Reap Goodness was invited to participate in a workshop at Arizona State University School of Sustainability. Specifically, we were invited as one of the projects-in-progress to be highlighted at a table discussion by participants. Since Reap Goodness is at the stage of strategizing its considerable plans to work with university students for the first phase roll-out of its trio of worker owned cooperatives, the participants were eager to hear more.
One of the participants was Andy Mason who is a Certified Forester who spent a career on the state level in forestry and offered encouragement to Reap Goodness for its intentions. That is, to work with towns, small cities and ranchers/farmers who wish to speed up the notion of restoring the land with viable alternatives to conventional farming and animal agriculture. He also mentioned it is time for the federal government to forge a comprehensive definition of food forestry for the nation so funds could be set aside for restoring our country while determining its impact on food security for all its people.
The presenters, Stefanie Albrecht and Arnim Wiek, are keen to work with Reap Goodness and further discussions are in store! They are already studying the food forest being developed in south Phoenix, Arizona as well as having researched 18 food forests in Europe and elsewhere.
The workshop lunch included foods typical of those that would be found in a food forest right here in the Sonoran Desert, including bread made from flour of our native mesquite tree beans; pickled asparagus, mushrooms, peppers; carob; prickly pear cactus-lemon drink and more. The catering was by a small local woman-owned vegan catering company, Raul's Cocina, which honors the family's father who died young.