Farm To Table
Farms are lifelines. Farmers are heroes. Farming is hope. At the beginning of 2018, I gathered 80+ farmers together with chefs, restaurateurs and food purveyors — to learn, share and listen about the local agricultural movements and sustainable food systems that existed in Puerto Rico prior to Maria, post hurricane, and visions for the future. Because dialogue, inclusion and synergy matter. I didn’t know what would come of that meeting, but made a humble promise to purchase forthcoming harvests from local sustainable farmers for our #ChefsForPuertoRico programs. And I am proud to say we have been doing just that: investing in local economic development, creating and sustaining jobs, building up the agricultural industry, supporting continued relief and recovery, addressing hunger and nutrition, and stewarding the earth by purchasing hundreds, even thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each week – straight from the farms to our kitchens, where seasonal bounties are chopped, cooked and transformed into hot, nutritious meals served to those who need it most. I continue to visit farms all across this island (see my feed to experience our journeys), digging in the dirt alongside my earth-loving brothers and sisters, tasting the freshest of natural flavors, implementing new and ancient resilient techniques, gaining knowledge into how and why they embrace this way of life — and now, seven months after I came to call this island home, we are grateful to be able to offer World Central Kitchenfarm grants to propel these ventures, opportunity and impact forward (announcements coming next week!). This night catalyzed something magical — and it took place in the newly-minted first official food truck park in Puerto Rico: Miramar Food Truck Park! I am profoundly grateful to all of you who have welcomed la gruinguita-turned-boricua, the hippie chick from Northern California, the soil-obsessed foodie who is passionate and committed to working collaboratively on the ground to champion the key roles that food and agriculture play in ensuring Puerto Rico Se Levanta!