Join us on Wednesday, May 1, at 5:30 p.m. at Three Rivers Community College in multi-purpose room F117, for a screening of the documentary film, A Place at the Table. CT Food Bank and The United Way of Southeastern CT are partnering to show the documentary, which will be followed by a panel discussion on hunger in our nation, and what we can do to make food accessible to all. For more information about the screening, see the CT Food Bank website. For more information about the film, see the official website.
From our friends at the Bozrah Farmers Market!
POETRY AND DAFFODILS
SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2013
On Saturday, April 6th, at the Homestead at Maple Farms Park in Bozrah will celebrate National Poetry Month, the coming of spring and the blooming of a thousand daffodils on the park grounds by holding a reading at the Homestead. The Homestead at Maples Farm Park is located at 45 Bozrah Street in Bozrah. The event runs from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM will feature Bozrah residents of all ages reading their favorite poems by other authors and telling the audience why these poems appeal to them. This part of the reading will be followed by a round-robin reading by a group of Connecticut poets. Refreshments will be served. The entire event should be considered a “family friendly” venue.
Potential poetry readers grade 6 through adult, as well as poets from other towns who wish to participate, should contact local poet and event organizer Mary Elizabeth Lang for more details or to volunteer at MaryElizabethLang@alum.Barnard.edu
Admission is free, donations to benefit Maples Farm Park & the Homestead will be gladly accepted.
In celebration of spring En Plein Air painting of the daffodils and alpacas from Six Paca Farm will also occur on April 6th (rain date April 7th).Local plein air painters and plein air painters from all over CT are coming to Bozrah. John Kemp will be the event photographer. The Paint Out will occur from10am- 2pm at the Homestead, the public is welcome to observe. Please contact Lisa Sanders firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Two weekends ago I was fortunate enough to attend the annual Northeast Organic Farming Association New York (NOFA NY) winter conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. There were farmers galore, delicious foods, music, and many interesting and informational workshops. The conference was held over three days, and I attended many workshops, two of which I found to be very helpful and pertinent to my work in the council.
My first workshop of the conference was on a Friday, and it was a Food Policy Council Forum. Various regional food policy council representatives, as well as the state policy council, gathered together to update each other on goings-on within the state of New York. The goal was to create a network of food policy councils within the state, to collaborate, bounce ideas off of each other, and to serve as a resource and information center. It was interesting to listen to the updates from different policy councils, in a different state, and to hear that very similar issues arise regardless of location, structure, etc. One of the most interesting presentations came from Samina Raja, an associate professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo. She spoke about the formation of the Buffalo Food Policy Council, and the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP). They are doing some amazing things in Buffalo, and it showed that even a city with a rough past, in a tough situation can overcome obstacles to better the lives of its inhabitants. MAP is an organization devoted to educating youth about the benefits of local, healthy eating. They believe that everyone should have access to healthy, local, culturally appropriate food, and do so through their education programs and urban farm. Though the forum felt a bit disheveled at times, the passion was always there, and it got me energized knowing that I was not alone in changing how we eat in this country. I also saw that food policy councils are at the very least a place for people with similar concerns, ideas, and expertise to come together around an issue that affects us all, and help each other in a common agenda, making it easier for everyone to see success.
The other workshop that provided the most useful information was on Sunday, about integrating a school garden into a middle school curriculum. Wayne Gottlieb is a 7th grade science teacher at DeWitt Middle School in Ithaca, NY. He helped build a 6,000 square foot garden at the school, which he incorporates into his classroom, along with other teachers, who incorporate it into everything from art to social studies. Wayne went through what it took to finance, build, gain support, and maintain the garden, giving helpful tips throughout on how we might build our own school garden and incorporate it into our local schools. He shared information on everything from who to get on board in the beginning to how he got the school cafeteria to buy the produce. He provided a timeline of work on the garden, what to do in winter, spring, summer, and fall. Aspects of his workshop could easily be replicated in schools throughout New London County. I truly believe that every school should have a garden, and hearing about the success of Wayne’s garden only solidified my belief, and the knowledge that is very doable.
I also attended workshops on urban farming in the United States and Cuba, on beginner farmers and the struggles and successes they face, and on living a life of resiliency in today’s world. All were brimming with information and people who are doing their part to make the world a better place through the food system. There’s nothing I like more than spending a weekend in a beautiful town with a group of foodies, changing the world, one bite and seed at a time.
Every year, on the third Monday of January, we observe Martin Luther King Day, a national day of service to honor the late Dr. King's life and achievments. What better way to honor the legacy of Dr. King than by helping out those children in need in New London County? On Saturday, January 19, from 9am-5pm at the Madry Church parking lot, located at 25 Manwaring St., New London CT, Michelle Allen will be taking donations of unisex backpacks filled with healthy snacks for area children ages 7-12. Backpacks will be donated to the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center in New London for distribution at a later date. Start the new year off right by giving to those less fortunate, so that we may all have a happy, healthy start to 2013.