Catching Up With: Marianne Cufone, Recirculating Farms Coalition

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Marianne Cufone

As TEDxManhattan approaches, we are checking in with past speakers to get an update on their work, and to see what excites them about TEDxManhattan 2013.  Below, Marianne Cufone, Executive Director of Recirculating Farms Coalition, brings us up to date.  Marianne spoke at TEDxManhattan 2012 about RFC’s work to support building eco-friendly farms that use clean recycled water to grow local, accessible, fresh food and create stable green jobs.

We’ve had an amazing year at the Recirculating Farms Coalition. Nationwide, recirculating farming is catching on as a sustainable way to grow healthy fresh food and create stable green jobs. New farms are literally sprouting up on rooftops, side lots and even in formerly abandoned buildings. Our farmers are transforming once blighted properties into edible green spaces, creating beautiful, safe outdoor places and good food in areas where it is most needed.

Our plan to build a premier research and training facility to showcase and teach various methods of recirculating farming: hydroponics (growing plants in nutrient rich water), aquaculture (raising fish) and aquaponics (a combination of growing plants and raising fish in one system) in New Orleans, Louisiana is on the move! We’ve received so much support – from donations of time and talent to capital for building – our Growing Local urban food and farm center was formally announced on National Food Day (October 22, 2012). Learn more here about all the exciting plans as it goes forward! You can also check in on Facebook and Twitter too to stay up on all our news.

We here at RFC are most excited about Dr. Annemarie Colbin being a speaker this year at TEDx Manhattan. Her program at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NY has meaning for us both personally, and professionally: Dr. Colbin’s culinary classes promote using fresh, sustainably produced, healthy food as a way to achieve holistic health, something RFC strongly supports as well and our Executive Director, Marianne Cufone is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet culinary program.

Dr. Colbin has more than 30 years’ experience cooking and teaching the effects of food on health – which highlights something we in the U.S. often forget – you really ARE what you eat. And what we eat impacts our planet, as well as our bodies. It’s that connection between food and health that inspired the Recirculating Farms Coalition to reach out to communities nationwide to teach recirculating farming – using nutrient rich water to grow healthy, fresh food in places where traditional soil growing might not be possible – on rooftops, paved lots and places where soil is too contaminated for farming. Grow new farms and farmers using innovative sustainable farming techniques means more access to healthy fresh food for consumers – and thus healthier people – and a healthier planet too. Thanks Dr. Annemarie Colbin for the valuable lessons in good food and good health – we are sharing them widely, with great success!

Change Food® works toward a healthier food system for people, animals & the planet.  Learn more about Plant Eat Share – planting food in public spaces. For free.