From Soil to City

The Good Fest Mini Conference

This year’s conference focuses on How Foods and Farms Nourish: from the ways soil health affects our body to cooking techniques that enhance a food’s nutrition.

The Good Fest Mini Conference is ideal for anyone who is interested in building a deeper connection with food. The workshops are designed in a way to encourage group discussion and to create a space that is informal and fun for participants to meet other like-minded people.

Participants will receive complimentary beer throughout the event thanks to Toast Ales!


Opening Panel Discussion
Panelists – Oko Farms, League of Kitchens, Taproot Farm, Chalk Point Kitchen, La Moringa
Facilitator – Ora Wise,
Harvest + Revel
Explore different viewpoints of our food system of How Foods and Farms Nourish. Each panelists will be given time to discuss how our conference theme plays a part in their life and community. We will then break into groups based on the different themes brought up by our panelists, and share what resonated to us.

Drink Free Beer, Fight Food Waste
Toast Ale 
Taste and learn how the parts of bread loaves we normally toss can be transformed into quality craft BEER! This home-brew demo will show how you can personally apply Toast Ale’s rev-ALE-utionary process of turning surplus bread into beer by combining it with malted barley and hop flowers. It wouldn’t be a true beer demo without samples of the real deal!! Support Toast’s Indiegogo campaign ahead of the event if you want to see this sudsy solution to food waste come to life in NYC!
You will have the opportunity to enjoy complimentary Toast Ale throughout the conference day.

Soil Health and Body Health
Farmer Zach Wolf
The health of a farm’s soil has a direct relationship to the type of nutrients your body absorbs and your gut flora. They are deeply connected and in fact co-evolve, so the healthier the soil, the healthier you are. Explore techniques farmers implement to provide you with food at its peak nutrition and learn how foods and farms can have an impact on your body, mind, and spirit.

The Interplay of Food, Our Digestion, and How We Eat to Live a Healthy Life
Chef Richard LaMarita and Dr. Robert Graham

In this workshop we will look at the idea of balance and taste variety from an ancient and modern perspective and connect how a strong gut microbiome and mindful eating all play an important part in our health. We will look at these ideas from the viewpoint of a chef & a doctor and offer tips on strengthening our digestion system and cover simple mindful eating habits that can keep us on track to better assimilate our food, therefore putting less stress on the body and environment.

The workshop will include a food demo that illustrates the different tastes & their unity. You will learn how to prepare the following dishes and be able to sample them!
Jasmine Green Tea Chai.
Roast Cauliflower with Tumeric, Pickled Cabbage & Pine Nuts.
Crostini with Fresh Ricotta, Tuscan Kale & Pickled Radish
Roast Cauliflower with Tumeric, Pickled Cabbage & Pine Nuts.

After Party!
Join us at Butter and Scotch just a few blocks away from the conference for seasonal Arugula Cocktails! Conference participants will receive $2 off their drink. Portion of proceeds go to support the Ali Forney Center.


During lunch, sit down with Taproot Farm, Glynwood Farm, and Fleishers Butchery or one of our panelists/workshop leaders. We hope you can come with questions for our food experts and make friends with other New Yorkers.

Food is available for purchase at Bergn Beer Hall. Friends of Farmer ticketholders will receive complimentary lunch courtesy of Landhaus with salad mix donated by one of our Winter farm partners, Radicle Salad.

Farmer Zach Wolf
Zach Wolf grew up working on farms in Northwest Connecticut.  He has a background in ecological research, with a degree in Biology from Columbia University.  He has dedicated his work in agriculture and the food movement toward expanding ecologically-based land stewardship and farmer training.  He has worked with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, consulting on Conservation-Agriculture Master Plans throughout the US.  He is the former Field Manager and Director of the Growing Farmers Initiative at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.  He has also facilitated the Farm Beginning Program at Hawthorne Valley Farm, continuing to help educate and train the next generation of farmers.  Over the past seven years he has developed the Farm at the Locusts on Hudson, an 80-acre farm and historic property.  At the Locusts, he has helped develop an apprenticeship program, farmer-chef collaborations and the reintegration of agriculture into New York State conservation lands. Wolf is the Director of Farm Programs at Glynwood.

Dr. Robert Graham
Robert Graham is a Harvard-trained and dual board-certified physician in internal and integrative medicine. He has dedicated his career to exploring the connections between food and health; so he grows, cooks, and prescribes food as medicine. Chef Richard LaMarita and Dr. Graham have been collaborating for five years teaching over 250 doctors how to cook whole food plant-based diets. He is the co-founder of Fresh Med an integrative medicine practice in Brooklyn and a TedxManhattan speaker.

Chef Richard Lamarita
Richard is a part-time instructor and has taught at NGI since 1994. In addition to having worked in top NYC restaurants and as a private chef for many notable families, Richard has been a student and practitioner of Ayurveda for 35 years. Chef Richard specializes in teaching Ayurveda and Indian Cuisine.


Sonya Kharas, League of Kitchens
Sonya Kharas is the Program Manager for the League of Kitchens–a unique cooking school in NYC where immigrants teach intimate cooking workshops in their homes, and participants encounter a new culture, cuisine, and neighborhood with every experience. Sonya brings to the League of Kitchens her personal experience as the daughter of a Parsi immigrant and a Jewish New Yorker, a love of cooking for friends and family, and a commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusivity in New York City. Prior to joining the League of Kitchens, Sonya managed the farm-to-food pantry program at Just Food and worked more broadly to make sure that good, healthy, culturally appropriate food is affordable and accessible to all. She received her MA in Food Studies from New York University and has a BA in Art History from Wesleyan University.

Farmer George, Taproot Farm
George Brittenburg of Taproot Farm in Shoemakersville, PA grows the kind of food you can eat right there in the field. George is an innovator in his field and speaks at conferences about growing microgreens as a way to extend the farm season. He believe deeply in the power of organic natural farming practices and building a community of people who respect the land, the farmers who work the fields, and the customers who invest in the health of their families and the planet. George lives across the street from Taproot Farm with his wife and two daughters.

Victor Angel, La Moringa
Victor is a Biomedical Engineer turned farmer. After spending his early career providing communities worldwide with zero-carbon electricity, he now leads La Moringa – a Benefit Corporation focused on the study of Moringa Oleifera, one of the world’s most nutritious crops.

As both scientists and plant lovers, La Moringa’s mission is to develop renewable, plant-based solutions for today’s most pressing challenges. Their farm-laboratory in Yautepec, Mexico is currently focused on natural water purification, carbon farming and the development of zero-waste biomaterials.

Chef Adam Maciejewski, Chalk Point Kitchen

Chef Adam Maciejewski, the newly appointed Executive Chef at Chalk Point Kitchen, grew up in the rural town of Dudley, Massachusetts. From the beginning he was an avid nature-lover, spending his childhood outdoors cultivating a deep connection to the environment around him. He developed a passion for cooking with locally-sourced, sustainably-farmed ingredients working his first job at a lobster shop. A culinary prodigy, at just 16 years of age, Chef Maciejewski left high school to attend the culinary acclaimed school at Johnson & Wales University. It was under the mentorship of celebrated Executive Chef Alina Eisenhauer at Sweet Kitchen and Bar in Massachusetts that Chef Maciejewski learned the art of farm-to-table cooking.

After joining Chalk Point Kitchen, Chef Maciejewski has forged bonds with local, heritage, and organic food providers, lowering the carbon foot print even further to ensure only the freshest ingredients, building relationships with Brooklyn Grange Farm, Brooklyn’s Square Roots, Brooklyn’s Local Roots and BeeKind Rooftop Farms highlighted on Chalk Point Kitchen’s #WeThePeaple Spring Menu. He ascribes by what he calls “authentic hospitality, the kind that comes from the heart” and his dishes mirror this ethos of integrity. In the kitchen Chef Maciejewski loves to work with delicate citrus flavors and fresh herbs to create plates high in antioxidants and super foods. His gentle nature is reflected in his cooking style, one that honors the origins of each ingredient and gently balances them with thoughtful construction.

With Chef Maciejewski’s commitment in local sourcing combined with Chalk Point Kitchen’s and indieFORK’s ethos to supporting local entrepreneurs and farmers it proves to be the perfect partnership.

Yemi Amu, Oko Farms
Yemi Amu is the co-founder of Oko Farms and the Farm Manager at the Moore Street Farm. She directs all of Oko Farms’ programs including education, design/build projects and community related activities.

She has facilitated the creation and maintenance of 20 edible spaces (in NYC) at schools and community organizations including a rooftop farm in Crown Heights and a 1/4 acre farm at the Weeksville Heritage Center that included poultry and bees.

Ora Wise, Harvest & Revel
Ora Wise directed youth leadership programs in NYC, Detroit, and Palestine for over a decade before she went south to open an organic shaved ice & popsicle stand on the Gulf of Mexico. She returned to become the head chef of Harvest & Revel, a catering, private events, & pop up company run by a team of women based in Brooklyn. This year Ora has helped to launch the first Food Matters Track at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit. Through hands-on workshops, field trips, roundtable discussions, zine-making, sharing recipes and meals, participants will explore personal and collective food stories and use media-based practices to examine food and its many connections to resistance and liberation.  She also co-coordinates FIG (Food Issues Group), a monthly food industry study group investigating issues of sustainability and social justice and developing collaborative strategies for how to implement these goals in our own businesses.


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