Friday, December 26, 2008
What impressed me the most was the growing network of Americans developing,
7000 of the 85000 participants
were from the United States. Slowfood
is influencing people, producers
and consumers, all over the country.
This is truly an amazing development.
On our bus and in the same hotel were Americans from the east coast, west coast, and places in the middle; I spent most (but not all) of my time with this lively and interesting group. While waiting in the long line for lunch I would find out who was standing in front and behind me in line. On one memorable day an Australian woman was waiting ahead of me, and behind was a man from Kenya. “You know Kenya,” he said, “it is the home of Obama’s father”. The lunch line moved far too quickly that day.
Mary Ennes Lentzner, Torino, Italy, October 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The second annual film screening at Los Medanos College is tomorrow night, starting at 6 pm. If you want to come and help out, we will begin setting up at 5. We can always use volunteers. The films this year are great! King Corn and The Real Dirt on Farmer John. We are planning a few more screenings of these and they have been added to our film library.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
At the beginning of July, member Lesley Stiles organized and catered a farm tour of 3 farms in Brentwood. Gail Wadsworth went along to speak on the bus about the urban edge and the communities the tour traveled through. There were 18 attendees, the majority of whom were from Greenbelt Alliance.
Our first stop was Rose Lane Farm on the edge of Oakley. This 5 acre farm is incredibly diverse with fruit trees, tomatoes, squash and gorgeous flowers. Our host farmer, Penny, showed us around, talked about the history of the farm and her concerns about development. Bethallyn Black, UC Cooperative Extension, then gave us all a brief talk on urban edge issues, focusing on water use. Penny was a wonderful host and I think most of the people on the tour were ready to move into her lovely home.
Next on the agenda was a drive down the Urban Limit Line on Sellers Avenue. Our next stop was Frog Hollow Farm where all the owners shared in the task of showing us around. First Farmer Al, on his way to the Santa Cruz farmers' market, took some time to share his philosophies with us. Frog Hollow grows organic fruit on 120 acres. Then, his wife, Becky, took us on a tour of the kitchen. We were all grateful to be able to walk through the cooler since the temperatures were reaching 110! After Becky finished, Sarah Coddington took us on a tour of the packing shed and fields telling us all about how Frog Hollow meets the massive orders they get for fruit. She then took us to tables set up under the trees where we all enjoyed the delicious, fresh lunch Lesley had prepared. At this stop, Renato Sardo talked about Slow Food International and Slow Food Nation. Renato is the person who had requested a tour like this since he is a member of both Slow Food and Greenbelt Alliance. He sees our goals as intertwined.
After lunch, our time was getting short but it was off to Knoll Farms. Kristie Knoll spoke to us about their thriving 10 acre diverse farm considered to be beyond organic. Tour members were treated to a tour of the fig trees and an explanation of how Knoll Farms began. It was an informative and entertaining visit. Unfortunately, due to time constraints we had to cut this tour short. Everyone was sad but off we went to our starting point.
We have received a large number of emails from attendees praising the tour. All enjoyed the fact that the numbers were kept small so each one of them had a chance to speak to the farmers. The farms had some of their produce for sale so everyone had the opportunity to take some of the farms they had visited home with them. We didn't make any money on this tour but are happy we could introduce non-members to our wonderful agricultural region. We can't thank Lesley enough!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Now for the request: we need at least one more volunteer to accompany Anders Bengtsson to the Golden Glass. Frog Hollow Farm is generously sending cases of cherries for attendees to sample and we will be distributing Harvest Time maps. In addition, we will have some small write ups about our convivium, nothing fancy. Please email Gail if you can volunteer on June 8. The event runs from 3-7 pm and 3,000 are expected to attend.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
All agreed this was a great venue. The food and wine were excellent as was the service. Many thanks to Peter Chastain of Prima!!
Our first duty was to cover old business:
We introduced the “Head Table”: Josh and Susan Hammack, Kristie and Rick Knoll, Pat Rodda and Gail Wadsworth
State of Membership: Started with 13 members in 2006, now we have 39. If all members can bring in one more member, we will have a great group. Let's get at it!
Kristie recapped our 2007 events by describing them, telling about the turnout and the financials. We did really well last year and ended up contributing close to $5,000 to Slow Food Nation.
Gail discussed the results of the online member survey that has been the impetus for our 2008 decision-making. This year we will have at least 3 events: Farm tour with Greenbelt Alliance members, Film Festival at Los Medanos College and fundraising dinner on a farm. The funds raised will support Slow Food in Schools in Contra Costa County.
Gail has manned 3 tables for outreach: 2 at Walnut Creek Farmers’ Market and one at John Muir Hospital. Materials are available for members to man tables in their communities.
Member Kathryn Lyddan discussed the Ark of Taste nomination for Oakley Ancient Vines and explained why she thought it had been denied by Slow Food USA.
Gail brought up application for Slow Food in Schools grant from Slow Food USA for project at Diablo Community Day School in Concord.
New business was then discussed:
Events for 2008:
We will be hosting a farm tour and inviting Greenbelt Alliance: Lesley Stiles has agreed to head this project up. We are still seeking volunteers to assist. Lesley will be sending out a call when she needs help. The date of the tour will be at the end of June.
June 8, Slow Food San Francisco will be hosting the Golden Glass at Fort Mason. Our convivium has been asked to attend and we have also requested Brentwood cherries to be featured. Anders Bengsston has agreed to man a table at the event. Other members are encouraged to volunteer and attend.
The Food and Farming Film Festival will be held at Los Medanos College in October. Howard and Mary Lentzner, Lucy Meinhardt and Yvonne Prinz have volunteered to work on this event. We are still looking for members to provide suggestions for films, find another public venue, and form a panel to review films. This screening will be held in affiliation with the exhibition “Shifting Perceptions on the Urban Edge: Putting a Face on Farming in Brentwood” at the Los Medanos art gallery. Some of the films being considered are: The Real Dirt on Farmer John, King Corn and The Future of Food. Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them on the blog.
The fundraising dinner for Slow Food in Schools was discussed. We voted that the best venue is on a farm. This will not necessarily limit us to one fund raiser. Peter Chastain has also volunteered to hold fundraisers at Prima. We are soliciting suggestions for farms and chefs as well as seeking volunteers. The dinner on farm will be earlier in the year than last fall's dinner. There are a lot of harvest dinners in the fall and we want to be able to pull a larger number of diners.
Ideas for other events were discussed including:
Farm to School Project at Diablo Community Day School, volunteers are welcome and members may want to put in a member work day.
Pastry-making workshop at Frog Hollow Farm. All attendees were keen on this idea and Becky Courchesne of Frog Hollow is happy to accommodate a group in her farm kitchen.
Pie auction with Contra Costa Farmers’ Markets. Member Jessie Neu is interested in working with us to develop the idea of a pie auction to benefit Slow Food Delta Diablo and the CCFM. If you want more details on this idea, contact Gail.
Events at Prima for membership and fundraising. All agreed this is a valuable relationship.
Kristie then announced the Slow Food events that are coming up:
- Slow Food Nation Labor Day weekend. Members can nominate a food online. We have not been involved but there are many opportunities. Wine nominations, producer nominations, ideas for exhibitions.
- Golden Glass: Sunday June 8, 3-7 pm. Fort Mason Festival Pavilion. We are encouraging Brentwood cherry growers to participate by sending product and attending. Any members who would like to man a table at the event are encouraged.
- Terra Madre: call for nominations for producers, etc. Betsy Lydon Ark Award. Gail suggested that we may want to nominate Ennes Ranch Beef producers, Howard and Mary Lentzner for this award.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Along with all the convivia in the Bay Area, Delta Diablo has been invited to prepare and submit a proposal for hosting a field trip during Slow Food Nation. The purpose of the trips will be to educate our members and others about our work, and about the farmers and producers that we support. This would be a great opportunity for us to highlight our unique region. If anyone is interested in working on a proposal, please contact Gail or Kristie. The proposal is due March 30th. The tours will be in August, so if we decide to host a tour, we will need to be thinking of what is in season at that time.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Another event for which we have requested a table is coming up in April at John Muir Hospital. Alison Negrin, the hospital chef, is a member of our convivium and has suggested we participate. We will update the information on this event as we receive it. If you have any ideas for events at which you think we should be present, let us know!!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Three events split votes for the one you would most like to do in 2008. These were a food and farming film festival, an on-farm dinner and food and farm related tours. In addition, there were comments encouraging involvement in broader Bay Area events like Slow Food Nation.
As a result, we have already determined that we would like to repeat the film event at Los Medanos College in October of this year. At the same time, there will be an exhibition of photos of local farmers and excerpts from their oral histories on display at the LMC art gallery. The gallery is next to the film screening event location and we envision an event combining the 2. We would like some members to volunteer to work with us to begin planning this film festival.
We have decided that the on-farm dinner this year will be a fund raiser for Slow Food in Schools. You can read more about that below.
We have been talking to Renato Sardo, a member of Slow Food west of us. He would like to host an event called "Terroir of Brentwood" in his community sometime this summer. This would be an event to increase awareness among his convivium about Brentwood farm products. This is still in the development stages so if you have ideas, be sure to let us know. In addition, he is a member of Greenbelt Alliance and he thinks his members would also be interested in a farm tour. We think we can partner with Greenbelt Alliance to organize a farm tour that will benefit all parties. Let us know if you want to help on this kind of event or if you have ideas for us.
By far, the large majority of members wants to fund raise for Slow Food in Schools. Last year, we raised a little money for Slow Food Nation with our on-farm dinner. We think we can increase that amount this year with the local focus of supporting a local farm to school project. One of our members is already deeply involved in a successful project with school gardens and healthy eating. We would like to support this ongoing project with the goal of expanding it into a new school.
In addition, we have been talking to one of our new members, Peter Chastain of Prima in Walnut Creek. He has some great ideas for education in the community, increasing membership and raising funds. We look forward to cementing our relationship with him and working to build our convivium and spread the message of good, clean and fair food.