MC Food Council: Now Taking Applications


News: The Montgomery County Food Council will launch in February. In case you haven’t heard, the Council aims to bring together a diverse representation of stakeholders in a public and private partnership to improve the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of Montgomery County through the creation of a robust, local, sustainable food system.

The first meeting will be held February 15th from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM (location to be determined). All meetings will be open to the public and community involvement is encouraged, so please consider joining us!
The Food Council will be comprised of 13 – 17 diverse stakeholders including individual members, professionals, private businesses, government officials, community organizations, and educational institutions that broadly represent the food system both substantively and geographically. Council Member applications are now being accepted through January 13th so please consider applying. Visit www.mocofoodcouncil.org to get more information and apply.


Food Day on October 24th: Announcement of New MC Food Council

FOOD COUNCIL FORMING … Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal (speaking) and County Executive Isiah Leggett (third from left) on Oct. 24 helped the County celebrate the first national “Food Day” by formally announcing that the County will soon have a ‘Food Council.” The Food Council will work toward Food Day’s mission of bringing together residents from all walks of life to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. Among those at the Food Day ceremonies at Farmland Elementary School in Rockville were, left to right: Jessica Weiss of growingSOUL; Woody Woodroof of the Red Wiggler Community Farm; Marla Caplon of the Montgomery County Public Schools food service program; Julie Greenstein of the Center for Science in the Public Interest; Claire Cummings, new coordinator of the Food Council; and Caroline Taylor of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance. Also present, though not pictured, Food Council Advisory Committee Member, Dolores Milmoe of Audubon Naturalist Society.

County Executive Announces Board Vacancies

The deadline for application is November 16, 2011.

County Executive Seeks Applicants for Agricultural Advisory Committee

County Executive Isiah Leggett is seeking applicants to fill seven vacancies on the Agricultural Advisory Committee. Four positions are for bona fide farmers selected to represent the total farm community, and three positions are to be filled by non-farmers.

The 15-member committee advises the County Executive and County Council on all matters affecting agriculture in the County. Membership includes farmers, non-farmers, and at least one farm economist and one conservationist.

Farmer representatives serve three-year terms and non-farmer members serve one-year terms. Members serve without compensation, but are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for meetings attended. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday evening of each month in Germantown.

Contact: Beth Gochrach, 240-777-2528

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Leggett Seeks Applicants for Rustic Roads Advisory Committee

County Executive Isiah Leggett is seeking applicants to fill three vacancies on the Rustic Roads Advisory Committee. The vacancies are for: a member of a civic association located outside the agricultural reserve; a person with knowledge of rural preservation techniques; and an owner/operator of commercial farmland in the County earning 50% or more of his/her income from farming. All members must beMontgomery County residents. The representative of the civic association and the person with knowledge of rural preservation are eligible to apply for reappointment.

The Rustic Roads Advisory Committee consists of seven voting members. Its duties include promoting public awareness of the Rustic Roads Program, reviewing and commenting on the classification of rustic roads, and reviewing and commenting on executive regulations and policies that may affect the program.

Members serve three-year terms without compensation, but are eligible for reimbursement for travel and dependent care for meetings attended. The committee meets at least six times per year; usually the fourth Tuesday evening of each month at 7:00 PM in the Executive Office Building in Rockville.

Contact: Beth Gochrach, 240-777-2528

The Return of Peirce Mill: A New Lease On Life For A Local Landmark

Steve Dryden and Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park.

What did it take to make a single loaf of bread in the 1800′s? Visiting the mill helps Washingtonians see the lack of knowledge we tend to have about what goes in to the food we eat today.

For nearly 200 years, the mill brought fresh wheat and corn flour to government workers, the White House and other Washingtonians. Since the mill’s gears broke down 20 years ago, preservationists from around the region have come together to raise the millions of dollars needed to restore the structure to its full flour-making potential. Emily Friedman pays a visit as the historic building gets a grand reopening.

Listen to the full story here.

Local Food Goes Digital


Monday, Nov. 7th, 6-8:30pm

Chef Tony’s Restaurant

4926 St. Elmo Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

Drinks, Appetizers, Discussion and Networking

As part of D.C. Tech Week, join us for cocktails and appetizers at Chef Tony’s Restaurant that specializes in seasonal, fresh and locally-grown cuisine. Learn how Foodem.com, a web-based marketplace, is connecting local farmers, food distributors and specialty food manufacturers with restaurants, schools, hotels and grocers. By doing so, Foodem.com enables the sustainable food movement by satisfying the growing consumer and business demand for more local, sustainably-produced, and healthier food choices.

Cocktails and appetizers will be available at a discounted price and part of the sales will be donated to Montgomery Countryside Alliance, preserving and enhancing Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve.

Please RSVP by November 6th, click here.

Read more about Local Food Goes Digital here.

Sponsors and Speakers:

Cheryl Kollin, Principal, Full Plate Ventures, will discuss the local, sustainable food movement in our region and the barriers small-producers face in getting their products to market.

Kash Rahman, Founder and CEO, Foodem.com, will discuss how this online marketplace disrupts conventional supply chain and fills the gap between wholesale food buyers and sellers.

Tony Marciante, Chef and Owner, Chef Tony’s Restaurant, will discuss buying local and choosing the freshest ingredients as the basis of his daily menu and how he uses Foodem to buy more local food while streamlining his business.

Austin “Kip” Kiplinger Receives the 2011 Royce Hanson Award

What a beautiful Fall evening we had this past Sunday for the 2011 Royce Hanson Award! Thanks to the Potomac Hunt for providing such a lovely setting for long-time friends to gather. Most importantly, MCA appreciates all those who came out to celebrate Austin “Kip” Kiplinger’s long time residency, preservation, and commitment to Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve. May the success of the Ag. Reserve continue, due to the hard work of it’s supporters and of course, Mr. Kiplinger! See The Sentinel’s article on the event here.

Mike Rubin (MCA Executive Committee ), Diana Conway (MCA President), Austin Kiplinger (Recipient), Caroline Taylor (MCA Executive Director), and Dr. Royce Hanson (Founder of Ag. Reserve, for whom the award is named).

Dr. Royce Hanson speaks about the importance of  land preservation and easements through the Maryland Environmental Trust.

Oakley Johnson presents a map of the Ag. Reserve to Mr. Kiplinger

Congratulations Austin “Kip” Kiplinger!

And finally, a HUGE thank you goes to all who made the event run ever-so-smoothly: To Whole Foods Market for their generous donation, Mixed Greens and Community Kitchen from Shiloh Farm, Chef Jim Woods, Carlos Torres, Selby’s Market, Comus Market, Rocklands Farm, Kingsbury Orchards, Bella Terra Family Farm, and Bethesda Chevy Chase Beer & Wine for their generous support for this event! Your hard work did not go unnoticed. The local food and drink were superb!

Permanently Protect your Natural, Historic, and Scenic Resources!

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.                   – Native American Proverb

If you are a landowner in Maryland, particularly within the Agriculture Reserve, please familiarize yourself with the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET). Their mission is to provide landowners with the tools needed to preserve valuable landscapes, farmland, historic sites, etc. for all to appreciate, generations to come. MET is a statewide leader in land conservation. Consider placing an easement on your land not only for the economic benefits to you, but also to your family and the natural environment. Now is the time, consider leaving a legacy!

Learn more about the Maryland Environmental Trust.

8th Annual Small Farm Conference Coming Soon

Calling all farmers, landowners and supporters of agriculture! The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is hosting their 8th annual Small Farm Conference this November. Anyone interested in networking and learning about new strategies that promote farm profitability and sustainability is welcome.

Their 2011 conference theme ―Sustaining Small Farms – 360 Degrees, offers a holistic approach to helping farmers. From providing the latest technologies in production agriculture to offering new ideas on alternative ag-related ventures and by training farmers on how to become more business and marketing savvy to providing practical suggestions on how to improve their quality of life, the conference program will take farmers on a 360 degree journey to successful farm living.  For more information or to Register click here.

Supreme Court Allows Pollution Fees on Sprawl to Continue

Kaid Benfield, New Urban Network
The US Supreme Court has decided to let stand a lower court ruling that affirms the right of a California pollution control agency to charge developers fees for building in places that will significantly increase driving and smog-causing emissions.
For decades now, local land-use authorities have been charging development impact fees to partially offset the municipal costs associated with providing services to new suburban subdivisions.  (The fees are almost always inadequate because they cover only the costs of infrastructure construction, not required maintenance and repair down the road.)  That’s been a start in the effort to make sprawl at least pay its way, given that per-unit costs of public infrastructure are so much lower in places that are built more compactly and can use previously constructed roads, sidewalks, water pipes, and sewer lines.
But, because building in ever-more spread-out locations significantly increases both the frequency and (especially) the length of motor vehicle trips, there are additional burdens placed on society by these development location decisions.  Not the least of these are increased emissions, including smog-causing nitrogen oxides; smog has been shown to contribute significantly to asthma and emphysema, imposing public medical costs.  Some municipalities have begun to react.
In a story written for the San Jose Mercury-News, Paul Rogers reports that, in 2005, the San Joaquin Unified Air Pollution Control District, covering eight California counties and based in Fresno, adopted a new rule requiring developers to go beyond the usual infrastructure impact fees and also pay to offset the air pollution caused by their construction equipment and by the new traffic generated by their projects.
The National Association of Home Builders sued and lost, first in the US District Court and next at the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. On Monday, the first day of its new term, the Supreme Court denied a petition for a writ of certiorari that would have put the case before the court for review this term.  (The court typically accepts only 80 to 150 cases each term for full review, out of a typical pool of 8000 or so petitions.  For a writ to be granted, at least four of the Court’s nine justices must believe the circumstances of the case are such as to warrant a full review.)
The Sierra Club and Environmental Defense Fund also participated in the case.
The San Joaquin fee is not exorbitant, typically adding about $500 to the cost of a new home if passed from developers to buyers. According to the real estate service Trulia, the median sales price for a home in Fresno has dropped considerably from nearly $300,000 in 2006 but has been holding steady at around $140-150,000 since 2009.  Sales volume seems to have fully recovered since the low of 2008.  The fee applies only to housing developments over 50 units, office complexes over 39,000 square feet, and most light industrial, retail and heavy industrial building.  But the principle is an important one.
Roberts reports that the money collected in fees by the air district goes to pay for pollution-reduction programs such as helping farmers or businesses buy new equipment that puts out less soot than old equipment, and could be used for such programs as funding bike lanes, electric car charging stations or employee shuttle programs.  Other California air districts have been following the case closely and can be expected to follow suit.
Kaid Benfield is director of sustainable communities at The Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC. This blog also appears on NRDC Switchboard where Kaid writes (almost) daily about community

Savor the Season at Brookside Gardens

Friday October, 28th 2011 6:30-8:30pm

If you haven’t visited Brookside Gardens yet, now is the time! Don’t miss the peak bloom of the Autumn Harvest Chrysanthemum display. This special evening will include a sampling of various chocolates, wines, cheeses, and more. What a charming way to celebrate the goodness of the Fall season!

Base Admission $39 includes entrance, appetizers, and non-alcoholic beverages. Click Here to see the invitation.

Space is limited: Support the Gardens by purchasing your ticket.

Learn about “Food Day”, an inspiring event!

Attention all: Food Day is coming soon! For those unaware, this is the first of many nationwide events seeking to bring all Americans together to improve our current food system. The goal is to transform the American diet to one that is truly nutritious, humane, and sustainable to the environment and our local economies.

“Transforming the American diet means changing policies as well as changing individual behavior. Agricultural policies should support small and mid-size sustainable and organic farms—and not pour billions of dollars each year onto huge farms that produce monoculture commodity crops. The Americans—and the immigrants to America—who harvest our food deserve protection from harmful pesticides and poor working conditions. And the “factory farms” that hold millions of chickens, pigs, and cows should be replaced by farms that minimize suffering and avoid the pollution of our water, soil, and air. It’s all connected. The diets we select, the foods we grow, the policies we form, and the impact we have. Find—or create—a Food Day event today. It’s time to get real about  food.”  - foodday.org

It’s very important that we take a deeper look at the repercussions of our food choices. We all love to eat right?! Let’s ask congress to support Food Day’s goals. Until then… see you at the farmer’s market!

Head to their website www.foodday.org for information about the many events in the D.C. area… or learn how to start your own!

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