Welcome to Groundswell

Groundswell’s mission
is to help youth and adult learners develop the skills and knowledge they need to build sustainable local food systems. Our focus is providing hands-on, experiential learning opportunities with real working farms and food businesses in the Ithaca area. Through collaboration with area schools, colleges and universities, Groundswell offers programs of study for beginning farmers, students, community members, and professionals.

Groundswell is an initiative of the EcoVillage Center for Sustainability Education in Ithaca, NY, which is a project of the Center for Transformative Action. Visit the Groundswell website to learn more about our programs, initiatives and resources.

Wednesday, February 16

Policies and Polycultures: Reflections on Race, Class and Ethnicity at the NOFA Winter Conference

by Rachel Firak

In January, I was lucky enough to attend the annual Winter Conference of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY). This year's theme was a nod to that all-around health- and equity-promoting principle: “Diggin' Diversity.” Fittingly, presenters took this theme in several different directions, speaking on the necessity of diversification of crops and animals, schools of farming, and, most importantly, people.

This was my second time attending the conference, but looking around, it was clear that this was some folks' 15th, 20th, even 30th+ year of involvement with NOFA. Over the decades, NOFA has managed to serve as a common ground for both organic pioneers and young activists. It's no small feat; often, sustainable agriculture programs are led by Generation Y, for Generation Y. Refreshingly, nearly every workshop at a NOFA conference begins or ends with a word of acknowledgment to the numerous older farmers present who blazed the trail, and a blessing to the young farmers just setting out on their journey.

NOFA has certainly succeeded in building a multigenerational organization that fosters communication and mutual respect among age groups. Now, NOFA is beginning to address the ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic monoculture that has dominated its membership for quite some time.

Sunday, February 13

Ithaca Community Harvest: Get Involved in Food Access & Equity

A letter from Ithaca Community Harvest's Lara Kaltman on how you can support ICH's work in the coming year:

Dear BJM, GIAC and SSCC Families & Friends,

I'd like to first thank you for supporting Ithaca Community Harvest during the holiday season, whether it’s been through making a donation at the Ithaca Alternative Gift Fair, stepping in to help with the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program at BJM when the college students went home for winter break, or simply inspiring us with your stories about our children learning to love and appreciate local fruits and vegetables.

Here's another opportunity to express your interest in introducing more local produce into our schools and healthier school meals. This link connects you to an online survey on ICSD school district budget priorities, in which we are asked to identify other essential needs we'd like the Superintendent to consider as he develops the 2011-2012 budget.