Here at Mexicali Blues HQ, we feel so grateful to live and work in a community in which sustainable agriculture, healthy whole foods, and local farming are growing to be valued as important facets of life. In a world that is frequently oriented towards speed and convenience, the benefits of growing and cooking our own healthy foods often get lost in the shuffle. Even when we intellectually believe that harvesting and preparing our own food is healthier for our selves, our families, and our planet aren’t always able to pursue that idealistic way of life because we don’t know where to begin!
FARMS is a non-profit organization created in 2004 by parents, teachers, and farmers who wanted to find ways to offer fresh, local foods in Maine school cafeterias. FARMS has thus far provided more than six years of successful hands-on programming in local schools, offering local foods procurement assistance, as well as experiential education in culinary methods and gardening curriculum. However, it is clear that adults are as much in need of FARMS programming as children!
To fill this need, FARMS hopes to open the FARMS Community Kitchen on the second floor of Rising Tide Community Market in Damariscotta in Fall 2013. It will provide a venue where people of all ages can make and share recipes and gather as a community around healthy food. Teaching people how to actually cook, preserve, and grow local foods is essential to supporting a healthy local food economy, and the FARMS community kitchen will be a place where children and adults will learn these valuable skills in a fun and focused way.
Where time (or the lack thereof) is often a factor in driving us to eat unhealthy convenience foods, FARMS hopes to educate the community on quick and easy ways to create healthy dishes from local foods. Through hands-on education, FARMS is building a market of educated consumers who are relearning the art of eating locally, healthfully, and with an openness to trying new things. FARMS will get local products into the hands of community members, not to mention cafeterias, offering them a fun opportunity to check out something new, and providing the skills necessary for incorporating local products into people’s lives. The work of FARMS also offers a boost to the local economy, providing midcoast farmers with the income they need to maintain their businesses and keep producing fresh organic foods to feed our community in a healthy, sustainable way.
FARMS is an awesome organization with community-and-earth-friendly goals that we can wholeheartedly get behind! If you feel the same way, please consider helping them fund their Community Kitchen Project through their kickstarter. Every little bit helps, and they will be working to raise the money they need to build the community kitchen over the next 24 days.
Check out a cool video of the Community Kitchen and why it has the potential to transform our community for the better here.