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Food forum focuses on local networking

John Barrette
jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com

Carson City’s Linda Marrone said Tuesday the summer farmer’s market is “the place to be on Saturday mornings” and the Harvest Hub will be a year-round indoor farm-to market place when it opens.

She told a “Buying Local: Farm to Fork” forum audience, however, she isn’t about to predict when the Hub cooperative will open. She said it has been a couple or three years in the planning stages. She also gave some of her forum time to Charlie Abowd, chef and co-owner of Cafe at Adele’s, to talk about the Greenhouse Project. He did, but also touted the entire local food networking movement.

“If it doesn’t work with us, we can’t expect this movement to go forward,” he said, telling the 50 or so on hand he was preaching to the choir.

The Greenhouse Project helps feed the city’s needy, he said, noting 8,000 pounds of produce over a year were sent out through community organizations. Abowd’s wife and partner at Adele’s, city Supervisor Karen Abowd, has headed the project for years and the couple is spearheading another fund-raising event for it at their restaurant again this summer.

Marrone, meanwhile, said the farmer’s market that gets help from city government has been an economic boon and involves many Nevada farmers. The Saturday morning market is at 3rd and Curry streets.

Regarding the Harvest Hub, which is planned for the northwest corner of Washington and Curry streets, Marrone said it will be a farm-to-market outlet promoting healthy food, a community commercial kitchen, will have a retail component, and offer nutritional education as well.

The evening’s forum at the Plaza Conference Center was put on by Sierra Nevada Forums. It also featured the editor/publisher of Edible Reno/Tahoe magazine, a veterinarian, a spokesperson for Reno’s food cooperative, an organic farmer and a natural farmer.

Rob Holley and Nancy Dineen, both of Dayton, respectively are the organic and natural farmers. Holley and Dineen both said composting are among the crucial tools of their trade and they sell produce to Adele’s.

Holley also said he wants his family’s farm to be economically, ecologically and generationally sustainable.

Dr. David Thain, the veterinarian, talked of local meat and poultry and said they are available at such places as Butler Meats in Carson City, Trimmer’s in Genoa and the Great Basin Co-op in Reno,

Nicole Sallaberry of that Reno co-op said Great Basin is one of the fastest-growing such operations in the nation. She said producers from the region are the co-op’s suppliers.

“We buy from about 70 local farmers and producers,” she said.

Amanda Burden, the magazine publisher and editor, said the local food movement nationwide relies on natural and sustainable products grown in a given area.

She said there are 40 farmers’ markets in this region and nearly 8,000 nationwide. She said that nationwide figure is up from fewer than 1,750 in 1994.