Saturday, April 19, 2014

Connecting farmers, food, and
community in three meals

Join us and enjoy the gastronomic pleasures of three great meals while meeting those who are building a healthy, local, sustainable food system in our region.

Nationwide consumer demand for healthy, sustainably-grown, and local foods has exploded in the past decade. This movement is fueled by public concern about a sharp increase in diet-related illness, food security and safety, and environmental impacts of farm practices. More and more people flock to local farm markets, purchase organic foods, and seek restaurants that feature seasonal menus.

Yet here in our region, there is much more demand than supply. At the same time, our region’s farm land is shrinking, farmers can’t earn a living wage, and we dispose of food waste in landfills instead of returning nutrients to the soil.

Share three local, seasonal, and home-style meals while meeting those who are changing the way food is grown, prepared, and made available to you.  This series is co-hosted by Full Plate Ventures and Bethesda Green.

Closing the Loop in Our Food System:
Let’s discuss over breakfast!

Sunday, August 21
9:30 am - 11:30 am at Bethesda Green, 4825 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814 (second floor of Capital One Bank)
11:30 am - 1:00 pm Bethesda Central Farm Market (optional), Elm St. between Wisconsin and Woodmont Avenues

Space limited to 30 people -- check out the breakfast menu here

Cost: $25 (includes breakfast, panel discussion, and farm market visit)

Reserve your space now

Everyone eats, food connects us all. Enjoy a homemade, locally-sourced breakfast while learning about the interconnected pieces of a healthy, sustainable and local food system; and from those who are reconnecting the dots, from farm to table and back again. Following our panel discussion, we will stroll over to the Central Bethesda Farm Market, meet Mitch Berliner, founder of the market and explore the fabulous array of fresh and artisanal foods.

Caroline Taylor, Executive Director, Montgomery Countryside Alliance
Shannon Varley, Farmer, Bella Terra Family Farm
Tony Alexis, Owner, Yamas Mediterranean Grill
Jessica Weiss, Executive Director, growingSOUL
Diane Welland, Registered Dietitian and Author

Moderator: Cheryl Kollin, Principal, Full Plate Ventures

Program for Breakfast event

Fertile Ground—Local farm tour and lunch

Saturday, September 10
12:30 pm - 3 pm at Rocklands Farm, 14525 Montevideo Rd., Poolesville, MD 20837

For those who are interested, complimentary bus transportation from Bethesda Green to Rocklands Farm will be provided. We plan to leave Bethesda Green promptly at 11:30 am and expect to return by 4 pm.  Please send a note to if you're interested in bus transportation.

Space limited to 40 people

Cost: $35 (includes lunch, tour, farm market)

Reserve your space now

You’ve read about it in Omnivore’s Dilemma, now experience what sustainable farming is all about. Greg Glen and Shawn Eubank of Rocklands Farm proudly show you their chicken mobiles, grass-fed beef, and organic vegetable operations.

Seventy-seven percent of Marylanders are more likely to buy Maryland farm-grown produce.[1] Yet, some farmers don’t have the quantity or capacity to reach into the urban markets clamoring for their produce, meat, and eggs. Learn about initiatives to better connect local producers with buyers in our region. Enjoy the fruits of summer at this family-friendly event with a locally-produced lunch at the farm prior to the tour.

Savor Local Flavor—Dinner with Chef Tony

Monday, September 19
7 - 10 pm at Chef Tony’s, 4926 St. Elmo Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

Space limited to 40 people

Cost: $60 (a four-course dinner featuring seafood and a complimentary glass of wine)

Reserve your space now

Can you really taste the difference? Chef Tony specializes in seafood and plans his menu daily based on what’s at its peak of ripeness that very day. His love of fresh, seasonal ingredients cooked to highlight their natural flavors will convince you. We lack a system for moving local food into mainstream markets. Chef Tony will talk about the pleasures and challenges of sourcing and cooking with seasonal and local ingredients. Learn how this dinner helps connect local producers with buyers.

Meet Full Circle Foods

This educational series will introduce you to Full Circle Foods (FCF), a collaboration of four entrepreneurial and non-profit businesses that are passionate about building a sustainable and healthy food system in our region. Our goals are ambitious: 1) Strengthen farmers’ market capacity by aggregating and distributing products into new markets they cannot reach individually; 2) Establish relationships among growers, aggregators, distributors, and buyers that support ecological growing practices, fair wages for all workers, and the local economy; and 3) Collect food waste for composting to return nutrients to the soil.

Each partner organization provides a key link in creating vital part of this full circle system: Montgomery Countryside Alliance, Full Plate Ventures, Button FarmgrowingSOUL, and Bethesda Green.  We are seeking funds to launch next year.

[1] 2009 Policy Choices Survey by the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy.




Resources and Info


On the Farm, Around the Table Series

by Cheryl Kollin, Principal, Full Plate Ventures

August 2, 2011


hef Tony Marciante, who plans his local and seasonal menus daily was amazed to learn recently that there are 561 farms in Montgomery County. Farmer Shannon Varley is so busy between growing food, raising a young family, and finding land for new farmers that she has little time to find new buyers for her meats, vegetables, eggs, and flowers. Red Wiggler’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members can’t understand why there’s a limited supply of their favorite organic vegetables and fruits.

On the Farm; Around the Table -- connecting farmers, food, and community in three meals explore the complex issues around building our local sustainable food system and introduces you to those who are passionate architects of this system.

Download PDF version of full article.

Breaking Bread Together on a Sunday Morning -- blog post about the Sunday, August 21, breakfast event discussion, Closing the Loop in our Food System, introducing various perspectives of our local food system. Attendees were treated to quiche served by Cheryl Kollin (Full Plate Ventures), Bill Franz, and Glenda Grogan (pictured).

Fertile Ground and Adieu to Summer's Bounty -- blog post about the Saturday, September 10, lunch and farm tour at Rocklands Farm.

Gathering Together To Savor Local Flavor -- blog post about the Monday, September 19, dinner event at Chef Tony's Restaurant in Bethesda.

Copyright 2013 by Bethesda Green