Community Food Summit
By 2009, it was clear that there was lots of energy brewing around local food. People where primed and ready… hungry, starving for connection.
In 2010, Yanez and Earth Learning intervention design team (David Harper, Elena Naranjo, myself), designed and held a transformational 3-day gathering of 120+ local food change-makers.
All that were present agree that real magic occurred.
We went in as many individual initiatives, launched and gave birth to the local food movement in the Greater Everglades bioregion ( Southern Florida).
In 2009, the early intervention design team at Earth Learning (David Harper and myself) wrote our first set of large federal grant applications to the USDA.
One of these applications (Beginning Farmers & Ranchers $750,000/3 years) was funded. In 2010, we launched Community FoodWorks deep learning experiences that offered 6-month-long, paid apprenticeships to prospective food system entrepreneurs/producers.
Apprentices worked to develop an experimental, multi-enterprise permaculture farm (The Farm @ Verde Gardens) by rotating through every aspect from growing/raising/keeping to making to selling.
The result was nodal: in 3 years, 40+ people gained the capacity to awaken their truest nature and calling, to learn and care deeply –to inspire others around them to do the same. Now many of the participants have themselves launched similar interventions / enterprises.
Earth Learning (non-for-profit organization) was designed and developed as a pattern generator for interventions towards emergent cultural evolution within the Greater Everglades bioregion (Southern Florida).
It was birthed in 2003, after a deeply transformational immersion by its founder (Yanez). By 2007, it had already created significant public programming to create a sense of bioregional identity.
In the intervening decade, it sparked the self-organization of a local food movement, which is quite alive til this day.
After 2018, it was reborn as Inhabit Earth, an NGO dedicated to the work of regeneration on a global scale.
EarthFest was conceived as a way to engage audiences via a festival format, modified to foreground a Life-sustaining paradigm in the process of celebrating Earth in the Greater Everglades (Southern Florida). From 2007, it ran annually for 5 years and attracted 5,000+ people every year.
The core purpose was to establish viability for distinctly new patterns for festivals in a manner that demonstrated by example, Life-sustaining practices. For example, only vegetarian, responsibly-sourced food vendors where invited to operate, musical artist where curated for their relevant messaging, no plastic was generated during event, and so on.
Prior to 2010, Miami was saturated with pretend farmers markets: outdoor venues where vendors would resell imported food items to the public.
Realizing what was happening, our Earth Learning team designed the authentic farmers market experiences in the Greater Miami area, which we operated weekly for several years until the pattern caught on. This was a natural outgrowth of the annual EarthFest event.
Earth Learning central green tent provided an outlet for The Farm @ Verde Gardens as well as other local organic producers. Other well-curated vendors provided all sorts of responsibly-sourced products.
The Ecology of Food
In 2007, Yanez and colleague Julie Nagel, developed this cutting-edge course while teaching at Palmer Trinity (high school) in which students where immersed in multi-modal, experiential learning.
Every day, they grew in and prepared their own food from an edible forest garden we set up on school grounds, studied every dimension of the food system, and strove to envision co-creating and participating in a healthy local food system.