May Membership Meeting

May Membership Meeting

CVFAC Membership Meeting, May 2, 2011
COTR Greenhouse Classroom
Present: There were 14 members present

Gail called the meeting to order at 4:00 pm. Agenda was approved as presented.

President’s Report: Gail is continuing her focus on fundraising and Grant applications. This past month she attended the Columbia Basin Trust presentations for the Town and Creston and RDCK Districts in our area. The District meetings offer an opportunity to present proposals to selection committees. We have received a grant-in aid of $1500 from the Town of Creston and $2,150 from the CBT funding for the Harvest Share program. To date we have received a total of $12,494 for Harvest Share. We are still waiting on other applications to hear if they were successful or not. The Harvest Share program is completely dependant on funding so search for funding and other grants will continue.

The Home and Garden Show had a great display, Thanks to Jessica, Jen and Caroline as well as others who helped.

We are planning to have a float in the Blossom Festival parade on May 21st. We will need volunteers to help plan and put together. There will be an organizational meeting on Saturday, May 14th, 1:30pm at Pat’s home in Canyon. Her address is 3013 Lloyd Rd, Canyon. So far Jeanne, Anne and Pat have signed up but more help is needed. Randy can get straw bales if needed for the trailer. Please let him know ahead of time. Gail and her granddaughter (Gabrielle) will ride on the float, if others want to take part please let Gail know. We will have the Farmer Market rack cards to hand out for those who are walking with the float. Jen said the magnets may be ready by then too. Bring your ideas and willingness to work.

Mobile Kitchen @ Farmer’s Market- We have signed up for this kitchen with tentative dates of June 25th, July 23rd, and August 27th. There are teams of workers already in place for this but on July 23rd we need a team leader. The team leader would be required to set up a menu (using local produce as much as possible), organize the volunteer helpers and be available for the kitchen training. At this point we do not know the attendance on a Saturday market but Jen will have a better idea once everything starts running. We will need a count for the kitchen breakfasts. If someone is willing to be a leader on July 23rd please advise Gail. (Heather More is able to donate eggs, up to 10 doz if needed.)

Treasurer’s Report–Presented by Gail as received from Denise Jaeger.

Informational Reports
Farmers’ Market–Jen Comer-The Farmer’s Market starts Saturday May 7th and runs at Millennium Park until September, 8am-12 noon. There are over 20 vendors so far. If you know of any others who want to take part please let Jen know. The new website is set up and running, check it out: http://crestonvalleyfarmersmarket.ca/

May 21st the Farmer’s Market will be open from 12pm – 4pm because of the Blossom Festival Parade.

Jen is going to start the Recipe of the Week again to be published in the Creston Valley Advance. It was felt we still need more exposure in our newspaper, Gail no longer does the columns Thought for Food, but perhaps we could share them among the membership instead of having one person always having to submit the column themselves. It would require approximately 500 words. We can explore this at future meetings.

Greenhouse News–Jen has been helping with a feasibility study regarding the community kitchen. The greenhouse is busy with all of the programs; there will be a plant sale fundraiser on May 14th. The open house was lots of fun, good food and successful. Most programs will end in mid June. The xeriscape garden renovations are planned to start next week. (In front of the college).

Creston Valley Agriculture Society–Randy presented a letter of invitation. The Ag Society would like to have one member from the FAC attend meetings; the FAC would be an Associate member, no dues and no vote but can take part in discussions. This would give everyone a chance to discuss issues pertaining to all of agriculture whether it is large or small scale. Jen moved this invitation be accepted to join the Ag Society. Seconded by Pat. Carried. We will discuss who will attend these meetings at the next Board meeting. (Letter is attached for viewing)

Ag Plan–Abra Bryne will be holding a meeting on Tuesday, May 3rd at West Creston Hall to present the draft of the Ag Plan she and others have been working on for several months. A copy of the plan was passed out at the meeting; whoever wanted a copy provided their email and copies were emailed out.

The Politics of Food–Gail felt since we didn’t have a guest speaker perhaps we could have a discussion regarding our food and food security. The six pillars are:
1. Focuses on Food for People
2. Values Food Providers
3. Localizes Food Systems
4. Puts control Locally
5. Builds Knowledge and Skills
6. Works with Nature

Gail also had information on our self reliance on food. Society is moving in the wrong direction. When electing officials we need to make sure they are paying attention, too.
Discussion followed: How can we do this? What can we do?

Education is needed. Start with the community, network with other communities, and invite local politicians to attend our meetings or other events. We should concentrate on the bigger picture as well, not just locally but throughout the Kootenays and BC. We need to spread our wings. There are many Farmers’ Markets throughout BC: are they all facing these same issues? How have they solved them?

Farm Tours have been mentioned several times, but the farmers are too busy to do this alone. If we work together we will accomplish more. Harvest Share has funding to host 2 workshops–they are looking at one on food preservation. Once the Community Kitchen is up and running the Culinary Arts program will follow.

We discussed serving healthy, inexpensive meals, there needs to be education on this. Jen suggested perhaps having demonstrations at the Farmer’s Market; we could also use the Fall Fair as an avenue for this. We could show the ingredients (raw), the cost and preparations. If people learn how to use the ingredients (for example white beans) instead of getting the ready to eat ones in a can the end result is less expensive and healthier! We will work on this to develop.

A suggestion of letter writing to politicians was given. Instead of writing one letter for our group each member could send a single letter. It could be the same letter but repeated.

Gail summarized our discussion as follows:
We will invite the Town Council/RDCK members to the potluck meeting in June. We can showcase who we are and what we do. We need to be vigilant in thanking these people for funding (past, current and future). We need to work together with local, regional and provincial connections. Food security and the community kitchen are both important issues and go hand in hand. In the future we can put together demonstrations and have publications with inexpensive, healthy meal planning. We may look at doing a letter writing campaign.

Meeting adjourned at 6:05pm.

Submitted by Sheila

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