at Project Angel Heart and has been has been a professional chef for over 20 years. Jon trained at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco (and majored in radio in college, I might add). He has appeared in Food & Wine, Saveur and The New York Times. His career has taken him to some amazing places including long-term Executive Chef positions in the wilds of Alaska and at South Pole Station, Antarctica. Jon lives in northwest Denver with his wife, Penny, and their two French bulldogs, Cosmo and Olive. – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – What cooking in Antarctica teaches you about sustainability…and eating what you’re served Why the 8,000 volunteers are what Jon loves most about his job Why composting is his favorite sustainability initiative What “Responsible Food” means and why minimizing waste is one of the biggest pieces How they balance food cost with their sustainability goals Why buying local food supports not only high quality food but stronger communities How they plan to triple in size without losing their sustainability mission How individual and community organic gardens are their best source of organic produce – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – Project Angel Heart Racines Restaurant (first food donor in 1991) Denver Food Rescue Denver Certified Green Businesses American Grassfed Association Rosedale Community Garden (part of Denver Urban Gardens) Delaney Farms CSA (part of Denver Urban Gardens) Dining Out for Life (spring fundraiser) A Taste for Life (fall fundraiser) Pie in the Sky (winter fundraiser) Bread & Butter Club (monthly gift program) Ryan White Foundation Chef Jon’s personal blog, Don’t Tell Chef – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode (#11) comes from Mile High Locavorist.
21 minutes | Jul 23, 2015
MHLV 10: Chef Luke Hendricks | Milk Money Ice Cream
“…It’s really important to show off what your town can do.” – Chef Luke Hendricks It’s summertime now and for many, that means ice cream. Refreshing, satisfying ice cream bursting with the local flavors of the season!! Chef Luke Hendricks runs Milk Money, a mobile ice cream company (i.e. good old fashioned ice cream cart) with his wife, Nish. Luke handles the product and Nish handles the business, more or less. Milk Money makes small batch ice cream with local, seasonal ingredients and they’ve been cooling off Denver’s farmer’s market patrons for the past two years. Luke’s a Colorado native and a graduate of Johnson & Wales University. He’s been cooking for 15 years, cutting his teeth in California’s farm-to-table movement before returning to CO. For the last four years, Luke has been the Sous Chef at Potager, a well-respected pioneer in Denver’s farm-to-table movement. – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – Why a chef with his experience chose ice cream to branch out How Colorado’s fruit really shines in sorbets How local finished goods like coffee & beer fill in the gap when fruit’s not in season How purchasing locally creates community Why the challenges of sourcing locally pay off in flavor How to best source ingredients that don’t grow locally How pride and enthusiasm to connect consumers to the local ingredient message Why he doesn’t think ice cream causes murders How they want to overcome the winter ice cream sales slump Why growing consumer demand for local products makes sourcing easier, not harder – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – Milk Money (Facebook) Cherry Creek Farmer’s Market (Weds, Sat) Stapleton Farmer’s Market (Sun) Potager Restaurant Pachamama Farm (rhubarb) Aspen Moon Farms (strawberries, CSA) Ela Family Farms (peaches, apples) Munson Farms (cherries) Left Hand Brewing (Nitro Milk Stout) Humble Pie Store Huckleberry Roasters (coffee) Novo Coffee Nielsen-Massey (vanilla) Ritual Chocolate (Utah) Emery Thompson (Florida) (ice cream machinery) Johnson & Wales University NPR’s Science Friday on the science of ice cream (15 mins) – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode MHLV 10: Chef Luke Hendricks | Milk Money Ice Cream comes from Mile High Locavorist.
30 minutes | Jul 16, 2015
MHLV 09: Marilyn Megenity | Mercury Cafe
Organic food is your birthright. – Marilyn Megenity Marilyn Megenity has run Mercury Cafe for 40 years. She’s been committed to local, organic food long before it became fashionable. Mercury Cafe boasts around 90% local products on their menu and beyond food, provides a joyous gathering place for art and poetry, much as you’d expect for a cafe named for the Magician in a Tarot deck. Marilyn combines her calming faith with a love for chaos when she comes to play at work, every day, “serving organic Colorado cuisine.” – IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN – How she started her first cooking job at the tender age of 4 What the dining public isn’t ready to go without How she tries to meet diner’s year-round expectations for fruit Why she thrives on the joyful chaos of a seasonal menu How and why she decides between local suppliers and organic suppliers Why good wool means tasty lamb What foods define Colorado cuisine from the rest of the country Why you can not only educate diners but be educated by them How faith conquers the fears that might keep an accountant up at night Why she loves cooking for people who know how to eat – LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE – Mercury Cafe Mercury Cafe’s supplier list Monroe Organic Farms & CSA Grant Farms Asher Brewing Co. (organic beer) Anna & Lance Hanson (Peak Spirits Farm Distillery / CapRock Spirits) 2015 Good Food Awards Winners (PDF) Still Cellars (certified organic barley whiskey) Julie Hansmire (Colorado Mountain Natural Lamb) (no website) Tyler Faucette (Colorado Catch fishery) (no website) – THANKS FOR LISTENING – This episode MHLV 09: Marilyn Megenity | Mercury Cafe comes from Mile High Locavorist.
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