It was a great pleasure to participate today in the 2nd Annual Chicago Farmers Forum. Presented by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events of the City of Chicago and Chicago’s Green City Market, this event brought together farmers from around the midwest to learn about the opportunities of marketing thier products on a direct basis through Chicago farmers markets, restaurants and grocery stores.

Our thanks to Jim Law, the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and Abby Manel, the President of Chicago’s Green City Market for organizing the event. It was an honor for Eli’s to be part of the host committee at CHSAS and also to help sponsor the key note presentation by Anthony Flaccavento, the Executive Director of the Appalachian

Anthony Flaccavento, pictured above, has been the Executive Director of the Appalachian Sustainable Development since its founding in 1995. Under his leadership, the organization has helped to create an infrastructure of sustainability in both agriculture and forestry, in southwest Virginia and northwest Tennessee. ASD and Anthony have received many awards including the Ford Leadership for a Changing World Award and being named as one of the ten not for profit innovators by

The web site for the ASD lists 5 five great ways that you can support sustainable agriculture.

1. Regularly visit a local Farmers Market.–Farmers Markets are scattered throughout southwest Virginia and
northeast Tennessee. These markets are a wonderful way to find produce that has been freshly picked at the peak of ripeness and flavor and to keep your food dollars circulating within your local economy.

2. Seek out your local farmers–Many growers are happy to have customers come right to their farms. Ask around (ASD can help) to discover who might be farming nearby. Encourage your local farmers to use sustainable or organic practices and let them know that it is important to you.

3. Grow some of your own food–Catch the bug! Gardening can be a fun family activity, a way to work off stress or just a great way to keep your kitchen stocked with delicious, nutritious food.

4. Buy “Certified Organic” when you can.Organic produce is grown in healthy living soils by farmers who care about the ecological well being of the land upon which they live and grow. Organic farming respects nature and produces a healthier, tastier crop. Try it and see!

5. Cook more often–When you cook with local, organic ingredients, you support the local economy and improve the health of your family and the world around us all. Try a new recipe today!


We commend Anthony and the ASD on developing the Appalachian Harvest Label and also for supporting Virginai Grown.