Tourism: The Good, The Bad and the Sustainable


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Presentation by Deborah McLaren for the rural strategies section of the 2008 National Preservation Trust conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Oct 24). The "bad" presentation was given by Jennifer Sandy, National Preservation Trust, focusing on the negative impacts of CAFOs (including health, environment, tourism). Deborah's presentation followed and show-cased numerous positive and sustainable models of farm development around the country.

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Tourism: The Good, The Bad and the Sustainable

  1. 1. Rural Strategies: The Good, the Bad, and the Sustainable Presentation by Deborah McLaren National Preservation Conference, Tulsa 2008
  2. 2. Angelic Organics Caledonia, Illinois
  3. 3. From chemical fertilizer and pesticides-based -- dairy, beef, corn and soybean farm
  4. 4. To Sustainable <ul><li>Grows an array of vegetables and herbs on about 25 acres of the entire 90-acre farm near Chicago </li></ul><ul><li>Sold directly to over 1,000 customers who buy Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares in their farming operations each year </li></ul><ul><li>Grossing more than $575,000 annually </li></ul>
  5. 5. Practical Business Approach <ul><li>1990 – adopted organic practices </li></ul><ul><li>1993 – adopted Biodynamic farming practices, using special &quot;preparations,&quot; compost applications, and other techniques to naturally enhance soil fertility and biological activity </li></ul><ul><li>Numerous diversification strategies which help better manage risk </li></ul>
  6. 6. Community Supported Agriculture <ul><li>A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community's farm. </li></ul><ul><li>Growers and consumers provide mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. </li></ul><ul><li>Began in Germany, Switzerland, Japan. </li></ul>
  7. 7. CSA Approach to Farm Sales <ul><li>A relatively new socio-economic model of farming and food distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Customers share in the risks associated with farming </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in shares upfront - $520 </li></ul><ul><li>20-week season provides a 3/4-bushel box per week of vegetables and herbs, an engaging newsletter, and numerous opportunities to visit during farm Field Days </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Diversified crops -- including root, onion, leaf, fruiting (sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers) as well as herbs -- harvested at their peak of ripeness and flavor. </li></ul><ul><li>Removed the middlemen, get a larger take on the retail dollar. </li></ul><ul><li>Members get fresher, healthier food. </li></ul>
  9. 11. <ul><li>T o foster a strong, indigenous culture the Wormfarm Institute creates, sponsors, and hosts exhibits, performances, and other projects that engage the surrounding community, utilize the talents of local artists and speak to rural experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Putting CULTURE back in AGRICULTURE. </li></ul>
  10. 12. <ul><li>I n 1995, began as CSA growing organic vegetables for a handful of Chicago families hungry for a connection to the source of their food. </li></ul><ul><li>Several years and hundreds of families later it became apparent that there was more to nourishment than could be found in vegetables alone. </li></ul>
  11. 13. <ul><li>Explores links between urban and rural communities beyond the food chain, creating a setting for artistic collaboration. </li></ul><ul><li>Expands the concept of the CSA, helps reconnect consumers with the source of their food. </li></ul><ul><li>Expands the idea of &quot;sustainability&quot; not just nourishment to live but a vibrant, creative, thriving community. </li></ul>
  12. 14. Committed to <ul><li>Igniting the coming rural renaissance </li></ul><ul><li>Enticing city folk to support rural communities </li></ul><ul><li>Serving as a conduit for resources and information to move in both directions </li></ul>
  13. 15. Wormworks – Youth Outreach
  14. 16. Artist Residencies
  15. 17. The Reedikulous Puppet Festival is a week-long series of free giant puppet making workshops followed by a Main Street parade and performance.
  16. 19. Eco-prenuers Inn Serendipity B&B Browntown, WI
  17. 20. Lisa Kiverist & John Ivanko
  18. 21. Purpose, Passions & Profit <ul><li>Pioneering a different way of doing business, to value &quot;natural capital&quot; and respect all life on Earth. </li></ul><ul><li>All aspects business -- including hospitality business, speaking related to books, marketing consulting and freelance writing -- result in operating as a &quot;carbon negative&quot; business , sequestering more carbon dioxide annually than emitting from business operations and personal lifestyle. </li></ul><ul><li>Forming partnerships with both non-profits and for profits that share our interest in stewarding the land, fostering diversity, and inspiring social change. </li></ul>
  19. 22. Partnerships & Collaboration
  20. 23. Diversified, Sustainable Business Practices <ul><li>Energy Conservation and Green Design </li></ul><ul><li>Land Stewardship </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable Business Models </li></ul><ul><li>Eco-prenuers </li></ul><ul><li>Regional / Community Commitment </li></ul>
  21. 24. We believe in the power of commerce to support &quot;right livelihood&quot; without compromising the environment or human rights.
  22. 27. <ul><li>Champions rural communities, farmers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators, activists and others who are renewing the countryside through sustainable and innovative initiatives. </li></ul><ul><li>Shares stories of rural renewal, building awareness. </li></ul><ul><li>Connects people interested in sustainable rural development to each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Fosters connections between urban and rural people. </li></ul>Renewing the Countryside Minneapolis, MN
  23. 28. Sharing Stories
  24. 32. South Coast Farms Adding Value to Farm and Community
  25. 33. Joel Congdon House and San Juan Family Farm Museum <ul><li>Built in 1877, oldest wooden structure in San Juan Capistrano. </li></ul><ul><li>Built by Joel Congdon using locally milled lumber, brought on horse-drawn wagon, from the San Bernadino Mountains.  Stones from the Mission that fell in earthquake. </li></ul><ul><li>Since 1871 the farmland surrounding the House has been in constant cultivation.    </li></ul><ul><li>In 2001, the restoration of the Joel Congdon House was completed by the City of San Juan Capistrano. </li></ul>
  26. 36. “ Food has nothing to do with convenience or price.  Food is nutrition for the heart and soul!  You are what you eat is so simply said and we are making it easier to do!”
  27. 37. South Coast Farms offers <ul><li>Prairie Raised Family Farms Certified Organic All Grass Fed Beef </li></ul><ul><li>Wide variety of vegetables, many heirloom </li></ul><ul><li>Farm Market/Stand </li></ul><ul><li>Historical, Restored Home and Family Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment to healthy community </li></ul>
  28. 39. <ul><li>River-friendly meats...local artisan foods...guest cottage...hand thrown pottery ...all from the gently rolling bluff land of the Minnesota River Valley. </li></ul><ul><li>240 acres offers a varied landscape, plenty of trees, and a home to humans and cattle, wine grapes and alfalfa, beaver and coyote, coneflowers and big bluestem. </li></ul>
  29. 40. The Broodio, a former &quot;brooder&quot; house and studio, bathed in warm tones featuring original artwork, solar technology, traditional and handmade furniture, and fresh flowers in season.
  30. 41. <ul><li>Fifth generation to farm Moonstone Farm . </li></ul><ul><li>Has been in the Handeen family for over a century. </li></ul><ul><li>There’s no way to categorize Moonstone Farm —it’s a cultural cornucopia, a haven for the community’s art, crafts, history, nature and cuisine. </li></ul>Moonstone Farm
  31. 42. &quot;The consumer can make an enormous impact by choosing who they connect with. That determines how they want their farming done.“ – Richard Arner
  32. 43.
  33. 44. Farm Market Kitchen Algoma, WI To develop and to encourage educational and economic opportunities which foster understanding and experiences in the unique cultural heritage of the area and promote balance and sustainability of the environmental treasures of the region.
  34. 45. Operating the Farm Market Kitchen shared-use food processing business incubator helps fulfill the ongoing mission of The Living Lake’s Heritage, Inc .—to preserve the unique agricultural heritage of Northeast Wisconsin.
  35. 46. <ul><li>Farm kitchen is truly home grown. </li></ul><ul><li>Project lets anyone cook up home products. </li></ul><ul><li>Serves farmers and small growers in northeastern Wisconsin counties searching for alternative markets for their crops. </li></ul><ul><li>The incubator also has a year-round farm market store, special events rental space and the beginnings of a regional food heritage center. </li></ul><ul><li>Donated historic utility building is now renovated. </li></ul>
  36. 47. <ul><li>Although the number of farms has declined in Kewaunee County, agricultural tourism is a growing draw for visitors due to the efforts of Agricultural Heritage and Resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on education and promoting rural heritage. </li></ul><ul><li>The facility is located in a converted utility building, complete with loading docks, that was donated for the project. </li></ul>
  37. 48. Wadena, MN <ul><li>Population 4,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Estimated household income (2007) $30,800 </li></ul><ul><li>Central Minnesota prairie town was primarily agricultural, many family farms have been lost </li></ul><ul><li>Highway refocused development away from Main Street </li></ul>
  38. 49. The Village Emporium <ul><li>The Village Emporium is a small business incubator serving the Wadena community since 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>It houses more than 30 independent businesses and five nonprofits. </li></ul><ul><li>Specializes in encouraging local entrepreneurship and community development. </li></ul>
  39. 50. A Regional Approach <ul><li>Established small business incubator </li></ul><ul><li>A place where the community could meet </li></ul><ul><li>Many, many informal conversations about their community </li></ul><ul><li>Decided to take a regional approach – all citizens should benefit from new development </li></ul>
  40. 51. Arts, Agriculture, Action
  41. 52. Alley Arts – The Minnesota Project <ul><li>Wadena's historic murals constitute the world's largest picture puzzle. When complete it will cover more than 50,000 square inches. </li></ul><ul><li>The Village Emporium houses the Alley Arts Institute and its indoor studio. </li></ul><ul><li>Magnificent one day tours available. </li></ul>
  42. 55. Identifying Internal Economic Engines <ul><li>Historic Buildings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Train Depot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fairgrounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Main Street </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Artists </li></ul><ul><li>Regional Flavor – Prairie Agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>New emigrant farmers – Hmong, Somalian </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of Community </li></ul>
  43. 56. Creating Value Added Communities (CVAC) <ul><li>Renovate Depot into Theater, Visitor Center, and working Amtrak station </li></ul><ul><li>Renovate old J.C. Penney Building and Masonic Temple into business incubator </li></ul><ul><li>Use existing buildings, alleys, streets for arts projects </li></ul><ul><li>Create a safer, healthier town </li></ul><ul><li>Identify community resources that can be shared (cold storage, community kitchen) </li></ul><ul><li>Value residents (artists, bakers, craftsmen, youth, elderly, farmers, people who are not part of the mainstream economy) </li></ul>
  44. 58. Willow Lake Farm Windom, Minnesota
  45. 59. Farmer Tony Thompson <ul><li>Third generation family farm. </li></ul><ul><li>Realized the tall grass prairie is a tremendously diverse plant community. </li></ul><ul><li>Uses an old John Deere combine to harvest seeds in August and October. </li></ul><ul><li>Sells the seeds/crop to the Minnesota and Iowa Departments of Natural Resources. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Glad to have an economic reason to be protecting the prairie.” </li></ul>
  46. 60. Partners with Rural Advantage to promote the connections between agriculture, the environment and rural communities in order to improve ecological health, economic viability and rural vitality.
  47. 61. Dancing Winds Farm Kenyon, Minnesota
  48. 62. Reviving Lost Arts <ul><li>Organic farming </li></ul><ul><li>Goats and cheese </li></ul><ul><li>Farmhouse, built in 1896, has been remodeled to include a guest wing bed and breakfast. </li></ul><ul><li>Guests are welcome to participate in farm activities, or &quot;just enjoy the healing energy of the goats and the relaxing country atmosphere.&quot; </li></ul>
  49. 63. &quot;My vision of 'the good life' was to live on the land, work closer to the earth, and do honest work through which I could feel passionate and derive an income.&quot; - Mary Doerr
  50. 64. Tumbleweed Tours Southwest Nebraska <ul><li>Founded by Victoria Lipovsky and Kelly Kahman, two farm women, for work in their off-season. </li></ul><ul><li>Tumbleweed Tours taps into the growing tourism interest in rural destinations and agri-tourism.  </li></ul><ul><li>Viewing region with fresh eyes and a marketing strategy . </li></ul>
  51. 66. Developed on local resources <ul><li>Tour itineraries can be customized for specific groups, such as a wetland and conservation focus for attendees from the Ducks Unlimited state convention.  </li></ul><ul><li>Showcasing locally made food items remains a core the business mission.  </li></ul><ul><li>Realized the importance of asking for advice, input and support from the start, with the guidance of various state and area resources like the Nebraska Division of Travel and Tourism.  </li></ul>
  52. 68. Greentree Naturals Sandpoint, Idaho
  53. 69. Diane Green and Thom Sadoski
  54. 70. <ul><li>The large farms across the country are slowly being lost to over-production and high land taxes. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the small acreage organic farm that will be the wave of the future. </li></ul><ul><li>Populations all over the world rely on local farms for fresh produce. </li></ul><ul><li>In this country, most of the food we eat comes from many miles away and the connection between the farmer and the consumer has been lost. </li></ul><ul><li>We hope to educate our communities of the importance of supporting the local small acreage farmers and market gardeners and encourage others to do the same. </li></ul>
  55. 71. Value-Added <ul><li>Produce a wide assortment of specialty produce, herbs, fresh & dried flowers and berries </li></ul><ul><li>Expanding from a farmer's market to supplying upscale restaurants </li></ul><ul><li>Center for summer farm tours </li></ul><ul><li>Workshops </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organic Production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market Gardening </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Grower's collective </li></ul><ul><li>Fresh flower subscription service </li></ul><ul><li>Small CSA </li></ul><ul><li>Apprenticeship program (designing curriculum for University of Idaho and Washington State University for credited curriculum for on-farm student-apprenticeship program) </li></ul>
  56. 72. Farm consulting services <ul><li>Our goal is to cultivate awareness and understanding of organic production by providing onsite visits and site evaluations. </li></ul><ul><li>As a follow up to a land consultation, we also assist in identifying sustainable agriculture methods and educating growers about low-input techniques through workshops at our farm. </li></ul><ul><li>We offer this local consulting service to furnish the basic information needed to grow a successful north Idaho organic garden. </li></ul>
  57. 73. Farm to School Programs partner local farms and schools
  58. 74. Sustainable Rural Renaissance!!
  59. 79. Utilizing and creating important public spaces
  60. 81. Promoting sustainable, historic preservation
  61. 83. Businesses Demand Locally Grown
  62. 84. Chef Michael Altenberg stands outside his new organic restaurant &quot;Crust&quot; in Chicago .
  63. 85. Connecting urban chefs with growers
  64. 86. Chef tastes locally grown herbs
  65. 90. Taking care of land and each other
  66. 91. Heritage Prairie Farm Camp
  67. 92. Sustainable Tourism and Preservation Classic Rosewood Inn, Hastings, MN Green Policy Green, Recycled and Local Products
  68. 93. Co-ops offer link and education about urban to rural
  69. 94. A return to healthier foods
  70. 95. Family Farms Stay Rooted!
  71. 96. Thank you! For more information contact Deborah McLaren RBR Communications, Inc Saint Paul, MN 55104 Email: Cell 651-983-9880