Today I attended the Sustainable Agriculture Network Meeting here in Columbia, Missouri. It was so wonderful to find myself surrounded by people that felt the same passion for growing food and sustainable practices. The meeting was held at the Cafe Berlin. It started early so I had to get a friend to drop my youngest off at school so I would not be late. I wanted to make a good impression for myself and the Ivan. I was a little intimidated as I did not know any of the people but figured they had to be good souls if they were in the group.
Each person gave an update on how things were going for their existing projects. I look advantage of this great opportunity to tell people about our efforts to save the Ivan. Many of these folks had been working with agriculture for many years and some of them even knew of the farm that used to offer the Ivan. Everyone appreciated the Missouri roots of this Tomato and was supportive of our efforts.
Some of the people I met were involved in great organizations such as Slow Food Katy Trail, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Grow Well Missouri and the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. I also met people working in health policy research and food labeling initiatives. Of course there were several people that were folks working hard in farming, cattle ranching and egg production. Everyone was there to support each others projects, dreams and goals.
I came out of the meeting feeling stronger than ever about the Ivan and about what must be done to ensure food diversity and the continuance of this great tomato. As this initiative has been growing the passion for this tomato, food diversity and the healing power of gardening has been leading the charge. While the work behind this project has been on going all summer, the momentum continues to grow. With the help of all the great people we have met along the way the Ivan Tomato Rescue Project will succeed.