It All Comes Together

Every once in a while, things seem to fall into place.

Sunday, in Duluth, was one of those days.

We arrived in mid-afternoon in the iron city of Duluth and stopped by the Zinema2 movie theater where we were scheduled to screen later on. The space is any independent film lover's dream, with a beautiful restaurant, art gallery and theater, all combined into one seamless building dedicated to independent artistic expression.

Tony and Tim greeted us and we tested out the film, which was projected on a huge state-of-the-art screen and in a comfortable room with 100 soft red velvet chairs. Photos will communicate the coolness better.

Shortly after, we met Shannon of the Whole Foods Co-op, a tight knit community of local food enthusiasts that sponsored the screening. Shannon is such a nice person, so positive and such goodwill!


Folks in in the comfy seats at Zinema2 (Photo S. Yao)

We set up to sell tickets outside theater one and were inspired as wave after wave of co-op members streamed through showing their co-op badge to get in free.

We got started at a couple minutes after 5, and were not surprised to find another dark room filled with engaged Minnesotans, actively aware and participating in the issues raised in the film.

Following we had an all-star panel- again!

Jamie talks about the importance of holding restaurants accountable to source locally. (Photo S. Yao)

Jamie Harvie gave a riveting response to a question about how we transition to local agriculture. He's begun going to restaurants in Duluth and getting them to commit to a 20% pledge to source at least that amount of food from local sources. Tom Hanson talked about how his life took a distinct turn when at the age of 15 he applied to two jobs, one in construction and one at a restaurant- he was offered the restaurant job. Decades later hes now the proprietor at the Duluth Grill one of the leading restaurants in Duluth, sourcing ingredients locally and growing food on rooftops, too.


Mark Thell talks about the difficulty of getting the next generation to farm. (Photo S. Yao)

John Fisher-Merritt, who was the 2010 MOSES farmer of the year, talked about the importance of getting young farmers into agriculture.  He wants to help new farms get started. And they've been doing just that.

Mark Thell talked about the huge environmental benefits of sustainable agriculture . Recently Duluth had a major flood and his farm survived. He said a part of that is because the soil has been kept in tact through rotational grazing. Often, if there's a big flood or rainstorm, the manure lagoons of larger farms can run over and spread into lakes and rivers sometimes with adverse effects to fish and other wildlife.

Folks sign up for updates about the documentary and food system via iPad (Photo S. Yao)

Shannon talked about the importance of cooking , bringing people together over food, something she and the Whole Food Co-op seem to be getting pretty good at.

After we went upstairs for an awesome food reception with Walter, Daniel and Chef Taylor serving up local BLTs and salads. amazing food and inspiring conversations with so many people in the co-op.

Plate of scrumptious BLTs from Zeitgeist (Photo S. Yao)

Truly another great night!

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published this page in Ruminations 2012-07-18 16:09:11 -0400