Supporting local food systems by connecting community, food & place
As a former chef, I see society's most pressing issues through a food justice lens. Upon moving to Greenwich, CT after living in the Bay Area for 24 years, I noticed that the food systems sector wasn't adequately represented or understood in the context of racial inequity, public health, biodiversity loss and climate change. A bridge building entity for partners was missing. I established The Foodshed Network (TFN) in 2020, to meet the need for stronger connectivity, to provide space for education and advocacy, and to amplify the many values based initiatives in Greenwich and the greater Fairfield County area.
Alongside my work for TFN, I serve on the Greenwich Sustainability Committee as the Food Systems-Sector Chair, as a member of the Greenwich Community Garden Advisory Board and as a member of the Representative Town Meeting. Statewide, I participate in initiatives such as Stamford Food Collaborative, Connecticut Food System Alliance, CT Farm to School Collaborative and Eastern CT Regional Food System Partnership. Regional initiatives, FSNE's Food System Communicators Community of Practice and national initiatives, North American Food System Network Production Circle and the Wallace Center's Food System Leadership Network.
~ Ali Ghiorse
Savory Thymes was a philanthropic initiative, co-founded by myself and Hans Schoepflin, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Founder of the Panta Rhea Foundation. Savory Thymes provided fully supported; thoughtfully designed events, for artists and grass-roots social and environmental justice organizations. At each event, activists, artists, enthusiasts, leaders and philanthropists convened within the inspirational landscape of Hillside Gardens and Apiary, and cross-pollinated ideas, built alliances and leveraged resources. Beauty, abundance, generosity, inclusivity and deep care for community, and the earth, were at the heart of our shared values.
For over 13 years, I immersed myself in the Bay Area food culture. Through my work, I cultivated relationships with the growers, producers and artisans that provided food for our events. Savory Thymes’ culinary success is due to the abundant varieties, breeds, and flavors of the food purchased from the farmers market.
My relationships with the farmers, producers and the communities that Savory Thymes supported, influenced my lasting advocacy for food justice and the importance of fostering regional foodsheds.