DOWNTOWN — The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market is celebrating its 30th anniversary by partnering with Family Farmed, which is nationally recognized for working with many of the country’s largest buyers of local and sustainably grown food and “growing the market” for local and sustainable food.
They will launch the Good Food Festival & Conference as part of their mission to expand the production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food for its key role in the social, economic and environmental health of communities.
Held Sept. 14-18, the Good Food Festival and Conference will showcase locally and sustainably produced food and focus on regional and national issues in building local food systems. It will link local farmers with the public, trade buyers and leaders to develop relationships that will support family farms, and educate people about the benefits of good food.
The event consists of five days of speaker panels, chef demos, a financing fair, trade and consumer shows, food policy summit as well as a film screening.
The festival and conference will kick off today at the Downtown Farmers’ Market with a cooking demo. That evening The Good Food Film Series hosts a special screening at the Aero Theatre featuring the film “Harvest,” which addresses the plight of farm workers and their children.
On Thursday, the “Financing Farm to Fork Conference” convenes at the Broad Stage to educate regional farmers and food processors about financing strategies and connect them with banks and investors. Later that evening local, state and national leaders will gather at Barnum Hall at Santa Monica High School to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market featuring “rock star” farmers, local and national food experts, world class chefs, and prominent political leaders.
Friday features a food policy and public health summit at Santa Monica College with leading national and local speakers including members of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. It also features a trade show connecting farms and food businesses with supermarkets, restaurants, distributors, and school districts that serve $1.5 million worth of meals a day.
The Localicious Gala on Friday at the Annenberg Community Beach House will pair 30 chefs who regularly shop at the market with 30 market farmers to create signature anniversary dishes. The event will also feature live music and a silent auction with foodie-focused items and experiences.
On Saturday and Sunday there is a two-day festival and street fair at Samohi where you’ll be able to purchase products and ready-to-eat food from exhibitors, including farmers, artisan food producers, restaurants, sustainable businesses and food trucks that source products from the Farmers’ Market.
The speaker series includes many national and local leaders including rancher Joel Salatin, who is headlining a workshop describing his techniques of sustainable farming.
For the burgeoning do-it-yourself audience, “Grow and Preserve Your Own” features demonstrations on seed starting, fruit trees, backyard chickens, container gardening and bee keeping, plus “L.A.’s Master Preservers” demonstrations.
For the school edible garden enthusiast, there will be sessions on making school meals healthier and regionally sourced. Food activists will immerse themselves in two days of stimulating programming during “Good Food for Thought.”
Foodies should check out “Chefs at Play” featuring cooking demonstrations pairing local farmers with some of America’s finest chefs.
For tickets and information, visit www.goodfoodfestivals.com.