The first item of business was to write a mission statement for our convivium. Steve Tate led us in a fun process, in which we paired off and wrote a mission statement of around ten words or less. Then, each couple wrote each noun, verb, adjective, and adverb in their sentence on separate cards. We placed these cards on a table, and noted the words that were used the most often. Standing around the table, we swapped the cards around until we came up with a simple, forthright statement: "To celebrate and support our local food community."
The second part of the evening was spent brainstorming in small groups to produce ideas for events for each season. Then we came back to the group and decided on which ideas to focus on, and assigned volunteers to work on each event. Here are the anchor events we came up with, subject to change, of course! We still need volunteers for events. Please email Charlie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter - A Slow Food film series at the Scene on South Elm St., accompanied by a potluck that will pick up on the theme of the movie. Dabney, Jill, and Debbie have volunteered to organize this event.
Spring - A Wild Foods event was mentioned. We think that there is already an event set up at Chinqua Penn in late April that we possibly could co-sponsor or at least attend individually or as a group. I will check on this. Another idea was a one day farm tour of 1-3 farms. Would a farm tour be of interest to you? How many farms? Are there any specific farms you are interested in? We would need someone to volunteer to organize this event.
Late Spring - Cherry picking at the Levering Orchard. This is the orchard of Wanda Urbanska and Frank Levering. Gordon, George, and Jan will organize this event, possibly renting a bus to take us up there and back.
Summer - A family picnic at Old Salem that focuses on children (and heirloom gardens). Jill, Beatrice, and Laurie are volunteers for this event.
Late Summer – Sept. 9 is Farm Fest at Rising Meadow Farm. We will join the annual fiber celebration. This could include a pig-picking and feature local meats. Steve and Jan have volunteered.
Other ongoing projects:
- The Local Food Guide will probably be ready in the spring. There will be a print version and it will be available from our web site. George will program a database for our web site that will allow farmers and food producers to add and change information to the guide so that the most current information is always available.
- Public Schools Wellness Policy - Donna has already begun working on this project. Charlie, Deb, and Jill are interested in this nationally-initiated Slow Food project as well as working with the local schools in other food and gardening education projects.
- Monthly informal meet-ups at local restaurants and coffee houses. I'll pick a night (different weeknights per month to accommodate different schedules) and send out a place to meet on the listserv. No agenda, no program. Just good company. Suggestions for places to meet are welcome.
There were lots of ideas for ongoing projects. There was not time to discuss these Wednesday night, and we want to develop these ideas further. Very briefly, these include community dinners, a Slow Food challenge to local restaurants, a connection between the Piedmont region of Italy and our Piedmont region, and a "food of the month" to be featured on the web site with recipes and sources.
We would like very much to get your feedback on these ideas, and hear any ideas that you might have for our convivium's work (and play) in 2006. What specific goals would you like to see our convivium accomplish in 2006? What role would you like to play in implementing these goals? We need volunteers for the coming year's events.