Monday, February 16, 2009

Ideas and bees are buzzing!

We had our 2009 annual members' meeting at Knoll Farms last night, February 15th. A pretty good number of members showed up full of ideas. We had a social hour at the start getting to know each other, having drinks and snacks. Then, we sat down to business. Seated in a circle in the event center at Knoll Farm, we sat through a recap of last year's business. Kristie Knoll gave us all a rundown on the financials of our convivium, explaining where our money came from and where it went. Then Gail talked about last year's events. We had a short but lively discussion of Slow Food Nation since several members had attended then moved on the the meat of the meeting: the year ahead.

Lesley Stiles gave us all an update on our Slow Food in Schools project and the wonderful garden that is taking shape at Diablo Community Day School. Members would like to participate in a garden work day during the summer.

We approved new Head Table members, Lesley Stiles and Lucy Meinhardt while saying ciao to Pat Rodda. All members agreed we should continue to sponsor the film screenings at Los Medanos College and we even got some volunteers to help out with the planning of this event. We would like to expand the screenings to other colleges in the county as well.

Alan Hawkins said he would like to organize an event on bees and beekeeping on the urban edge. He is a beekeeper of some note! He would like this to take the form of a sort of field day at Knoll Farms where some of his hives are kept. Everyone loved this idea and we will expand on it as the event takes form. Alan would like the event to happen in June or July.

Mary Lentzner volunteered to host and help organize an event at Ennes Ranch, her home. She would like to have interested people come out to witness a farm slaughter and butchering of one of her pigs to be followed by a pork taco meal outside on the ranch. We even discussed having someone come to teach us how to make the tortillas for the tacos as well. This event will probably take place at the end of April.

Robert and Anna Sykes of Pizza Antica in Lafayette have generously volunteered to host our annual fund raising dinner at their restaurant. This is a wonderful opportunity for us! All members attending are grateful for this offer and we will enjoy working with some real pros on this. The funds raised at the dinner will be used for our Slow Food in Schools project at Diablo Community Day School in Concord.

Several of our members are chefs and they discussed organizing a cooking class/meal at Knoll Farms using produce harvested by attendees for the meal. Any chefs in our group interested in participating should contact us and we will connect you with the event organizers.

Peter Leiggi wants to organize an essay contest focused on Slow Food ideals. The winner would receive a free entrance to one of our events. In addition, he is hoping to be able to submit the winning essay to the NPR program "This I Believe."

Finally, we all broke the circle to head for the pizza oven and kitchen. Lovely and delicious salads were contributed by several members. Pizza dough was donated by Pizza Antica and sauce and toppings were added by everyone else in attendance. Everyone had fun putting all the ingredients together and even more eating it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza

The date is set! I have sent out an email invitation to all members. We will have our 2009 members' meeting on February 15 at 4 pm at Knoll Farm. The Knolls have a wonderful wood-fired pizza oven that produces the perfect crust and with the delicious toppings donated by members, we will have a wonderful time.

This will be a business meeting where we discuss our goals for 2009, leadership structure for the chapter, where our money was spent last year and like matters. If you have topics you would like to include, email them to me and I will include them on the agenda. We will have time for socializing as well and we are looking forward to meeting new members as well as catching up with longstanding ones.

As you can see from the previous posts, we had a lot of successes in 2008. We hope to build on our strengths and expand our projects. I hope you will all be able to attend.