Local Foods Connection Blog

Local foods, hunger relief, sustainable agriculture

Think INCA This Weekend. January 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroline@LFC @ 8:24 pm

Looking for something to do on Friday night? Bummed about missing “King Corn” at the Bijou last month? Searching for a way to support the work of Local Foods Connection throughout Iowa? Hoping to meet other Iowans who are passionate about community agriculture?

Look no further! The Iowa Network for Community Agriculture’s 13th Annual Local Foods Conference is taking place this weekend in Cedar Rapids, including a Friday Evening Reception to benefit Local Foods Connection, which will feature a screening of the hit documentary “King Corn.” So mark your calendars, grab your friends, and head up to Cedar Rapids for a weekend of local foods.

The Iowa Network for Community Agriculture (INCA) describes themselves as a volunteer-driven group of people who gathered, in 1995, around a set of related questions: “Why are fewer farms growing and selling food and why aren’t more consumers complaining? Is grandma’s handmade strawberry-rhubarb pie necessarily a thing of the past? Is rural community and family farm decline really inevitable?”

INCA holds a conference each February to bring people together on these very questions. This year’s conference, “The Food Less Traveled,” will convene on Friday, February 1 at the African American Museum Celebration Hall in Cedar Rapids to kick off two days of panel discussions, film screenings, workshops, and an All Iowa Potluck.

This year, Local Foods Connection is honored to be the recipient, along with the Community Gardens Initiative of the Oakhill Jackson neighborhood, of INCA’s Friday evening fundraising reception. Contributions to Local Foods Connection at the Friday reception will help us to expand our services into the Cedar Rapids area.

For more registration information about this weekend’s conference, “The Food Less Traveled,” check the INCA site.

We hope to see you there!


What Would Jesus Buy? January 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroline@LFC @ 10:22 am

Check out the Bijou Theater this week for “What Would Jesus Buy?” the latest documentary by Morgan Spurlock, the man who brought you “Super Size Me.”

Details follow from the Bijou Theater site:


Directed by Rob Van Alkamade
USA, 2007, 90 min | English

What Would Jesus Buy? Official Website | Trailer

From producer Morgan Spurlock (SUPERSIZE ME) and director Rob Van Alkemade comes this year’s must-see film. Part agitprop theater and part civil disobedience, WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY? is “a wickedly effective indictment of America’s consumer compulsion, our mindless shopping and the multinational corporations controlling it all” that intriguingly chronicles Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping’s attempts to combat consumerism, one person at a time (Chicago Tribune). Going around the country with a gospel choir of citizens on a mission to open people’s eyes to what they believe is a wasteland of consumerism without meaning, Reverend Billy takes aim at some of America’s biggest corporations.

“Much like Spurlock’s hit ‘Super Size Me,’ this production is slick, well-paced, and tremendously entertaining.” – Village Voice

Friday, January 25: 7:00
Saturday, January 26: 7:00
Sunday, January 27: 3:00
Monday, January 28: 9:00
Tuesday, January 29: 7:00
Wednesday, January 30: 9:00
Thursday, January 31: 7:00


Surfing the Web on a Cold Winter’s Night January 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroline@LFC @ 8:49 pm

While there’s never a dull moment with Local Foods Connection, every once in a while there’s a slow news week. So what better time to check out some of our favorite sites? Have a look at the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance, Iowa Valley Resource Conservation & Development, Johnson County Local Food Alliance, Local Harvest, and the Robyn Van En Center at Wilson College in our “links” section.

And while you’re at it, wrap up in a warm blanket, throw another log onto the fireplace, and dream of summer by looking through some of the great photos we posted of volunteer days throughout the 2007 growing season. Find some of my favorites here, here, and here.


Support LFC every time you search and shop! January 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroline@LFC @ 6:58 pm

Want an easy way to donate money to Local Foods Connection? Try GoodSearch!

Goodsearch is a Yahoo! search engine and online shopping mall that donates money to your favorite cause every time you search or shop. Set GoodSearch as your home page and click through to reach one of their participating retailers every time you shop online.

Every time you search online Goodsearch donates money to Local Foods Connection. For online purchases from Barnes & Noble, The Apple Store, and Travelocity, among other retailers, GoodSearch sends a percentage of your purchase to Local Foods Connection.

Just head to GoodSearch.com and enter “Local Foods Connection” in the “Who do you GoodSearch for?” box. Or, save


in your favorites.

What could be easier?


“Come to the Table” with PFI this weekend January 8, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroline@LFC @ 6:28 pm

The Practical Farmers of Iowa are holding their annual conference, “Come to the Table,” in Des Moines this weekend. Co-sponsored by the Practical Farmers of Iowa, the Iowa State University Extension, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Organic Valley, SYSCO Corporation, and Frontier Natural Products Co-op, conference registration begins at 11am on Friday, January 11th and the conference runs through Saturday at 4.30pm.

The conference will bring together farmers and food advocates from throughout the Midwest, including one of Local Foods Connection’s favorite farmers, Susan Jutz of ZJ Farms. Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney will also be on hand for a screening of their film “King Corn.”

Download the conference flier or check out the PFI web site for more information.


Happy New Year! January 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroline@LFC @ 7:28 pm

Happy 2008 from your friends at Local Foods Connection!

While New Year’s resolutions seem like they’re made to be broken, the first of the year does seem like a good time to reflect on the events of the past year and to anticipate what the new year will bring. At Local Foods Connection, we have alot to be thankful for: our clients; farmers; volunteers; sponsors; and supporters.

In case you lost track of all that we were up to in 2007, here’s a recap:

We started the new year with a wonderful push from New Pioneer Co-op’s “Donate Your Dividend” program; at the end of 2006, over 1,000 Co-op members donated cash, personal checks, and dividend checks to Local Foods Connection, totaling over $14,600. Soon after, Local Foods Connection was honored with an Iowa Cultural Corridor Innovative Excellence Award in a ceremony at the Englert Theatre.

February, March, and April brought work days and visits at Gooseberry Hill CSA, Simone’s Plain & Simple, Abundance CSA, ZJ Farm, Sass Family Farm, Scattergood Farm, Oak Hill Acres, and Fae Ridge Farm. Thank you to all of the volunteers who turned up for these work days and to all of our farmers for welcoming us. Meanwhile, in March, we gathered with the folks from Edible Iowa River Valley at the Prairie Table for the annual CSA Fair, spreading the word about the great CSA farms around Iowa City.

The months of summer and early fall were busy, busy, busy as usual, getting CSA shares to LFC clients and coordinating volunteer work days. It’s all a blur.

In October, LFC’s founder and executive director Laura Dowd was invited to deliver the keynote address at the University of Iowa’s 11th annual International Day Human Rights Conference, “The Human Right to Food.” She delivered a passionate and informative speech, and even recruited a few new LFC volunteers in the process.

We wrapped up the season with LFC’s Thanksgiving turkey distribution. Huge thanks to Monika Ratner for her logistical help, to Henry J.C. and Ila Miller for their delicious turkeys, to Susan Jutz for her scrumptious lamb, and to all of the volunteers who made that day a success.

In November, Laura Dowd was honored once again, when she was named a finalist in New Pioneer Food Co-op’s first ever “Cooperate for Community!” contest. The contest, sponsored in collaboration with the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) and Frontier Natural Products Co-op, honors individuals who are working for more sustainable food in our community, while exemplifying a spirit of outstanding cooperation along the way.

Wow – what a year! Thank you to everyone who made it possible.

We’re looking forward to serving more clients and cultivating more relationships with local farmers in 2008. We couldn’t do it without you!