Happy New Year!

We here at the Recirculating Farms Coalition wish you a very happy and healthy 2013! In light of the start of the new year, we thought that we’d share some of our great successes from 2012, and our plans for 2013.

First, in September, we celebrated our one-year anniversary. Thanks to all of you – we had an unbelievable 1st year as a formal organization. We now work with thousands of farms, farmers, fishermen, foodies and many others from across the U.S. and around the world, and stay in contact with everyone via Facebook and Twitter. We hope to grow our network of cooperative partners and supporters  even more in 2013.

We expanded our team, welcoming Amber Griffith, Christina Lizzi, Alexander “Sascha” Bollag and Katharine Davis Reich – and our Board too, with new member (and now Board President) – Sanjay Kharod.

Growling Local – Our new food and farm center located in New Orleans, Louisiana is on the move – we announced our plans to build a 2.5 acres research, training and demonstration center on National Food Day, in cooperation with our wonderful partners. We will be hosting a groundbreaking event in early 2013 with full construction following soon after – and a grand opening and program launch expected in the spring.

New and Beginning Farmer Workshops – in partnership with the New Orleans Food & Farm Network – we began our intensive market farmer trainings that include in-classroom presentations and on-the-farm hands-on learning – from sustainable growing practices to business planning. We look forward in 2013 to adding new intermediate and advanced classes, and growing an active mentorship program with our participating farmers to support more new and beginning farmers.

Mapping the Movement – on Earth Day we debuted the national database that we created with an interactive map that displays locations of commercial recirculating farms all around the country. Color coding shows if the farms are hydroponic (plants), aquaculture (fish) or aquaponic (fish and plants) and clicking on the points displays basic data for consumers – location, contact information, what products are sold and where to buy them. In 2013 we hope to add many more farms – so please get in touch if you know of a farm near you not yet on our map!

TEDx Manhattan – last year we were invited to give a presentation on recirculating farming at the TEDx Manhattan – Changing the Way We Eat event. This year, we’ve been invited back, to provide an update on our projects and introduce one of the new speakers.

We’d love to hear from you about your favorite food-related experiences from last year and any ideas, hopes and plans for 2013.

Thanks for all you do – Marianne Cufone, Executive Director

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