What Can Be: For many rural communities it can be hard to see opportunities for growth, or even stability, in the wake of steady economic decline and the exodus of big industries. Carla Norwood and Gabe Cummings believe plenty of opportunity exists where it always has: in the landscape and people that surround them. Their rural-based nonprofit, Working Landscapes, has nurtured a local food system and a regional supply network that has proven sustainable over the past five years. What Can Be examines their economic redevelopment project in detail, the public and private partners involved and how their model could be replicated to develop complementary processing facilities and opportunities for economic resilience in other rural communities.
What Can Be was shown at a series of three Innovations in Economic Development through Local Foods events across the state in Fall 2017, in addition to its premiere in Warrenton, North Carolina and a screening at Community Food Strategies’ Statewide Food Gathering in November 2017. It has also been accepted for a screening at the NC American Planning Association’s September 2018 meeting where it will be followed by a discussion panel featuring the film’s participants. “The film shows the opportunity to support a regional food economy through efficient delivery routes and dynamic processing facilities,” says Laura Lauffer, NCGT Extension and Outreach Program Manager.
Ugly & Wild: Learning to Love N.C. Fish: Even though your mama said, “there are many fish in the sea,” we often seek out what we already know. Locals Seafood is an inland fish house in Raleigh, North Carolina, that believes love awaits those who are willing to take a chance with the lesser-known, but ultra fresh, bounty caught off their coast. Over the last decade nearly 40% of N.C. fish houses have closed due to increasing demand for imported seafood; which is familiar and cheap, but from obscure sources using unknown practices. UGLY & WILD explores how Locals Seafood is creating new connections with venerable coastal fishing families to bring one of the state’s last wild foods to a dinner plate near you. After all, true beauty is fried on the inside.
Ugly & Wild has been shown at seven screenings – including universities, restaurants, a food co-op, and the NC Catch Summit – attended by over 300 people. ” The goals of these events were to increase markets for North Carolina’s fishers by increasing consumer familiarity with underutilized species and also by increasing the willingness of consumers as well as Dining Services to seek out North Carolina-caught seafood and to source a greater variety of species,” says Robyn Stout, Statewide Coordinator of the NC 10% Campaign.