On Tomatoes, TEDx Talks, and Tweets

Learn more about the aspiring #socialenterprise, @farmtofreezermd through our new twitter account! You can check out our twitter handle @farmtofreezermd, and join the conversation about reducing food waste, nutritious meals for homeless populations, community service, and all other values that Farm to Freezer embodies. We’re excited about all of the conversations we’ll have, and are looking forward to your comments and ideas.

One of our first adventures with our new twitter handle was participating with TEDxManhattan in a tweetchat about our upcoming presentation at TedXManhattan’s Changing the Way We Eat conference  – below are some highlights from the  January 24th chat for you to check out: Continue reading

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Join us at Bethesda Green for a TedXManhattan viewing party!

Dear Friends of Farm to Freezer,

The news has travelled far and wide that Farm to Freezer will be among this year’s ideas worth sharing at TEDxManhattan’s “Changing the Way We Eat” conference. Cheryl Kollin will present our innovative startup on the TEDx stage. Although we all can’t travel to see her present in New York, co-hosts Bethesda Green and Full Plate Ventures invite you to our own local viewing party right here in Bethesda. The day-long conference will be streamed live from New York on the two viewing screens at Bethesda Green. During our lunch break from the conference, you can learn about our burgeoning local food movement and new initiatives in Montgomery County.

Check out the following itinerary for detailed information about the day: Continue reading

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While the Fields Like Dormant – Lots of Growing to Do

In the depth of winter while the fields like dormant and farmers order seeds for next year’s crop, Cheryl is hard at work developing plans for Farm to Freezer as a self-supporting social enterprise. Can Farm to Freezer earn revenue through selling some of its product to support its operations? How will Farm to Freezer scale up so that it can preserve more surplus fresh produce and serve more people in need in our community.

Business planning starts with market research. Last November we tested the sale of our tomato sauce and frozen blanched and roasted vegetables. Along with handing out tastes of our organic tomato sauce, we asked people what they thought of these products. We collected 100 completed surveys from our two test markets: the Fresh Farm Market in Silver Spring and Mixed Greens Market in Poolesville who generously gave us space to demonstrate our products. Continue reading

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Farm to Freezer Wins the TEDxManhattan Speaker Challenge!

By Cheryl Kollin

TEDxManhattan Logo, Square

Farm to Freezer rose to the challenge and won! We are thrilled to announce that I will present Farm to Freezer at the third annual TEDxManhattan, “Changing the Way We Eat,” conference. The all-day conference will be held in New York on February 16, 2013 and webcast live to thousands of viewers worldwide. Farm to Freezer benefits the whole community—this social enterprise preserves donated fresh, local food at its peak ripeness; provides healthier food for Bethesda Cares’ homeless client meals; supports local farmers; reduces food waste; provides community service opportunities; and raises local awareness about homelessness, nutrition, and locally-grown food.

“Your 15 minutes of fame are about to begin. Use them wisely.”–Jill Bamburg, BGI

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Click HERE to Vote. Click on “take our survey”
Voting ends December 15th so vote today!

We are very excited that Farm to Freezer is a speaker finalist the TEDxManhattan Challenge! TED itself is a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading unique ideas (originally focused on (Technology, Engineering, and Design) and now concepts of all kinds. Packaged into an easily manageable 18 minutes, TED Talks focus on the heart of a program or concept being featured, and create accessible programs that can be viewed around the globe. TEDx (x=independently organized events) follows a similar format – however, it is designed around topics of the organizers’ choosing and to feature local initiatives. The TED format invites a select audience engaged in the topic area and then invites people to organize free, local viewing parties all over the world.

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Vote for Farm to Freezer’s Inclusion at TEDxManhattan 2013

Vote Today! Deadline: December 15th

“We have a wonderful problem!”, Sue Kirk, executive director of Bethesda Cares explained to me as we chatted between sessions of the TEDxManhattan 2012 viewing party. It was just ten months ago, that the idea for Farm to Freezer—a partnership between Bethesda Cares and Full Plate Ventures was born.

Now Farm to Freezer is a speaker finalist in the TEDxManhattan Challenge! If selected, I will speak about Farm to Freezer in New York at TEDxManhattan 2013: “Changing the Way We Eat” a live webcast that will be broadcast to viewing parties world-wide. The winner will be selected by public vote and a panel of judges. Voting is a simple click—no need to register or provide any information; one vote per computer devise. Please share this story and voting opportunity with your friends and colleagues. Voting closes December 15th, so vote today! Continue reading

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Test Markets in November!

As the days get shorter and the weather colder, we approach the end of this year’s supply of fresh produce. Even though FreshFarm Market Bethesda closed for the season on October 27th, Farm to Freezer will be hard at work over the fall and winter months, planning to become self-sustaining. This summer, our goal was to launch Farm to Freezer. We proved that there is great enthusiasm for turning surplus fresh produce into frozen tomato sauce to feed people who are homeless. We garnered wonderful support from volunteers, churches, businesses, and local agencies that helped us realize solutions to this need. We are proud to report that in our first season, we gleaned more than 5,000 lbs. of food and produced 1,400 lbs. of frozen tomato sauce and vegetables for the freezer that will feed 2,500 people in our community throughout the year. Continue reading

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