Spring 2022 Agriculture Shaping Eastern US Communities   

The highly anticipated Spring celebrations among scholars, scientists, farmers, and restauranteurs have arrived! Join them as they educate and cultivate functional foods all along the East Coast. (i) From specialists on sustainability to farmers teaching how to grow mushrooms and incorporate holistic farming into our communities, these events will supercharge your life.

Join the movement and prepare to have the most bountiful and nutritional season ever!

Aziz Dekhan Executive Director of the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate & Jobs
Aziz Dekhan
WhoAziz Dehkan | Executive Director of the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate & Jobs
WhatClimate Justice |Conversations Across Barriers and Borders
WhereUniversity of Connecticut | Konover Auditorium | Storrs, CT 06269
WhenWednesday, April 20th, 2022 at 12:30 PM

Scholars, student leaders, and activists from around the world gather to discuss the central

WhatCritical Window Variable Selection for Mixtures: Estimating the Impact of Multiple Air Pollutants on Stillbirth
WhereYale Center on Climate Change and Health | 47 College Street, Room 106B, New Haven, Connecticut
WhenMonday, April 25th, 2022 at 12:00 PM  

Discover the associations between environmental exposures and various health outcomes such as congenital anomalies, preterm birth, and low birth weight. Look at Dr. Warren’s methodological and theoretical interests in Bayesian nonparametric and spatial/spatiotemporal modeling. 

Aziz is on the panel at both events. He majored in biological sciences, obtaining a horticulture degree from Rutgers University. Born and raised in New York, his family grew grapes in Shiraz, Iran. Consequently, from a young age, he grew interested in farming. As Executive Director of the New York City Community Garden Coalition (NYCCGC), Aziz has advocated for 550 urban gardens. He is currently Executive Director of the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs. To learn how Mr. Dehkan has brought people from different cultures together in the largest city in North America through resiliency and sustainability, visit: https://444.farm/2022/02/20/aziz-dehkan-nyccgc/.

Kevin Sullivan
WhoKevin Sullivan AKA KC | Owner of Two River Mushrooms Co.
WhatVegan Food Festival Pop Up
WhereBradley Park | 101-199 5th Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
WhenSaturday & Sunday, May 14th – 15th, 2022 at 12:30 PM

KC and his crew are doing something special at Asbury Park! This is the first VegFest event outside, featuring live music, vegan products, plant-based clothes, vegan and plant-based dishes made by local chefs. Children aged 13 and younger get free admission. Depending on the CDC at the time of the event, the New Jersey VegFest reserves the right to enact a COVID-19 policy. Be prepared with proof of a negative test or COVID vaccination to attend. 

Mushroom Farmer KC and Restauranteur Marilyn Schlossbach locked arms to create the ultimate urban farm-to-table experience in the center of Long Branch, New Jersey. At the Whitechapel Projects, you can enjoy organic hyper-local gourmet mushrooms straight out of a shipping container in the restaurant’s backyard! Throughout the year, Marilyn also produces other nutrient-dense delights from her sustainably farmed raised beds surrounding the courtyard. To feast your eyes on the Whitechapel Projects’ menu and check out KC’s fungi selection, visit: https://444.farm/2022/02/19/whitechapel-projects-offers-the-freshest-gourmet-mushrooms/. 

Buddy Walker Jr International Director of Empower School and Farm
Buddy Walker Jr
WhoBob (Buddy) Walker Jr | Pastor of Faith Christian Fellowship
WhatStrengthen Our Community Outreach
WhereFaith Christian Fellowship | 1951 Dora Avenue, Tavares, FL, 32778 
WhenThursday – Sunday, April 14th – 17th, 2022

“We plan to start a new food forest project at the church in Tavares. Easter Week, we are doing a strengthen our community outreach. That is going to start Thursday, the 14th, and run through Easter Sunday. So, we have some time for music and inspiration Thursday and Friday evening. Saturday is when we are actually doing family events on that property. Then we will be planting some trees kind of as the kickoff of that project.” 

Pastor Walker Jr pioneered the statewide, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Culture Extension Victory Garden Project at Tavares’ Faith Christian Fellowship. He is also the International Director and Founder of a mini-farm, Empower School and Farm, in Umatilla, Florida. Buddy and hundreds of helping hands have significantly impacted the Lake County community providing farm-fresh food and plant medicine. Over the past ten years, this community garden has become a global intern program that provides food for over 150 families year-round! The programs are anywhere from three months to a year. They focus on holistic farming, discipleship, social justice, and mission work. Please visit: https://444.farm/2022/02/25/empower-school-and-farm/ to explore more about Buddy’s ministry. 

Joseph and Tawna Chammas owners of Gratitude Garden Farm
Joseph and Tawna Chammas
WhoJoseph and Tawna Chammas | Owners of Gratitude Garden Farm
WhatGratitude Garden Farm @ West Palm Beach GreenMarket
Where101 S Clematis St, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
WhenEvery Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Voted the #1 farmers market in the US by USA Today, with a total vendor count of 100, the 2021-22 season is the largest GreenMarket in the past 30 years. Free parking is available in the city center garages until 12 PM.  

WhatGratitude Garden Farm @ Delray GreenMarket
Where20 N Swinton Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33444 
WhenEvery Saturday from 9:00 PM to 2:00 PM

The Delray GreenMarket is an open-air marketplace with live music and more than 65 vendors. You will find products such as fresh-cut flowers, plants, eggs, raw milk, butter, fruit juice, artisan cheese, jams, and more.   

WhatGratitude Garden Farm @ The Gardens GreenMarket
Where10500 N Military Trl, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
WhenEvery Sunday from 8 AM to 1 PM

Open rain or shine, the Gardens GreenMarket is a massive venue with over 120 vendors! Enjoy live entertainment and a wide variety of shops; everything from honey, handmade crafts, prepared food to spices. You name it. 

WhatGratitude Garden Farm @ Swank Specialty Produce Farmers Market
Where14311 North Road, Loxahatchee Groves, Florida 33470
WhenEvery Saturday from 10 AM to 1 PM

Avoid the urban hustle and bustle. Instead, go hang out at the 8500 square foot farm in Loxahatchee Groves. Parking is free.  

The Chammas’ were victorious over stage four cancer due to the radical choices they made! Joseph was diagnosed in 2008. Overnight, he and his wife Tawna took the raw vegan jump, and life just got better. Now they have a 5-acre organic farm, lined with ten different types of banana trees, producing mushrooms, medicinal plants, and herbs. They even house a rescue pig, Betty, who loves to have her belly rubbed! “Some guys were trying to eat her on the road. They were literally trying to eat her, and she ended up here which is a good place for a pig to end up, cuz we don’t eat pigs here. My wife took her in and now she’s part of the family.”

Business is booming. This time next year in 2023, Gratitude Garden Farm will have an outdoor commercial kitchen and four cabins made from converted shipping containers. They will then rent the space as Airbnb’s and offer classes on medicinal farming. If you are curious about what this incredible farm has to offer, visit: https://444.farm/2022/02/25/gratitude-garden-farm/.

Kathi Lafferty owner of The Mushroom Cap
Kathi Lafferty
WhoKathi Lafferty | Owner of The Mushroom Cap 
WhatChadds Ford Forage Festival
WhereChadds Ford Winery | 632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA 19317
WhenSaturday & Sunday, May 21st – 22nd | Schedule Coming Soon

Come to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, to listen to expert talks from local farmers and mycologists. Learn about lifestyle medicine and how to forage responsibly. Prepare tinctures and teas.  

Kathi Lafferty opened her specialty store in the mushroom capital of the world. “More white mushrooms are grown in this concentrated area than any other place. We’re doing up to about 70% of the white production in the United States. We also have the largest exotic grower here in Kennett Square. Some would think China has the most, but they did not start growing till about 30 years ago. We started in the late 1800s here.” Mrs. Lafferty’s store is all things mushroom. To learn more about her Mushroom Club, visit https://444.farm/2022/02/17/the-mushroom-cap/.

Sheth and Jor' El Schustrin owners of Stropharia Mushroom Farm
Sheth and Jor’ El Schustrin
WhoSheth and Jor’ El Schustrin | Owners of Stropharia Mushroom Farm
WhatEarth Day Celebration
WhereCommunity School of Naples | 13275 Livingston Rd, Naples, FL 34109 
WhenFriday, April 22nd from 7:30 AM to 2:15 PM

Many projects throughout the school will take place in honor of Earth Day. In addition, the state-of-the-art CSN Institute for Science and Environmental Research will have new labs and classrooms for students to learn about the earth. 

The Schustrin brothers started their in-home mushroom farm in Naples, Florida, to help their father battle Parkinson’s disease with Lion’s Mane. It did not take long for Jor’ El and Sheth to grow into a warehouse space, supplying southwest Florida with exotic and medicinal fungi. Having a culinary arts background, they also teach young minds how to cook and enjoy mushrooms.

The health benefits of mushrooms are incredible. East Coast farmers like Sheth and Jor’ El, Norman Fetter of Woodland Jewel Mushrooms, and Cactus Hat’s Joseph Iovino’s mission is to provide only the freshest, highest quality mushrooms. Especially at a time when the demand far exceeds supply. Nationwide, consumers are embracing functional ingredients and meat substitutes like oyster mushrooms. The steady incline in the functional ingredient sector accelerated with the pandemic shifting priorities where people are paying more attention to their health and the welfare of their environment. To keep up on the Florida fungi farmers, visit: https://444.farm/category/east-coast/

Baby boomers and millennials have made a dramatic shift in health management against the consumption of processed, genetically modified food and beverages. Wholesome, nutritional, clean-label, superfood, and beverage products are in ever-growing demand. The industry has experienced fast growth over the past several years. The United States is paving the way, currently accounting for a 30.93% share in the global functional food market (ii).  

Norman Fetter owner of Woodland Jewel Mushrooms
Norman Fetter
Joseph Iovino owner of Cactus Hat Mushrooms
Joseph Iovino

About 444 (4 Forty 4)

444 launched a nationwide tour where Co-Founder, Danielle Keogh, interviewed businesses within the functional ingredient sector. 444 will incorporate the culinary art of functional beverage and expert mixology to manufacture functional beverage mixers. By partnering with and supporting small businesses throughout the United States within the functional ingredients and sustainable farming sectors, 444 is dedicated to providing current information about the industry. If you or someone you know are like-minded in kindred undertakings and would be interested in sharing your story, please contact us at https://444.farm/.

[i] Functional ingredients are defined as having “physiological benefits and/or reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond basic nutritional functions, and maybe similar in appearance to conventional food and consumed as part of a regular diet.” Examples include minerals, supplements, fungi, and fortified fruits and vegetables. “Basics about Functional Food” (PDF). US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. July 2010.

[ii] “World Market Report MCP21865 ” Functional Food Ingredients, http://www.strategyr.com/market-report-functional-food-ingredients-forecasts-global-industry-analysts-inc.asp