The 2015 Summit: Food, Mindfully
The fifth annual Summit brought food into focus.
We gathered for a mindful exploration of the journey of food: farming, food entrepreneurship, food systems, nourishment, food justice and food policy.
How can locally-oriented farmers and food producers flourish in the face of a globalized food industry?
How do we develop food systems holistically — serving the entire community, using the entirety of available food resources?
Nourishment and Wellness
How do we strengthen connections between food, body, mind, spirit, community?
Food Justice and Access
Is good food just for those who can afford it and easily access it? Why are there food deserts?
What policies can maximize the value of our food systems? An exploration of local, state, national farm/food policies and trends.
2015 Summit videos
The Opening Plenary, Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Plenary 2 — Thursday morning, June 4, 2015
Plenary 3 — Thursday afternoon, June 4, 2015
Plenary 4 — Friday morning, June 5, 2015
Plenary 5 — Friday afternoon, June 5, 2015
Anna Witholt Abaldo, Maine Farmland Trust
Jason Amundsen, Head Clucker of Locally Laid Egg Company, Minnesota
Lucie Amundsen, writer, marketer and reluctant farmer, Minnesota
Sutat Anthachai, Sous Chef, Duo Restaurant
Keith Arnold, Owner, Duo Restaurant, Brattleboro VT
Maya Apfelbaum, interdisciplinary artist, Living Earth Arts Productions, Greenfield MA
Cimbria Badenhausen, Ecosystem Advocate, ecological design consultant and teacher
Enrique Balcazar, farmworker organizer, Migrant Justice, Burlington VT
Betzy Bancroft, co-director and faculty of the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, Montpelier, VT
Jamie Baribeau, director of food and nutrition, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Brattleboro VT
Richard Berkfield, executive director and co-founder of Food Connects, Brattleboro VT
Nicole Berube, executive director of CitySeed, New Haven CT
John Steven Bianucci, Iroquois Valley Farms, LLC
Ingrid Bredenberg, Creativity Muse, Bredenberg Associates, Montague MA
Nancy Cain, co-owner of Against The Grain Gourmet, Brattleboro VT
Margaret Christie, Special Projects Director, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, South Deerfield MA
Timothy Cipriano, VP of Brand Development, Hooray Purée, Torrington CT
Stacia Clinton, New England Regional Director, Healthy Food in Health Care
Taylor Cocalis Suarez, co-founder, Good Food Jobs, Germantown NY
Cindy Conner, author, researcher, Ashland VA
Louisa Conrad, Big Picture Farm, Townshend VT
Skye Cornell, Vice President of Programs, Wholesome Wave, Bridgeport CT
Erbin Crowell, executive director of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), Shelburne Falls MA
Cyndal Ellis, SoBo Studio
Shanta L. Evans-Crowley, 2015 Slow Living Summit coordinator
Paula Francis, Inspired Consultation, board member, Gross National Happiness USA
Richard French, founder and CEO of Bagel Works, Inc.
Abigail Gehring, co-author, The Healthy Gluten Free Diet
Drew Gradinger, Director, The Kindle Farm School, Newfane VT
Vern Grubinger, Professor, University of Vermont Extension, Brattleboro VT
Carol Hazen, Director of Advocacy Resources at the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, Hartford CT
Anore Horton, Nutrition Initiatives Director, Hunger Free Vermont
Noah Hoskins-Forsythe, VP, The Bunker Farm, Dummerston VT
Bonnie Hudspeth, outreach coordinator, Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), Putney VT
Seth Itzkan, President of Planet-TECH Associates
Katherine Jandernoa,Co-Founder & Farm to School Program Manager, Food Connects, Brattleboro VT
Terry Jenoure, multi-media artist and teacher
Josh Kauppila, poet/farmer/organizer
Brendan Kelly, acupuncturist, herbalist, Jade Mountain Wellness, Burlington, VT
Jo Kirsch, co-owner, Heart of the Village Yoga, Manchester VT
Derrick Lambert, Hunger Free Vermont
Tim Lawrence, co-author, The Healthy Gluten Free Diet
Deborah Lazar, artist, Artworking USA, Putney VT
Julie Lineberger, LineSync Architecture, Wilmington VT
Celeste Longacre, gardener, author of Celeste’s Garden Delights
Heather Lyon, Artist, Blue Hill ME
Linda McInerney, Founder and Artistic Director, Deerfield Valley Productions, Deerfield MA
Daniella Malin, co-owner, Green Mountain Flour
Jacinda Martinez, artist, Maine Farmland Trust Gallery, Rockland ME
Rob Michalak, Global Director of Social Mission at Ben & Jerry’s
Thomas R. Moffitt, CEO, Commonwealth Dairy, Brattleboro VT
Maddie Monty, Policy Advisor and Office Manager, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, Richmond VT
Orly Munzing, founder and executive director of Strolling of the Heifers, Brattleboro VT
Sara Newmark, Director of Sustainability, New Chapter, Inc., Brattleboro VT
Brendan O’Neill, Development and Ally Coordinator with Migrant Justice
Colin O’Neill, director of government affairs, Center for Food Safety
Martha Page, Executive Director, Hartford Food System, Inc.
Howard Prussack, organic farmer, Putney VT
Susan Rosano, New England Expressive Arts, Guilford VT
Toussaint St. Negritude, Poet Laureate, Belfast ME
Ismail Samad, chef, The Gleanery, Putney VT
Leda Scheintaub, co-owner, Dosa Kitchen: Brattleboro South Indian Food Truck, Brattleboro VT
Andreas Schneider, Director of Farm Production Enterprises, Hawthorne Valley Farms, Ghent NY
Alex Risley Schroeder, Finding Earth Works
Dar Tavernier-Singer, owner/chocolatier, Tavernier Chocolates, Brattleboro VT
Andrea Stander, Director of Rural Vermont
Sara Stowell, Vermont Migrant Education Program, Proctorsville VT
Zach Stremlau, co-owner, Green Mountain Flour
Suki, Barre VT
Sara Trunzo, Director, Veggies For All / Maine Farmland Trust, Belfast ME
Michelle Wallace, program director, Vermont Foodbank
Joan Weir, Southeast Regional Director, Vermont Land Trust
Linda Wheatley, co-founder and co-coordinator of GNHUSA (Gross National Happiness USA)
Keith Wilda, Executive Director, Island Grown Initiative, Martha’s Vineyard MA
Cheryl Wilfong, The Meditative Gardener, Dummerston VT
Jerelyn Wilson, outreach director, BuildingGreen, Inc., Brattleboro VT
What’s Eating You?!
One of the Summit’s extras: After the Wednesday evening, June 3 plenary at the Latchis, we gathered at the River Garden for What’s Eating You?! — an evening of hilarity in which we invited Summiteers to think lighthearetedly about of the challenges we face around our food-related choices. We invited them to share their funniest and/or most entertaining moments regarding all things food: everyday food choices, food quandaries, food mysteries, tall food tales, food philosophy, food science and food fables.
Come and discover Brattleboro!
The Summit takes place in the non-traditional conference surroundings of Main Street, Brattleboro — a small community in southern Vermont, long renowned for its commitment to healthy, local, sustainable living and technology, for its vibrant communities of visual and performance artists, craftspeople, poets and writers, and for the diversity of its shops, restaurants and galleries. In turn Brattleboro is a gateway to the Green Mountains and Vermont.
Strolling of the Heifers, the organizer of the Summit, is a non-profit organization based in Brattleboro, with the mission of supporting
and sustaining family farms and local food systems by connecting people with healthy local food. We do this through a variety of year-round programs. Best known is our annual Strolling of the Heifers Parade and Slow Living Expo, which takes place during “Stroll Weekend” immediately after the Summit. We also organize a Vermont Farm/Food Business Planning Competition, and we publish the annual Locavore Index ranking the 50 states in terms of their commitment to local food, and other projects and events.
Imagine if we had a food system that actually produced wholesome food. Imagine if it produced that food in a way that restored the land. Imagine if we could eat every meal knowing these few simple things: What it is we’re eating. Where it came from. How it found its way to our table. And what it really cost. If that was the reality, then every meal would have the potential to be a perfect meal. We would not need to go hunting for our connection to our food and the web of life that produces it. We would no longer need any reminding that we eat by the grace of nature, not industry, and that what we’re eating is never anything more or less than the body of the world…. Imagine it: Every meal would connect us to the joy of living and the wonder of nature. Every meal would be like saying grace.Michael Pollan
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2014 Summit videos
About 300 people gathered in Brattleboro, Vermont on June 5-7, 2014 for the 4th annual Slow Living Summit. They experienced an exciting interplay between speakers, artists and audience, as artistic content — music, dance, drama, visual art — was woven into Summit, not as preludes or warm-ups, but as a seamless, natural part of the Summit’s fabric.
In a Slow lifestyle, the arts are integral to community well-being. Modeling this essential presence, in the Slow Living Summit artistic expression was not simply window-dressing or warm-up exercises — we sought to weave it seamlessly into the fabric of the Summit, amplifying and interpreting the messages of speakers, and involving the audience in participative ways.
If you missed the Summit, or would like to re-experience it, here are complete videos of the five plenary sessions, and a breakout discussion called “No More Throwaway People” featuring Time Banking founder Edgar Cahn.
The Opening Plenary, Wednesday, June 4
Orly Munzing, Linda McInerney: “What’s this all about?” — Samantha Eagle, John Sheldon, Lindel Hart: “The well being” — Samantha advocates a “sustainable healthcare movement” for preventing and reversing chronic conditions. Instead of the fast-food mentality—take this pill for that—she discusses incorporating a new approach that involves the application of evidence-based environmental, social, psychological and behavioral science to balance the Mind/Body/Spirit.
Plenary 2 — Thursday morning, June 5, 2014
Charles Eisenstein and Eugene Friesen: “Time is running out, let’s Slow Down” — In a time of grave and urgent crisis, the “Slow” movement might seem a little bit frivolous. Don’t we need to sacrifice everything in order to deal with the enormity of the crisis at hand? Or is it that urgency itself is part of the problem? Join Charles and Eugene for a deep dive into a paradox that unlocks a new defining story of the people.
Plenary 3 — Thursday afternoon, June 5, 2014
Amit Sharma, Amy Johnquest: “The Free-co-system: Investing for personal and community wealth” — Through several interesting examples – globally, nationally and locally – this dialogue explores the organic nature of markets and communities. How might institutions and individuals consider their “investment” (in civic engagement, energy, and economics) to strengthen our collective resilience and achieve greater “wealth” for ourselves and our communities?
Plenary 4 — Friday morning, June 6, 2014
Martin Ping with Seamus Maynard, Jonathan Talbott and Jonah Thomas (Quiet in the Head): “Soil, Soul, and Society: A love story in three movements” — How can we navigate the paradoxical journey between our sense of urgency and our need to pause and reflect? How can we cultivate the fertile soil of a rich inner life? How can we foster meaningful relationships in family, work, and community? Based in large part on experiences gained at Hawthorne Valley over 30 years, we will explore these themes through words and music.
Plenary 5 — Friday afternoon, June 6, 2014
Linda McInerney and John Sheldon: “Arts, humor, love and story: Finding the creative connection” — Linda McInerney shares her process of creative collaboration and one of her projects, The Red Guitar, by John Sheldon, in which John shares the journey of his life through music. “The intent is to describe and enact a journey of the spirit, and to encourage others to find their own path and walk it.”
Breakout: No More Throwaway People — Friday afternoon, June 6, 2014
Edgar Cahn, founder of Time Banking, author of No More Throwaway People; Stephanie Rearick, Director of the Dane County, Wisconsin Time Bank, and Gwen Hallsmith, author, founder of Global Community Initiatives. Moderated by Linda Weil, former Time Bank coordinator
Tug on anything at all and you’ll find it connected to everything else in the universe.John Muir
What is Slow Living?
The concept of Slow Living is built on the metaphor of “Slow,” as used by other visionary organizations like Slow Food and Slow Money.
“Slow” encompasses several layers of meaning that go beyond simply “sustainable.” Slow is the opposite of “fast” — fast food, fast money, fast living — and all of the negative consequences “fast” has had for the environment and for the health of people and societies. “Slow” embodies cooperation, respect, sustainability, gratitude and resilience.
When we Live Slow, we give back, we are mindful, and we connect to our communities and our bioregions.
The Slow Living Vision
The Slow Living Vision is of an Earth where humankind, honoring and celebrating the profound connectedness of all people, places and living beings, gives back by co-creating mutually supportive communities, bioregions and economic systems — and where we combine the wisdom of the past with a vision for the future to ensure a balanced, fulfilling way of life for all generations to come.
We come from all walks of life. We live in rural areas, small towns, and large cities. We are young and old, wealthy and struggling. We are all seeking a better way, a saner way, and a happier way to live and organize their lives.
We will come together in Brattleboro, Vermont, June 3-5, 2015.
Strolling of the Heifers, the organizer of the Summit, is a non-profit organization based in Brattleboro, with the mission of supporting and sustaining family farms and local food systems by connecting people with healthy local food. We do this through a variety of year-round programs. Best known is our annual Strolling of the Heifers Parade and Slow Living Expo, which takes place during “Stroll Weekend” immediately after the Summit. We also organize a Vermont Farm/Food Business Planning Competition, and we publish the annual Locavore Index ranking the 50 states in terms of their commitment to local food, and other projects and events.
In a major new initiative to further our mission, in November 2013 we acquired a prominently-located downtown Brattleboro building, the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (where Summit lunches and receptions take place), which has 4500 square foot of open space used since 2001 for public events, performances, lectures and exhibits. Under our stewardship of this community resource, we plan to maintain the public uses of the building, but also to create exhibits and programming that are related to our own focus areas of local food, food systems, and healthy sustainable living — a Farm/Food Education Center.