Seeds of the Sustainability Summit

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Seeds Community Cafe hosted its second annual Sustainability Summit at Venetucci Farm this past Saturday night. The event was part fundraiser for the pay-it-forward eatery and part farm-to-table seminar, active with impassioned speechifying. 

A beautiful barn experience on a summer evening. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A beautiful barn experience on a summer evening.
Many fine community organizations (too many to list here) contributed food and drink to make the evening possible, and several dishes prepared by Seeds incorporated local items to highlight both excellence and availability. Seeds is always seeking monetary donations to continue its mission, so feel free to drop by the cafe for a meal and leave a gift toward the movement of local food sustainability. 

Some notes from the evening: Steve Saint, co-founder of the Local Food Working Group, reminded guests that 97 percent of food consumed in Colorado comes from somewhere else. He says that food demand internationally will outpace our ability to feed ourselves if we don't change our agricultural practices — some predict widespread food riots by 2040. 

Larga Vista Farms' Doug Wiley, of AVOG, brought himself and several in the room near tears with his account of his family's struggles and environmental concerns related to water in the Arkansas Valley. 

UCCS educator Nanna Meyer spoke in-part about sustainability efforts on campus, while Colorado Springs Food Rescue's Zac Chapman spoke about neighborhood-scale farming history in pre-developed Colorado Springs, plus efforts underway with a new community garden on the north side of downtown in conjunction with Pikes Peak Urban Gardens. Chef Lyn Harwell of Seeds shared his vision for a larger community kitchen and food hub to support both growers and those fighting food insecurity. 

Here's a further look at the very colorful evening, and fine setting for such an important food summit:
The friendly faces at Seeds Community Cafe, where anyone can grab a meal, regardless of means. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The friendly faces at Seeds Community Cafe, where anyone can grab a meal, regardless of means.
Fresh and delicious food on display from Seeds. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Fresh and delicious food on display from Seeds.
The rare site of a large-scale farm incorporated into a city, or more so, spared by it. The Springs used to host upwards of 300 family farms like Venetucci. Now it stands alone. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The rare site of a large-scale farm incorporated into a city, or more so, spared by it. The Springs used to host upwards of 300 family farms like Venetucci. Now it stands alone.
Larga Vista Farm's Doug Wiley, a fourth generation Arkansas Valley grower. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Larga Vista Farm's Doug Wiley, a fourth generation Arkansas Valley grower.
The Local food truck, operated by Seeds, provides a good base of operations for catering gigs. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The Local food truck, operated by Seeds, provides a good base of operations for catering gigs.
Colorado Springs Food Rescue's Zac Chapman lecturing on the history of and lessons learned from Arcadia Gardens, a new urban farm initiative. He wants to redefine what it means to live in a neighborhood. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Colorado Springs Food Rescue's Zac Chapman lecturing on the history of and lessons learned from Arcadia Gardens, a new urban farm initiative. He wants to redefine what it means to live in a neighborhood.

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