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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sol Food Mobile Farm: Leaves Durham 

Have you heard about the Sol Food Mobile Farm?

If not, you should.

It is one more fabulous, innovative, concerned group of Durham citizens. Four Durham School of the Arts graduates, Eliza Bordley, Reid Rosemond, Ellen Duda and Dylan Hammond are taking a biofuel1 powered bus that they converted on a six month, 9,000 mile, nationwide tour. They are fiscally supported by Zomppa, a food education and advocacy non-profit(and your Kickstarter cash).

This is the roof of the bus...
It is planted as part of a scheme to regulate the temperature inside the vehicle.
Photo credit Scenes from my Lunch Hour

The Clarion Content sat down with this fascinating foursome for an interview yesterday, on the bus that will serve as their home and sleeping quarters, as they prepared to embark on their nationwide tour. They depart from their south central Durham farm base today, first stop Asheville.

Their journey will include ten workshops and as many fifty expos. It is a non-paying gig so the group will be working as many farm trades, farm stays, and farmer's markets as they can. They will also be growing herbs, vermacomposting and stocking up on staples like beans, corn meal and polenta as they hit the road.

During their workshops they will construct community gardens with local children and interested adults. The Sol Food Farm team already has experience in this arena. They partnered with several Durham school of the Arts teachers, including another DSA alum and high school pal, Victor Cadilla, now a DSA history teacher, to found the school's Urban Farm Club. Together with students they built eight raised beds and planted an herb and vegetable garden.

The Sol Food team has amazing plans. They are headed for some fantastic destinations and wonderful collaborations, including, in Maine with renown agricultural researcher and educator, Elliot Coleman, author of The Four Season Harvest.

One of their goals is to bring the message to adults and kids alike that local agriculture exists. Urban farming is possible. Food does not have to be massed produced and shipped across country. As Rosemond put it, "We are doing it out love, it is what we are into."

They are also partnering with an incredible Durham start-up called In R Food that analyzes, among many other things, the distance a product has traveled to market, what's in it and what are the locally produced alternatives.

Left to right Ellen Duda, Dylan Hammond, Eliza Bordley and Reid Rosemond.
Photo credit Scenes from my Lunch Hour

Durham, you never cease to amaze.

Sol Food Mobile Farm will be filing more dispatches from the road. We wish them well. The Clarion Content will keep you updated on their fabulous journey. We will be running a full length feature on the crew, their bus and the mission next week. Stay tuned.

For now, check out more pictures of the Sol Food Mobile Farm bus and crew at Scenes from my Lunch Hour.

1 Technically waste vegetable oil, which is even better than a many a regular biofuel, because it never goes through processing, it just goes straight from the restaurant's fryer into the fuel tanks.

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