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. We select topics we believe are necessary and unique to our food system and are concepts that inspire the work at Local Roots NYC for the upcoming year.

Attendees include all interested in a deeper relationship with food – from eaters, CSA members, home chefs, food producers, farmers, gardeners, chefs, nutritionists, and more.

Reserve your ticket here.


Opening Panel Discussion
Panelists – Trash Is For Tossers, 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.

Farm Inspired Dance Quick Session!
Mikey Azzara, founder of Zone 7

Farming involves a lot of repetitive movement, and the work needs to be accomplished smoothly and efficiently. Mikey will lead the group in learning key farming movements used on local farms. We will break up into groups and make these movements your own.

Soil Health and Body Health
Farmer Zach Wolf

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 in Living a Healthy Life: a Collaboration of a Chef and a Doctor 
Chef Richard LaMarita and Dr. Robert GrahamIn 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.

Transparency Issues in Food



During lunch, sit down with a Local Roots NYC farmer 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.


Lauren Singer
Mastermind behind Trash is For Tossers, a project where Singer fit 4 years of trash into one tiny jar, and founder of The Simply Co. Watch her Ted Talk and get inspired to live a zero waste life.

Sonya Kharas
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.
Watch as Stephen Colbert cooks with League of Kitchens!



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