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An event Saturday, June 8, behind the Goshen Farmers Market aimed to connect local food producers and distributors and other groups working to enrich local food systems. (Truth Photo By Marlys Weaver-Stoesz) (AP)

Carly, one-and-a-half years old, looks at hens with her mother Amanda Sensenig at the "Connecting our Local Foodshed" event behind the Goshen Farmers Market Saturday, June 8. (Truth Photo By Marlys Weaver-Stoesz) (AP)
Public connects with “local foodshed” at Saturday event

Posted on June 10, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — Like most Saturday mornings, the Goshen Farmers Market was bustling Saturday, June 8, but that day people were also heading out the back of the market to learn more about local food organizations in an event called Connecting Our Local Foodshed.

More than a dozen different organizations had booths set up to let people know what they’re doing connected to local food, eating more nutritiously and distributing food to local people.

“The primary goal is for the groups to be able to network together and for the community to be more aware of what there is,” said Jenny Frech, a member of Transition Goshen, which organized the event.

The event included Church Community Services’ Seed to Feed program, Purdue University’s Elkhart County Extension, The Window in Goshen, Elkhart Local Food Alliance and Hens for Goshen, a group working to allow owning hens in city limits, among other organizations.

Nicole Bauman helps manage Rise Up Farms in Elkhart and also helps lead the Elkhart Local Food Alliance, which coordinates several community gardens in Elkhart and puts on workshops and field trips. She said events like Connecting Our Local Foodshed are important “for energy and inspiration” for those working towards common goals.

While Goshen seems to have a pretty established local food effort, Bauman said her passion is to have that in Elkhart. By connecting at the Saturday event, people can know that she and others are working toward that.

Phil Metzler, an organizer for Transition Goshen, said the group works “to promote community resilience by trying to connect local resources and local needs.”

He emphasized how the group aims to use local connection and collaboration to create a more resilient and sustainable future.

“We want to work together to address some of the issues we face,” he said.

People can learn more about Transition Goshen by visiting www.TransitionGoshen.org.