The Future of Food-Field Notes from Stone Barns
The Future of Food Conference by New York Times at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in New York was a conference that added a new perspective on my journey into the regenerative agriculture learning process.
My "field notes on the future of food" has taken me across the nation, alongside some of the thought leaders in the food movement and within some of the longest running farming communities in Native country. Travel outside of my food culture has increased the interest in place-based food knowledge for the region and people that came before.
Food sovereignty is the ability to feed yourself and indigenous knowledge includes the best practices that came before "the experts".
The Third Plate by Dan Barber has sparked an interest in "land-race" and heritage grains that have been marginalized due to commercialization and commodification in the wheat industry. Including a rotational crop with wheat and other grains benefits the soil and the people. I got to see how this healthy soil at Stone Barns was built from rotational grazing and polycropping.
Future of Food Conference Highlights:
- Chef Dan Barber's and the "Barber Wheat" was the first wheat I ate in over 10 years.
I listened the story behind the seed that started the Bread Lab and Chef Barber's collaboration and you can read about it in his book, The Third Plate.
- I toured the mill that was used to transform the seed into flour and watched the baker make the fresh bread that we would eat alone as the star of the meal. The baker was given some Ancestral Taro Powder to experiment with!
Some of the conference attendees were shocked that this piece of bread alone on the dinner plate was all there was for the course. I was excited that it would be the first time in years I would not turn away the bread!
- From the farm to the table we walked the fields led by Farm Director Jack Algiere. Stone Hill Barns is renowned for their agroecological farming and food systems and having this tour was an example of upgrading our view of farms and agriculture.
Walking through the acres of vegetable fields, four-acre mixed grain ley rotation, and soil-based four-season greenhouse this is a dream realized.