BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The IU Center for Rural Engagement and IU Sustainable Food Systems Science will host the second annual Indiana Uplands Winter Food Conference, examining best practices for increasing local food access, adaptations during the pandemic, strengthening the value chain and community-led initiatives.
The deconstructed conference schedule will include three weeks of virtual sessions held from Monday, January 25 through Friday, February 12 each weekday at noon via Zoom. The conference is designed for residents who work, volunteer or have an interest in local food issues and food system sectors, from agriculture and production to the consumer experience.
Week one will focus on school and community gardening, with information on the Junior Master Gardener program and the Learn, Grow, Eat and Go! curriculum; planning, funding and executing community gardens; and the Unity Gardens model to enhance community gardening and access. Week two will feature sessions that examine issues of food access, literacy and health including food prescription and cooking education programs. The local and regional food value chain will be the topic of week three, with sessions on the value chain framework, the roles and market channels of coordinating professionals and an exploration of community roles.
The conference series will conclude on February 12 with Chocolate [deconstructed], an interactive chocolate tasting and discussion led by IU professor Anya Royce.