About this project
I had my first Saturday at the market on 7.1.17. It went well, and I'm planning a meeting at the end of the month to strat organizing the community as an economic force.
I had an art called Growing the Food Sovereignty
Revolution, Propaganda by Jeff Quattrone that closed 6.16.17. That show is connected to this effort, and the art will be online soon.
I've posted a few video update on my YouTube channel as well.
My name is Jeff Quattrone, I'm a food system advocate and an artist. My goal with this campaign is to test a model of a local food market and to use it as a roadmap for establishing a food cooperative in Woodbury, NJ, which is in Gloucester County, NJ.
Gloucester County demographics don't match the successful business models of major food retailers like Wegmans, Trader's Joe's, Mom's Organic, and Whole Foods. These stores are concentrated in Camden County NJ, which is north of Woodbury, NJ.
Yet, people from the Gloucester County area will drive to these stores, which can take up to 45 minutes each way, to access the products on their shelves. Also, Gloucester County has a lot of agriculture, but we have a food insecurity rate around11%, and there are food insecurity rates up to 15% in other areas of southern NJ. These rates are from Feeding America. These two scenarios demonstrate a need for a community effort to secure food sovereignty, and this project will start to address it.
Once we tap into the local food supply chain, we can see what the challenges and limitations are, and address them. The goal is to make the market assessable to all income levels and work with relief organizations to find their gaps, and see what we can do to fill them.
We will create a local market for local good also. The market will buy from local suppliers to the extent possible. This creates wholesaling opportunities for local farmers and small batch producers. All the money stays local, therefore strengthening the local economy and community.
The August Flower Food Cooperative of Woodbury, NJ, the coop that this a model for, is listed as a start-up food co-op with the Midatlantic Food Cooperative Alliance. Cooperative enterprise is an excellent business model that builds community and encourages local business development by keeping local money local.
With your help, you can join us and help change the local food dynamics for all members of this community, and other communities, as the model will be shared with anyone who's interested.
You can read about this concept on Slow Food USA's blog. They asked me to write a blog post about it for their September membership drive.
The market will run from the beginning of June 2017 until the end of October 2017.
Jeff, concentrating on seed saving, is a food system activist who advocates for preserving local heirloom varieties of food. Jeff is the co-chair of Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste Northeast Regional Committee and is a Community Seed Organizer through Seed Savers Exchange and Seed Matters Community Seed Resource Program.
Jeff brought the concept of Seed Libraries to the southern NJ area in 2014 when he launched the Library Seed Bank. Jeff is a regular presenter on sustainability topics through the Stockton Center on Successful Aging, Stockton University, Pomona, NJ, and was one of South Jersey Magazine's 2016 Men of the Year, (see the link below).
In 2015, Jeff was also the first person in the United States to host a #pumpkinrescue, a food waste initiative originated by the British charity, Hubbub.
Here are media links for Jeff and the Library Seed Bank.
Workshops teach why sustainability matters
2016 Men of the Year
Is the time for seed libraries long overdue?
Reviving seeds of Campbell's tomato legacy
This was tweeted by Campbell's corporate account.
Agent for Change: Jeff Quattrone
First ‘Seed Library’ Opens In South Jersey
A seed library at a public library
My segment comes in around the 11-minute mark.
Pitman library to open seed bank for gardeners