Garden Patch Farm is hosting a free lecture/discussion titled “Lick the Sugar Habit” on Wednesday, December 5th from 7pm – 8pm. Dr. Darren Schmidt will share how sugar affects us and what we can do to prevent cravings. This event will take place at The Nutritional Healing Center of Ann Arbor, 3610 W. Liberty, Ann Arbor, MI 48103 (734-302-7575). Please RSVP to Robin Leonard, Garden Patch Farm, email: robin@gardenpatchfarm.com call: 734-878-2920

In case you haven’t heard yet about the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, or in case you have heard but haven’t acted yet, I wanted to draw everyone’s attention to this new and vitally important organization. Spearheaded by the Weston A. Price Foundation, the Fund was launched this past summer to support the consumer’s right to access local, real food and to protect small and medium-size farmers and ranchers from the increasing threats and harassment by misguided government entities. The FTCLDF will provide legal counsel to farmers and consumers and promote our interests to the government. Some of the topics they may be tackling in the future include GMOs, NAIS, and raw milk issues. The Fund was set up not a moment too soon, just in time to address several raw milk issues, including AB 1735 in California that threatens to disrupt fresh milk availability in the state that has, up until now, been a beacon of hope for fresh milk consumers everywhere.

You can support the FTCLDF by making a one-time donation or through an annual membership.

Unfortunately, our rights to choose clean local foods are being diminished and many small farms are facing legal threats. Who would have thought that we’d have to set up a legal defense fund just to obtain farm-fresh foods from farmers we know and trust? But I sure am glad that we now have the strength and wisdom of the FTCLDF. Let’s do what we can, and every little bit absolutely does help, to support this organization so that they can, in turn, help protect our basic rights.

I returned yesterday from the amazing Wise Traditions 2007 conference. It was a fantastic, whirlwind weekend featuring brilliant speakers, fascinating vendors, and, of course, delicious food. I was planning to blog the event while I was there, but the hotel charged quite a bit for wireless (Who even charges for wireless anymore?!) and I couldn’t bear to cough up the money. But I took copious notes and I’m so excited to share with you all the things I learned. I’ll write a few posts in the coming days about the conference, and I also hope we can get together soon so that those of us that went can share what we learned.

A highlight for me was, of course, seeing the brilliant and inspiring Sally Fallon. She taught some excellent “Making It Practical” classes where she shared really useful tips and menus for applying the Nourishing Traditions diet to your everyday meal planning. I’d love to be able to offer classes similar to these here at home. She also led the chapter leader meeting on Monday-more on that later. For now let me just say…WOW! WAPF chapters around the world are doing some amazing things, from raw milk political activism that is really making a difference, to writing textbooks for young adults and teaching materials for parents.

Another highlight for me was meeting Joel Salatin, the powerhouse farmer-cum-writer, activist, world-changer, and all-around really cool guy. He signed my copy of his book Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal and also gave a rousing, energetic, and very impressive closing address on Sunday evening.

And speaking of that, I’d like to get the audio recording of all the conference sessions for the chapter and then hold some get-togethers for those interested in hearing them. Check out the conference schedule here to see what you might be interested in.

Overall, I was incredibly awed and impressed by the high caliber of the speakers and the conference as a whole. It really expanded by understanding of the restorative power of nutrient-dense food. I was struck by the large number of beautiful, chubby, healthy babies present at the conference, reinforcing the imperativeness of reinstating a traditional, nutrient-dense diet in our families to improve our quality of life and ensure future healthy generations.

Here’s a recap of some of the great local WAPF events from this fall:

1. Wise Traditions Michigan Cheers to Deidre Currie and the many volunteers who put on a great conference in Livonia, September 28 and 29. The great speaker line-up included: Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, Dr. Kaayla Daniel, Dr. Janet Lang, Karen Lubbers, Mark McAfee, Pat Murphy, Dr. Richard Olree, Kathleen Rafter, Katie Singer, Jeffrey Smith, Sandra Steingraber. I really enjoyed hearing from Karen Lubbers about her experiences running a sustainable farm in West Michigan, Dr. Kaayla Daniel present research on the dangers of soy, Jeffrey Smith’s excellent keynote address on the scary news from the GMO world, and Dr. Sandra Steingraber tell about some of her fascinating research on the links between environmental toxins and cancer. I was truly inspired by the whole conference, and the Schoolcraft College chefs provided delicious snacks and lunch for us. You definitely don’t want to miss this local conference next year, and get involved and volunteer to help if you can.

2. On October 12, the Healthy Traditions Network presented a night with Jordan Rubin. Jordan gave a fun and interesting talk about how America can battle its obesity problem through, surprise, surprise, healthy eating, exercise, and healthy lifestyle changes. It was refreshing to hear him speak about how to lose weight and gain health through natural lifestyle changes and a return to healthy, natural foods. Many local farmers were there to talk about their products.

3. On October 27 the Nutritional Healing Center of Ann Arbor held an open house and fall harvest festival with local farmers, natural food grocers, and health practitioners. The Ann Arbor chapter of the WAPF had a table with information about the WAPF, brochures, relevant books, and information about the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. There was a great turnout and we met a lot of new people.

I hope you were able to participate in some of these great events. Stay tuned for more.