Our Slow Dinner later this month will honor Suzan Erem, President of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (or SILT). SILT advisers and board members will introduce SILT to Slow Food fans and explain how Slow Money voted to support SILT in our earliest days.
The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust seeks to obtain land, and development rights to land around our cities and towns. They work with landowners, city planners, and private developers, building small farms into the planning and development process. (Picture a town or suburban development, centered on a small farm, where the farmer can sell produce right out his or her back door).
SILT describes their vision of a sustainable land trust partnership:
“These independent, family farms will provide a diverse, healthy landscape, increasing nearby home values while attracting new businesses seeking a high quality of life for their employees.
“Land trust farms will become hands-on, real-life educational centers for farmers to learn … techniques in sustainable food production from other farmers … while developing new ones …
“On parcels the trust owns, we will offer qualified farmers long-term, inheritable leases that free them from a lifetime of debt…
We will work with established farm groups to develop a web-based clearinghouse for aspiring and experienced farmers looking to grow healthy food in Iowa, making Iowa a great state to move to and grow young families and good food.”
SILT President Suzan Erem (pictured, above), a long-time community and union organizer as well as professional writer, has deep Iowa roots. She has gathered the best minds in sustainable agriculture, planning, development and advocacy to launch SILT so future farmers can pursue a life of growing healthy food and local food fans can enjoy their farmers markets long after those farms change hands.
More information about the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust and the work they do throughout the state is available on the SILT website.
Tickets to Des Moines Slow Food’s June 28 Slow Dinner are still available, via Eventbrite.
For more information, and for up-to-the-moment updates on the dinner, please join the Slow Dinner event page on Facebook.