Local Beet Editor and Publisher Robert Gardner, one of the founding members of LTHForum.com, loves to eat. He’s discovered that the way to eating bliss is by eating local. Beyond pleasing the palate, Gardner and his family have discovered the many other benefits from eating local. Several years ago now, he and his family entered a quest to eat (nearly) all their food from the Upper Midwest, a food zone Gardner calls the Big Ten Conference. Gardner started chronicling his eat local habits on a blog, www.vitalinformation.blogspot.com, and he was one of the original contributors to the Eat Local Challenge blog (www.eatlocalchallenge.com ). In the summer of 2008, fellow foodie and blogger, Michael Morowitz suggested they team up and expand the noodlings of one locavore. They launched the Local Beet (www.thelocalbeet.com) to provide a Practical Approach to Local Eating. The site quickly became the premier resource for those seeking to eat good foods. Readers found the most complete farmer’s market finder in the Chicago area, including markets stretching beyond Illinois’s boundaries. They published a guide to CSAs (community supported agriculture farmers). Each week, the Local Beet provides a Local Calendar highlighting what’s in season, special markets, and other events of interest. The Weekly Harvest collects links from around the world of local eating. Various other news and events are captured on the Local Beet’s Blog. Michael and Rob recruited fellow travelers to give expertise on a variety of topics including local beer and wine, cheesemaking, foraging and home canning. Rob has worked with a variety of groups and programs building better local food systems. He worked closely with the Eli’s Farmer’s Market and their local food lecture series. He was on the Steering Committee for the Slow Food Chicago Daley Plaza Eat-In, and he has served as Moderator for Green City Market’s Locavore Challenge Town Hall. He has served on the Advisory Board for FamilyFarmed's Good Food Festival (formerly the Expo). In 2010, Rob was elected to the Board of Directors of Slow Food Chicago. Rob actively seeks to take the message of eating local and the Local Beet’s mission of a practical approach, to a wider audience. He contributed an essay to the Chicago Tribune’s Perspective section, and he as spoken to a range of audiences including North Park College, FamilyFarmed Expo, League of Woman Voters, and Midwest Foodways Alliance. Rob and his family’s eat local adventures have been featured on TV, radio and the newspaper including a segment on ABC’s LivewellHD network’s “Save My Planet”, the Chicago Sun Times, Medill News Service and the Oak Park Wednesday Journal. He has appeared on radio segments for WBEZ and WCPT and a TV segment for WBBM. He continues to relate the eat local lifestyle in the Local Family column on the Local Beet.
Posts by Rob Gardner: