We hosted Green Drinks at Fibonacci Brewing to spotlight National Farmers' Market Week and the Farm Bill.
Green Umbrella hosts its Green Drinks happy hour once a month at venues throughout the Greater Cincinnati area as an opportunity for sustainability-minded folks to network in a less formal environment.
August's Green Drinks aligned with National Farmers' Market Week, a week that celebrates the impact and importance of farmers markets as regional direct-to-consumer sales hubs that support small- and medium-sized farmers. Another happy coincidence was that Fibonacci Brewing hosts its own farmers market on the first Sunday of each month throughout the growing season!
Why not combine the celebrations?! That was exactly what we did, so we could strengthen networks and amplify the stories within our regional food system.
Fibonacci Brewing and Its History
Fibonacci Brewing is a nanobrewery and urban farm in the middle of Mt. Healthy, OH. The brewery is majority woman-owned and chooses to source most ingredients for its beer locally. The onsite farm includes goats, chickens, and honeybees.
Part of Fibonacci's mission is to "value equity and inclusion within our business and community, and we intentionally welcome all" and to do its part in addressing the food insecurity that Mt. Healthy residents face. This includes hosting a monthly farmers' market from May through November on the first Sunday of each month from 12 pm to 3 pm at the brewery. The farmers' market accepts SNAP and Produce Perks from eligible customers. Fibonacci Brewing also hosts additional events, which you can check out on their calendar!
Farmers and Food System Experts at Green Drinks
To celebrate National Farmers' Market Week with us, we invited a panel of local food systems experts for an informal conversation in the beer garden. Our four speakers were:
Betty Bollas, majority owner of Fibonacci Brewing
Jim Lowenburg, owner and farmer of Running Creek Farm
Tina Barger, owner and farmer of The Shroomery
Deborah Jordan, operator of The CORV Local Food Guide
Each of them discussed how farmers' markets are critical to their work and to our regional food system. What a great spotlight for National Farmers' Market Week!
National Farmers' Market Week and the Farm Bill
Our speakers and our Backbone Support team member, Amanda, connected the value of farmers' markets to the advocacy opportunities we have right now for the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill will be reauthorized later in 2023 or early 2024.
One key infrastructural need that we can support in the upcoming Farm Bill is funding and other resources for farmers' markets and other direct-to-consumer sales hubs. These sales hubs help us meet needs across our regional food system by supporting smaller farming operations and connecting producers and other vendors to low-income consumers, who need access to fresh, regional fruits and veggies.
With the Farm Bill under negotiation, this year's National Farmers' Market Week was an important opportunity to advocate for an equitable Farm Bill that supports farmers and consumers alike. And we did it while enjoying the company of friends, colleagues, and food systems experts in the beer garden—who said policy has to be dry?
Thanks to our guest speakers and our hosts at Fibonacci!