As populations grow, our urban areas are tasked with many differing goals: create jobs, grow the economy, but at the same time make the city “greener” and more sustainable for the environment and human well-being. Now more than ever, it’s critical to change what we eat and how it’s made. Food justice, climate change, social impact, and health concerns make food an integral part of our everyday lives. Food entrepreneurs have the opportunity to make a difference beyond our dinner plate. Running a sustainable, local agriculture business requires thinking about sustainability in terms of funding streams and program creation.
Over the past five years, Massachusetts has become the national incubator for innovative business solutions to climate change and social community challenges. Climate Action Business Association has developed a free series of reports, Local Emerging Market Reports (LEMR) to offer a spotlight on what we see as further opportunities for leadership in the transition to an equitable, carbon-free economy. CABA’s Local Emerging Market Reports noted the potential that local farms and food businesses have in stimulating our economy by creating new jobs, sparking entrepreneurship, and improving the local community.
Join CABA and Green City Growers for a special panel discussion on the importance of reinvestment into local food community.
5:30 – 6:00 PM Networking
6:00 – 6:30 PM Panelist Introductions
6:30 – 7:15 PM Q&A
7:15 – 7:30 PM Networking
Stay after to explore Boston Public Market!
Greg Watson Director of Policy and Systems Design, Schumacher Center for a New Economics
Greg Watson leads the Schumacher Center’s Cuba-U.S. Agroecology Network which is working to link small farmers and sustainable farm organizations in both countries to share information and provide mutual support. He served as the 19th Commissioner of Agriculture with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under Governor Deval Patrick and also served as Commissioner (1990 to 1993) under then Governors Dukakis and Weld. He also chaired the state’s Public Market Commission, which oversaw the planning and construction of the Boston Public Market. In 2006 The Boston Globe Magazine, cited him as one of 11 “Bostonians Changing the World.”
Jesse Banhazl CEO and Founder, Green City Growers
Jessie is the CEO and Founder of Green City Growers, a Somerville based urban farming company specializing in the installation and maintenance of raised bed gardens and rooftop farms. Jessie has managed GCG since inception in 2008 while establishing GCG as the leader in urban agriculture in the Northeast. Jessie was named “…arguably the queen of Boston’s urban ag visionaries” by Stuff magazine. Green City Growers manages rooftop farms for Whole Foods Market and Fenway Park, and provides hands-on educational programming for over 7,000 individuals annually, including children, adults, and seniors.
Patricia Spence Executive Director, Urban Farming Institute
As a seasoned leader Patricia brings to the table extensive experience in the areas of community engagement, project design, development and implementation; program marketing and promotions; budget preparation, fundraising and administration. Prior to joining the Urban Farming Institute, Pat served as the Community Field & Literacy Coordinator for Boston Public Schools, as well as having worked as an education advocate assisting parents navigate the school selection process through the Educational Options Series. Over the years, Pat has work with numerous non-profits specializing in the areas of the arts, employment and education.
Jennifer Hasley Director, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
Jennifer is a leader in local food systems work focusing on beginning farmer development. Her role at New Entry includes building community partnerships, developing new programs and services, mentoring and supporting project staff, securing sustainable resources for all program operations, writing grants, strategic planning, and overseeing incubator training farm site infrastructure and a multi-year sustainable agriculture training curriculum in specialty crops and livestock production for limited resource farmers.
ABOUT GREEN CITY GROWERS:
Green City Growers transforms unused space into thriving urban farms, providing their clients with immediate access to nutritious food, while revitalizing city landscapes and inspiring self-sufficiency. Green City Growers has worked with hundreds of businesses, schools, restaurants, and homeowners in throughout the Northeast. To date, Green City Growers has grown over 150,000 pounds of organic produce valued at more than half a million dollars, and worked hands-on with more than 6,000 individuals, all in under two acres of growing space!
THE KITCHEN AT BOSTON PUBLIC MARKET:
The KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market offers year-round programming that encourages a passion for regionally sourced food and appeals to a diverse audience. The Kitchen, programmed by The Trustees of Reservations, is a gathering place for community education, programming and interaction, featuring engaging workshops, programs, tours and events that are relevant and accessible to the Boston community.
100 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02108
Google map and directions