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Thought-Provoking Films & Lectures Highlight Farming

Essex County Agriculture Focus of Inspiring Greenbelt Events

Conserving farmland and keeping land affordable to farmers is a key part of the mission of Essex County Greenbelt, and to highlight the importance of agriculture, Greenbelt’s 2020 Film & Lecture Series “Food for Thought” is focusing on farming and food.

With the help of local experts, the series is exploring food waste, urban agriculture, and sustainable and regenerative farming.  It will also showcase two groups of local farmers: a panel of women in agriculture and a group of dairy farmers from North Andover.

The series began this month with WASTED! THE STORY OF FOOD WASTE.  The film aims to change the way people buy, cook, recycle, and eat food. Through the eyes of celebrity chefs, including the late Anthony Bourdain, the film demonstrates how the world’s most influential chefs make the most of every kind of food, transforming what most people consider scraps into delicious dishes.

A second film continues the series on February 20 at the Salisbury Public Library.  Polyfaces follows a fourth-generation farming family who produce food without chemicals. Set in the stunning Shenandoah Valley, Time Magazine called Polyface Farm among the most innovative in the world, feeding over 6,000 Virginia and West Virginia families, and supplying many restaurants. The film will be followed by a discussion with local regenerative farmers from Cedar Rock Gardens in Gloucester.

Greenbelt will introduce a few of the remarkable women who farm in Essex County at a panel discussion at the Gould Barn in Topsfield on February 27.  They will share stories of their experience and discuss what it means to be a woman in agriculture.

Cities and towns in Essex County and throughout the state are becoming more “edible” through community gardens and farm shares. The March 11 lecture at the Lawrence Public Library will also focus on Newburyport’s “Edible Avenue,” whichhas been planted with more than 40 native species, all of which include edible parts.

Dairy farming has been a staple of the region’s agriculture for centuries. Greenbelt and the North Andover Improvement Society will host an evening of storytelling with some of the town’s oldest farming families on March 26 at North Parish Church. The evening will begin with a reception with light refreshments at 5:00 pm at 140 Academy Road, North Andover; guests will continue on from there to North Parish Church for the storytelling from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

The series concludes on March 29 at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester with “Health, Hunger and Food Access.” A series of short, independent films will be followed by a discussion with North Shore hunger relief organizations The Open Door and The Food Project. 

All programs in the series are FREE.  For more information and to register please visit www.ecga.org/filmseries

About Greenbelt:

Greenbelt – Essex County’s Land Trust works with local individuals, families, farmers and communities to protect the farmland, wildlife habitat and scenic vistas of Essex County. Since 1961, Greenbelt has protected nearly 17,800 acres of local land. For more information, visit ecga.org or call 978-768-7241.

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