Food Innovations


imageFull Moon, post-Christmas, sipping Dandelion Wine.  Finally an urge to post a blog.  As of late it has been less of an imperative to document than to do.  But, as the weather cools, a new sense of creativity emerges.  Winter is a time to reflect, to dig into the archives, review the channels of the mind.  I am drawn to explore less  of the Netflix and more the Mind itself.  New projects begin and the plan for spring develops.  Time to dream again.

KVCC - Healthy Living Campus
KVCC – Healthy Living Campus

I (Julian) have been meeting occassionally with key players of the Food Innovation Center at the Bronson Healthy Living Campus in Kalamazoo, Michigan (my hometown).

From their website at
“In 2013, a partnership was announced between Kalamazoo Valley Community College (Kalamazoo Valley), Bronson Healthcare (Bronson), and Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (KCMHSAS). The campus is a catalyst for urban revitalization, community health, and workforce development through sustainable food education, training, production, distribution and preparation.”

The Food Innovation Center (FIC) will be a food hub in Kalamazoo with many functions, including providing regional food to nearby institutions (schools, hospitals, etc).  As a partnership between Kalamazoo Valley Counity College, Bronson Hospital and Kalamazoo Community Mental Health, the FIC is positioned to do some truly important work.  I have been peripherally involved in the Farm to School and Food Hub circles for many years and hope to be involved in this center in the coming years as it is right up my alley and I believe it could be a model for rapid change away from the over-dependency on our current global food system.  I feel I could offer alot of knowledge, energy and skill as I have been processing food at Earthen Heart for the past four years and have almost ten years experience as a professional chef.  One way or another this is the type of work in which I wish to more fully immerse.

On a related note, while enrolled at SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro Vermont in 2005-2006, I conducted graduate research for my Capstone by interviewing individuals working within the Farm to School Network and I developed a tool to improve cross sector communication.  As there are so many stakeholders involved in this project from public, nonprofit, business and civil society, I recall this work and hope to rekindle the learnings somehow.

Earthen Heart is in a rural area nearby Kalamazoo and there are many ways I hope to potentially connect with the Healthy Living Campus as an aggregator, processor, chef or video producer.  Either way, I am thankful they have begun the center, and I am supportive of the intention. Next meeting in a few weeks!