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Greetings from Torino, Italy!

Over the last five days, I joined 220,000+ people who gathered for Slow Food International’s biennial conference Terra Madre and the world’s largest food and wine fair Salone del Gusto. Having attended as a delegate in 2012, this year marked my second Terra Madre experience, and 2014 certainly did not disappoint! More than 100 countries convened around this year’s theme: Ark of Taste and Biodiversity, in the spirit of the United Nations declaring 2014 the International Year of Family Farming. The United States alone had more than 250 delegates coming from as far as Alaska and Hawaii.

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My Slow Food teammate Andrew Nowak (Director of Slow Food USA’s National School Garden Program) and I stayed busy by participating in and leading school garden-themed workshops. On Friday, Andrew took part in a multicultural panel titled “Gardens According to Slow Food International”, which highlighted Yediukle (historical vegetable gardens) from Istanbul, medicinal school gardens in Belarus, and school gardens in India, Indonesia, and Kenya. A common thread across continents: these school gardens are intended for education rather than yield, while successfully reconnecting youth with the land, culture, and real food. I was inspired by the sense of global solidarity at this panel and the potential for international cooperation.

{{ image(3110, {“class”: “flor round”, “width”: “300”, “height”: “200”, “method”: “img”}) }}Stay tuned for one possible collaboration: an international Pen Pal Program/Global Garden Exchange linking American students with youth from the Ten Thousand Gardens in Africa project and across Asia, Europe, and Latin America. If you are interested in getting involved, don’t hesitate to reach out: gardens@slowfoodusa.org


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