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July 27, 1998

Community reception to feature sustainable agriculture

By Jennifer McNulty

The Central Coast is home to some of the nation's leading organizations in sustainable agriculture. On August 1, members of several of those groups will attend a community reception and "dessert social" to help spread the word about their work. The event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Patagonia store, 415 River Street in Santa Cruz.

The reception is being cosponsored by the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UCSC, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, and Patagonia. It is free and open to the public.

The event will feature an update on the proposed federal organic standards. Mark Lipson of the Organic Farming Research Foundation and Molino Creek Farming Collective will deliver the talk, entitled "From the Front Lines: Report from Washington, D.C., on the Organic Rules and Alternative Agriculture Research."

Local columnist Bruce Bratton will introduce Lipson and members of the following organizations, each of whom will offer a very brief introduction to the group's activities: Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS); Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF); California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF); Homeless Garden Project; Committee for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA); California Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SAWG); Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF).

"Santa Cruz has long been at the forefront of sustainable agriculture, and the groups here are among the leaders of the movement nationally," said John Fisher, community outreach coordinator for CASFS. "We want people to have a chance to get to know us and to learn about the issues we're working on."

Organic strawberry shortcake will be served, and the video My Father's Garden will be screened. The hour-long film tells the stories of two farmers and their commitment to producing healthy food.

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