Food Forum

Co-Hosted by Bedford 2020
and Bedford Central School District

Top of the Crop Sponsors

24-Carrot Sponsors

14-Carrot Sponsors

Good Eggs

  • Blythdale Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s Cares Eat Well Be Well program
  • Andy King, Co founder of Inward Point
  • Polaner Selections – Boundary Breaks Vineyard
  • SunRaven Farm, Home of Slow Medicine
  • Captain Lawrence Brewery
  • Catskill Distilling  Company
  • Orchard Hill Cider Co.
  • Health-Ade Kombucha
  • Natural Awakenings Magazine
  • Thomas Fox and Sons Catering
  • Cascade Mountain Winery
  • Polaner Selections
  • Suburban Carting
  • Snow Hill Farm
  • Village Social
  • Marks Foods
  • Locali


Dig In to Hudson Valley Food

…at The Bedford 2020 Food Forum on March 4, 2017!

Mark Bittman with Bedford 2020 Executive Director Midge Iorio and Event Co-chairs Karen Simons and Olivia Farr

This major community event engaged over 900 attendees, 57 speakers and 80 exhibitors in local food’s many benefits and built awareness and support for our farmers, our food system, and for initiatives that increase food access for all and also for those that eliminate food waste.

Thank you to our sponsors, volunteers, speakers, expo participants, demonstration chefs, donors, and attendees who coordinated, supported and energized this fantastic event!

Click here to see the Schedule of the day (click on speaker names to see their bios). See above speaker and workshop tabs for resources provided from the event, if available. See below for some great photos!

Highlights included:

  • Keynote addresses from author and New York Times food journalist Mark Bittman and chef and Wholesome Wave founder Michel Nischan
  • Dynamic workshops and panel discussions
  • Demonstrations: Cooking! Gardening! Composting!
  • Fabulous food! Farm Market! Pop Up Bookstore!
  • Learning about Growing, Buying Sharing and Eating Local Food

Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote Speaker: Mark Bittman: Click here for an audio recording

Photo by Scott McDermott

Photo by Scott McDermott

Mark Bittman is the author of 20 acclaimed books, including the How to Cook Everything series, the award-winning Food Matters, and The New York Times number-one bestseller, VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00.

For more than two decades his popular and compelling stories appeared in the Times, where he was ultimately the lead food writer for the Sunday Magazine and became the country’s first food-focused Op-Ed columnist for a major news publication.

Bittman has starred in four television series, including Showtime’s Emmy-winning Years of Living Dangerously. He has written for nearly every major newspaper in the United States and many magazines, and has spoken at dozens of universities and conferences; his 2007 TED talk has more than a million views. In 2015 he was a distinguished fellow at the University of California (Berkeley); he is currently a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists and was recently appointed to the faculty of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Throughout his career Bittman has strived for the same goal: to make the food, in all its aspects, understandable.

Mid-Day Keynote Speaker: Michel Nischan

Michel Nischan is a chef and leader in the sustainable food movement, as well as a three-time James Beard Foundation Award winner. He is Founder, President and CEO of Wholesome Wave, Co-Founder of the Chefs Action Network, as well as Founder and Partner with the late actor Paul Newman of the former Dressing Room Restaurant. He and his Wholesome Wave team were successful at influencing legislative language for the recently passed Federal Farm Bill, supporting affordable access to healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables for low income consumers.


Food Forum 2017 Sessions

Click here and scroll down to see the Schedule of the day including workshops and panels and speaker bios.

GROW: The DIY in Local Food!

The Grow Track will inspire you to start or expand their own backyard gardens and grow your own food in a sustainable and healthy way.

Backyard to Table: Grow Your Own Food 101

Everyone can grow food but not everyone knows how! Join experts for an introductory workshop on the fun and tasty world of edible gardening. The workshop will include everything from the importance of healthy soil, container-friendly crops, raised beds, companion planting, varmint protection, and more. Whether you’re trying to learn more about tomatoes or just upgrade your pizza toppings, nothing is more local than your own backyard.

at 10am Lori Fontanes is a writer, photographer, backyard farmer, citizen scientist, member of the Rye Y Cross-District Wellness Committee, and co-head of the Rye Healthy Yard Program for the City of Rye Sustainability Committee.  

Click here for more resources from Lori and see these links:

at 12:45 Xenia D’Ambrosi is President and Owner, Sweet Earth Co. which specializes in designing and maintaining sustainable gardens and natural landscapes, as well as crop planning and management.

Healthy Soil: Grow Your Own Food Naturally

You can achieve an abundant garden and fight pests without toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides! Doug DeCandia and Mike Fedison, two of our area’s accomplished farmers, will explain how to feed the soil with homemade recipes for pro-and pre-biotics that go into foliar sprays and soil drenches to produce bountiful harvests. Learn how to combat pests with natural products and beneficial insects that prey on the bugs that eat our plants. Leave with the tools you’ll need for better soil, including recipes for safe and natural homemade remedies to use in your garden.

Doug DeCandia, Farm Growing Program Coordinator, Food Bank for Westchester
Mike Fedison, Farm Manager, Farmer and the Fish

Tiny Seeds, Big Differences: Local Seeds Matter

Seeds are one of our most valuable resources and can make all the difference in flavor, nutrition and plant health. Local seeds are disappearing and it is up to gardeners and eaters alike to steward one of our most valuable natural resources. Author and seed expert Shanyn Siegel will lead this conversation about seeds and the history of the seed industry, and how they both impact our food. Shanyn will explain the types of garden seeds available and share options for selecting the best seeds for organic gardens and a resilient regional food system. You will leave with a better understanding of the significance of our seed choices and some unusual heirloom seeds to try.

Shanyn Siegel, Olericulture and Seeds LLC, author of The Seed Garden: the Art and Practice of Seed Saving

Bees and Chickens

Suburban backyard micro-farmers are bringing bees and chickens home to roost in exchange for fresh eggs, local honey; a fun, rewarding endeavor! Come hear about the growing trend on how our backyards and community gardens can help drive local, sustainable agriculture and protect our primary pollinators—bees. Find out how you can get started in your own backyard or simply how to share the fruits of your neighbor’s labor!

Karen Sabath, Beekeeper; Co-Founder, Hudson Valley Natural Beekeepers Association
Annie Farrell, Chicken Farmer, Millstone Farm Homestead

BUY: How and Why to Buy Local Food.

What could be more important than why and how to buy local food? Come glean the insider’s, expert guide to smart food choices.

The Skinny on What’s Really in Our Food**

Think that the nutrition facts label on packaged foods tells you the whole story? Fuhgeddaboudit…not all food words are created equal. Learn to demystify food labels by understanding what the words on the packaging really mean. A Northern Westchester Hospital registered dietitian will walk you down the grocery aisle, teaching you how to decipher the Nutrition Facts panel, develop a critical eye for portion size and ingredients, and how to better understand what marketing slogans aren’t telling you.

Amy Rosenfeld, MS RD CDN, Dept. of Community Health, Education & Outreach at Northern Westchester Hospital

Smart and Savvy Food Shopping

Learn how to make healthy, nutritious and simple meals out of ingredients from local grocery stores and farmers markets. A chef, nutritionist and budget conscious shopper will guide you from market to table: how to shop seasonally, read labels for nutrition, and maximize value and budget. You will discover the best sources for fresh local food and strategies to make delicious meals that please every palate. Workshop participants will craft their own menus from the demonstration ingredients and will leave as “savvy shoppers.”

Chef Quint Smith, Founder,

Chef Jay Lippin, Executive Chef, Crabtree Kittlehouse

Brandon Saltz, High school teacher, father of two, family cook
Helene Rosenhouse-Romeo, RD, CDN, CLC, Nutritionist
Maria Lopez, Neighbors Link “Real Health for Real Life” Organic Food Program

Know Your Farmer AND Your Farmers Market

Get the inside scoop on how to shop like an insider sourcing the very best from local farms and farmers markets. Not all markets, farms, produce and farm products are created equal. We will learn what to ask (and not to ask!) your local farmer and how to navigate any farmers market, large or small. Learn to shop to find the best local produce, fruits, dairy, cheese and more!

Margaret Gifford, Watervine Impact

Deb Taft, Mobius Fields, Farmer and Co-leader of Westchester Growers Alliance
Annie Cauthren, Board Member, Tarrytown / Sleepy Hollow (TaSH) Farmer’s Market
Brian Mansour, Greenhouse Manager, Cabbage Hill Farm
Jen Vellano, Chef, Maison Privee

Farmer-side Chat With the Westchester Growers Alliance

The Westchester Growers Alliance was founded seven years ago to serve and strengthen the local agricultural community. This grassroots organization addresses the economic, social, environmental and education issues that farmers encounter as they start, expand and sustain their operations. Why do they dedicate their lives to small scale local farming? How can the consumer through their food decisions support these farmsteads? What is the future of farming in Westchester?

Moderator: Suzi Novak, InterGenerate

Co-leaders of the Westchester Growers Alliance:
Mimi Edelman, I & Me Farm
Deb Taft, Mobius Fields Food Growing Program Coordinator
Doug DeCandia, Food Growing Manager, Food Bank for Westchester

Local Farming: A Driver of Strong, Resilient Communities 

It takes a community.  Building a sustainable local food system means building an economically strong community. This panel will explore how, by supporting local sustainable farmers, you can improve the quality of life in the community, support food security and help save the planet. Local agriculture is good for open space, soil health, food security, sustainability, and the local economy!  Without local farms, we are completely dependent on the industrial food system, and we allow irresponsible use of our land to the point of no return to farming. How do we build an equitable and ecologically resilient local food system for the future? How can Westchester county meet the economic and social needs of communities while working in partnership with natural systems?

Moderator:  Ruth Katz,  formerly of Northeast Sustainable Agricultural Working Group
Sarah Brannen, Associate Director, Programs, Local Economies Project
Mimi Edelman, Farm Owner, I & Me Farm and President, Westchester Growers Alliance
Lori Ensinger, Executive Director, Westchester Land Trust
Davis Lindsey, Director, Growing Farmers Initiative, Stone Barns
EAT: You are what you…do!

This track celebrates progress to date and examines opportunities for advocacy around policies that affect food and our communities:

Food Lessons: Increasing Healthy Food in Our Schools

School lunch is not the “mystery meat” it used to be but an opportunity to fuel children’s bodies and minds today and teach them to make healthy choices tomorrow. Leading school food practitioners and influencers will help us imagine the possibilities. Learn about barriers, opportunities, equity, and methods to drive change for smarter, healthier choices by both kids and schools.

James Marple, InterGenerate board member and West Patent Elementary School garden founder

Nancy Easton, Executive Director, Wellness In the Schools (WITS)
Ava Bynum, Executive Director, Hudson Valley Seed
Kate Brashares, Executive Director, Edible Schoolyard NYC
Daniel Giusti, Executive Director, Brigaid

Farm Bill 101 and More: an Agricultural Conversation with U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney

The Federal government spends BILLIONS in taxpayer dollars on ensuring a safe, secure and accessible food supply for the country.  But where does our money go and why? In a conversation with Representative Maloney, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, we’ll explore how that money is spent.  Find out how federal legislation such as the Farm Bill directly impacts you—from sustainable farming to access to healthy food to your weekly family food budget.  Understand how the government feeds our nation, supports New York farmers, impacts the local food system and shapes our community. Learn what’s up for debate in the new congress and specific ways you can get involved.

Click here for a Farm Bill Primer


Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney represents New York’s 18th district in the U.S. House of Representatives and was first elected in November 2012. Rep. Maloney currently serves on the House Agriculture Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Margot Pollans, Assistant Professor of Law, Elisabeth Haub Law at Pace University, Faculty Director, Pace-NRDC Food Law Initiative

Planet and Plate: Factory Farming’s Impact on the Climate**

There is a complex set of connections between agriculture and climate change: global warming reduces food production, food production generates greenhouse gases, and drilling and transporting fossil fuels threaten farms. Join us for a discussion of the problem and the solutions, and learn how you can get involved in protecting our food and world from climate change.

Eric Weltman, Senior Organizer, Food and Water Watch

Local Impact: How to be a Local Food Advocate**

From labeling GMOs to banning fracking, Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit environmental organization, opposes corporate control and abuse of our most vital resources. Join us for a discussion of how to organize a powerful grassroots campaign and make real change in your community. In this session, we’ll identify effective strategies for engaging community members and influencing policymakers to protect our food, water and climate. We will cover topics like writing a letter to the editor, meeting with a legislator/administrator/decision maker, circulating a petition, and more. Fiona Mitchell, local activist and Bedford 2020 Waste and Recycling Task Force member, will share her experiences advocating for Leave Leaves Alone and a new project that attendees might want to support!  Come hear how to affect change!

Greta Zarro, Organizer, Food & Water Watch
Fiona Mitchell, Bedford 2020 Waste and Recycling Task Force and founder of Leave Leaves Alone

SHARE, Don’t Waste!

This track aims to help attendees know about hunger in our area and discuss ways forward to bring local food to everyone and to avoid food waste:

Feed the Hungry: Local Success Stories

Almost one in five people in Westchester struggle to put food on the table. How is this possible, and what can we do about it? Come learn how organizations in Northern Westchester are tackling this problem. Key players in the field of food justice will share challenges and successes. Find out how you can help tackle hunger in our area.

Moderator: Stephanie E. Kupferman

David Juros, Pleasantville Community Garden and Hillside Food Outreach
Clare Murray, The Community Center of Northern Westchester
Peggy Clarke, InterGenerate
Michelle Graham, Hilltop Hanover Farm
Laura Desmarais, The Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry
Wendy Webb-Weber, Sharing Works

Waste Not!

Americans casually throw away huge amounts of food waste each day. Learn from White House presenter and Baldor Specialty Foods’ Executive Thomas McQuillan’s how we can rethink and reuse food waste. Food scraps have value! From companies to communities to households, get educated on how we can take action and turn our community’s food waste into gold.

Thomas McQuillan, Chef, Sustainability Leader and Special Project Director, Baldor Specialty Foods

Food Rescue

Local restaurants, stores and other commercial operations throw away thousands of pounds of perfectly good food every day. Can anything be done about it? The answer is YES, and representatives from three non-profits dedicated to reducing both food waste and hunger will explain how they “rescue” food from grocery stores, restaurants and other sources. They and their army of volunteers collect food and redistribute it to people in need. Learn how to support their work and make a difference in addressing hunger in Northern Westchester.

Moderator: Suzi Novak

Melissa Spiesman, National Site Director, Food Rescue US
Martha Elder, Second Chance Foods 
Erica Youngren, County Harvest

Meal Planning and Prep to Reconsider Food Waste: A Cooking Workshop**

It is time to rethink food waste, one vegetable at a time!  Experts from Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture will help us consider what we waste, and enjoy more of what we buy.  In this workshop, participants will prepare the ingredients and cook a dish that tells a larger story about food waste.  

Rene Marion, Director of Education, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

OTHER topics of interest to attendees:

Food, and Doing What You Love**

Do you get so excited about local food that you want to base your career around it? Come hear from local participants in the food system about their careers, how they work together and how they collaborate as part of the whole. Farmers, chefs, buyers, businesses and nonprofits, they all play a role in a sustainable food system.

For more information following the event: click here for some resources provided by our panelists:

Moderator: Jill Isenbarger, Executive Director, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture


Denise Bauer, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Food Studies at the Culinary Institute of America
Stephen Mancini, Owner, Restaurant North
Stiles R. Najac, Food Security Coordinator, GleanMobile, Farm To School, Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County
Jarret Nelson
, Vegetable Production Manager, Glynwood

The History of Local Food in the Hudson Valley

Join local historians and food movement activists in exploring the past, present and future of farming and eating local. The Hudson Valley is one of the oldest agricultural areas and “eating local” is nothing new! Author and food historian Peter G. Rose will explore the history of eating local in this geographic region from Native Americans to the Dutch. Learn about our area’s agricultural products and the history of their shipment to New York State markets. Explore the 164 year history of the Bedford Farmers Club and what’s happening with local agriculture today.

Peter G. Rose, Author and Food Historian
Mary Farley, Bedford Farmers Club
Jeff Cordulack, CT-NOFA
Local Farmer tbd


**Workshops recommended for students but also appropriate for adults.


March 4, 2017

8:00am Registration Opens
8:30 am Expo Opens
9:00 am 9:45 am Welcome and Opening Keynote: Mark Bittman
10:00 am 10:50 am Session #1 – Workshop or Expo/Lunch
11:00 am 11:50 am Session #2 – Workshop or Expo/Lunch
12:00 noon 12:30 pm Keynote Address: Michel Nischan
12:45 pm 1:35 pm Session #3 – Workshop or Expo/Lunch
1:45 pm 2:35 pm Session #4 – Workshop or Expo/Lunch
3:00 pm Expo Closes

In addition to many exhibitors doing demos throughout the day, click here to see the schedule of demonstrations!


Wow, do we have an Expo for you! An amazing line up of vendors and organizations focused on growing, buying, sharing, not wasting, and advocating for the sustainability and health benefits of local food will each bring unique, interactive and engaging opportunities for everyone at the Food Forum.  The Expo is SOLD OUT.  Expo Exhibitors Info Here.

Click here for the Demo Schedule and Links to Resources

Expo Participants will include:


Gardening at home, chickens, bees, composting, seeds, food saving, cooking

  • Fox Lane Garden Club
  • Hilltop Hanover Farm
  • Hopp Ground Garden Club
  • Hudson Valley Natural Beekeepers
  • InterGenerate
  • Mill River Supply
  • The Nature of Things
  • CT-NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association)
  • Rusticus Garden Club
  • Seedshed
  • Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
  • Tower Gardens by Juice Plus

Local products, CSAs, local farms, markets, restaurants

  • Alpacatrax
  • Arogya Tea / Arogya Holistic Healing
  • The Blue Pig
  • Cabbage Hill Farm
  • Eco-Bag Products
  • Epilogue Woods
  • Fable:  From Farm To Table
  • Field Goods
  • Ironwood Farm
  • JD Farms
  • Jnana Organics
  • John Boy’s Farm
  • Kale-io the QuintEsensual Snack
  • Katonah Juice
  • Letterbox Farm Collective
  • Lineage Farm
  • Mercurio Farms Eleanor’s Best
  • Pound Ridge Organics and Slow Food Metro North
  • Reading Room
  • Roxbury Farm
  • Ryder Farm Cottage Industries
  • Stoneledge Farm LLC
  • Stop and Shop
  • Susie’s Smart Cookie
  • ULIV Java and The Gym @ Body Fit

Health and Wellness

  • Blythedale Children’s Hospital Eat Well, Be Well Program
  • Dr Kaushiks Ayurvedic & Naturopathic Clinic
  • Hudson Valley Natural Health
  • Mount Kisco Child Care Center’s Feed Me Fresh
  • Northen Westchester Hospital
  • O2 Living
  • SunRaven, Home of Slow Medicine


  • Bedford 2020 Waste and Recycling Task Force
  • Culinary Institute of America
  • Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability, Columbia University
  • Empire Clean Cities
  • 511 NY Rideshare
  • Food and Water Watch
  • Local Farms Fund
  • The Neighborherd
  • Pace-NRDC Food Law Initiative and Pace Food and Beverage Law Clinic
  • Westchester Land Trust
  • Westmoreland Sanctuary
  • Wholesome Wave
  • Yorktown Grange

Hunger relief through food rescue and food sharing, eliminating food waste

  • Grabz: Don’t Waste It, Grab It!
  • Hilltop Hanover Farm
  • Our New Way Garden
  • Pleasantville Community Garden/Hillside Food Outreach
  • Second Chance Foods
  • Sharing Works
  • The Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry
  • Volunteer New York!’s Hunger Relief Corps
  • BrightHome Energy Solutions
  • Edward Jones
  • Energize NY
  • Healthy Home Energy & Consulting
  • Stop and Shop
  • Sunrise Solar Solutions LLC
  • Sustainable Westchester
  • The Power Market
Pop-Up Bookstore
  • Little Joe’s Books
  • Natural Awakenings
  • Big Bang Coffee Roasterz


Thank you to our Sponsors!

The Event is Hosted by
  • Bedford 2020 and Bedford Central School District
Top of the Crop Sponsors:
  • Northern Westchester Hospital, Northwell Health
  • Stop and Shop NY Metro Division
  • Bambi’s Bar at the Bedford Playhouse
  • Bedford Magazine/Town Vibe
24 Carrot Sponsors:
  • Curtis Instruments
  • Clark Associates Funeral Home
14 Carrot Sponsors:
  • Ladle of Love
  • Healthy Home Energy & Consulting
Sponsors are critical to the success of this event!

We anticipate up to 1,000 attendees from Northern Westchester and Connecticut will attend, and many more will see our communications and media as a result of the event.

Our 40 Community partners will promote this event to tens of thousands of highly-engaged area residents who are interested in local food! Sponsors will have a prominent placement in all of our communications and at the expo.

If you are interested in sponsoring the Bedford 2020 Local Food Forum, click here for more information.


Community Partners are an important part of our event. We appreciate their help communicating information, providing volunteers, and supporting the mission of the Food Forum. 

We thank the following Community Partners for their support!

(list in formation)

If you would like to be a partner organization, please click here for more information.

Teen Track

Teen Track at the Food Forum

We encourage high school students to attend! High School students may register for free. Email us for free high school student registration.

Teen Track Workshops and Panels:

The Skinny on What’s Really in Our Food
Think that the nutrition facts label on packaged foods tells you the whole story? Fuhgeddaboudit…not all food words are created equal. This workshop will help you understand food labels, develop a critical eye for the tricks of packaged food sellers, better understand what marketing slogans aren’t telling you.

Planet and Plate: Factory Farming’s Impact on the Climate
Make the connections between agriculture and climate change! Join us for a discussion of the problem and the solutions, and learn how you can get involved in protecting our food and world from climate change.

Local Impact: How to be a Local Food Advocate
From labeling GMOs to banning fracking, Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit environmental organization, opposes corporate control and abuse of our most vital resources. Join us for a discussion of how to organize a powerful grassroots campaign and make real change in your community.

Meal Planning and Prep to Reconsider Food Waste: A Cooking Workshop
Rethink food waste, one vegetable at a time!  Experts from Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture will help us consider what we waste, and enjoy more of what we buy.  In this workshop, participants will prepare the ingredients and cook a dish that tells a larger story about food waste.

Food, and Doing What You Love (Careers in Food)
Come hear from a chef, restaurant owner, buyer, entrepreneur, a nonprofit, and a farmer about what they do, why they do it, and how they all play a role in a sustainable food system.

The Expo:

A interactive and dynamic experience for students. Gardening demos, cooking demos, a pop up bookstore, a farmers market, and organizations like Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, the Culinary Institute of America, Food and Water Watch, Pace Law School, Fox Lane Garden Club and more promoting student programs and opportunities!

View the full list of workshops and keynote addresses on the main page. Many of those may be of interest to high school students as well!

Register Today

High school students may register for workshops for free, however to purchase the Ladle of Love lunch the fee is $10.  Email us about registering.

We anticipate this event will sell out and the student workshops are in some of the smaller capacity rooms so we encourage students who want to attend to register today!


If students would like to volunteer, please email us and let us know! Lunch will be provided to volunteers and students receive community service hours for volunteering.