The Mile High Business Alliance is hosting the third annual Local Food Summit March 2 and 3 at Johnson & Wales University. More than fifty area organizations have signed on to participate in the event, which will provide an opportunity for farmers, chefs, distributors, government officials, landowners, food advocates and other stakeholders to connect. The program includes presentations by Mayor Michael Hancock, “Lunch Lady” Ann Cooper, and Ietef Vita (aka DJ Cavem), an OG (organic gardener) and founder of Going Green Living Bling, who’s about to release his sixth album as well as a cookbook, Damn Near Raw, written with his wife, Alkemia.
Vita, who grew up in Five Points, planted his first garden — two apricot trees — when he was four, and now uses hip-hop to teach kids in his neighborhood about healthy eating; his rap about kale earned a spot in O magazine. “You need a little swagger with these kids,” he says. “This genre creates lots of gangstas. Why not gardeners?” At 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3, he'll show his short documentary, From Gangs to Gardens, for the first time in Denver; it premiered at the Hollywood Film Festival in October. And at 8:45 he'll be joined by Alkemia, for a youth panel, "Hip Hop is Green," with Earth Guardians, Hashaqueena Earth, and one of students from his Brown Rice and Broccoli project.
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In addition to talks, the summit will include two food exhibitions, a free CSA Fair and a screening of Food Truck at the Sie FilmCenter. Registration is available on a sliding scale starting at $25 — but the event tends to sell out, so sign up now. For more information, go to milehighbiz.org/local.