With harvest season underway in northwest New Jersey, “Building a Resilient Local Food System” was the topic for discussion at the October 11 Society of Skeptics. Kendrya Close, executive director of the Blairstown-based nonprofit Foodshed Alliance, addressed the Blair community on the many benefits of shifting from our current industrialized, globalized food system to one that highlights locally grown and produced foods.
Wikipedia defines a “foodshed” as a geographic location that produces food for a particular population, similar to the way a watershed provides water. Since its 2001 founding, the Foodshed Alliance has engaged citizens, growers, food-related businesses and local governments in a range of projects to help develop a robust and sustainable northern New Jersey foodshed as well as protect the area’s vital land and water resources. The organization’s ongoing efforts include management of the weekly Blairstown Farmers Market, sponsorship of educational programs, establishment of the LocalShare project that provides fresh produce to area food pantries and much more. Further information may be found on the Foodshed Alliance website.
Ms. Close holds a BA in environmental biology from Ohio University and is an experienced plant pathologist and urban forester. A Blairstown resident, she is passionate about local food and sustainable agriculture. She will address the Blair community beginning at 7 p.m. in Bogle Hall’s Cowan Auditorium.
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.
The program was an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon.’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please click here.