Co-op Businesses: Addressing Food Access, Security & Affordability
In this session, Bobby will give you the ins and outs of the food co-op business model. Co-ops are governed by (and for) the community -– from the products they carry to how they deal with local suppliers and manufacturers. This business model is designed to be more transparent and more socially responsible.
Bobby Sullivan is the General Manager of the French Broad Food Co-op (FBFC), which is owned by more than 2000 local people. Within that organization he works with a team to guide the business while being held accountable by eleven board members guided by a robust set of community-drafted policies. He also represents the FBFC within the National Cooperative Grocers — an organization of almost 200 co-ops that share buying power, work to improve co-op business practices and impact policy decisions in DC. Within that organization, Bobby sits on the board of directors and is a member of the Eastern Corridor Steering Committee.
With Mary Harrill (WNC G.R.U.B.S.)
Learn how you can easily transform food waste into a nutritious high protein, fat and calcium animal food for your chickens, ducks, songbirds, fish, pigs, turtles, frogs and many other critters (even YOU if you wish!). This sustainable process uses black soldier fly grubs (a native non-pest fly). The grubs can digest and decompose food waste (including meat and dairy) within 24 to 36 hours! They are also kind enough to self-harvest so you never have to touch the waste yourself! Since the adult fly does not feed and lives its short life in nearby trees and other foliage, you will rarely, if ever, see them. Come and discover how easy it is to raise these amazing creatures! And how this process can help save our oceans and slow down greenhouse gas production.
Mary Harrill is an environmental biologist. She became interested in black soldier flies after a casual conversation, suggesting she raise these grubs as a supplemental feed for her chickens. She started WNC G.R.U.B.S. (Garbage Recycled, Using Bugs Sustainably) as a vehicle to inform people from all walks of life about this amazing process. Mary has partnered with the N.C. Arboretum Education Department and has a demonstration black soldier fly bioconversion unit at the gardens. She is also part of a team that is working on developing a large scale process for communities. Mary wants to spread the word about these amazing creatures. Please join in this endeavor!
The Art of Placemaking
In Creative Placemaking, as defined by the National Endowment for the Arts, public, private, not-for-profit, and community sectors partner to strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, tribe, or region around arts and cultural activities. Identifying need in the community and creating strategy with partners in order to heal social issues and improve quality of life is something in which anyone can take part! The arts, and culture, are powerful tools for changing the outcome of a place on any scale. Find out why! Explore the potential of creative stewardship of places you care about through successful examples right here in Asheville! Find out who is already working on projects in which you might become involved, and explore the possibilities of new, meaningful partnerships that can bring you into more meaningful involvement with your community.
Bee City USA Founder to Speak About National Movement to Increase Healthy Pollinator Habitat — Making the World Safer for Pollinators, One City At a Time.
Stiles will share the vital role thousands of species of pollinators play in sustaining the planet, the causes of their decline in the United States, and small and large things that each of us can do to help reverse their declines.
There are twelve certified Bee Cities in five states to date, with many more in the process of developing their applications. Southern Oregon University became the first Bee Campus USA in April, and like the cities, Stiles expects many more campuses to follow.
Visit beecityusa.org for more information.
The photo is Phyllis Stiles with Dr. Jeff Pettis, former leader of the USDA Bee LAB in Beltsville Maryland, next to the first Bee CIty USA sign in America.
Wednesday, September 2, 6pm-7:30 pm
Sow True Seeds, Seed Saving
Angie Lavezzo and Chris Smith
Save True Seed 101
A secure food system is underpinned by a secure seed system, but saving seed is often overlooked and the skills and knowledge are being lost along with so many regionally adapted vegetable varieties. Save True Seed 101 will give you the confidence and the knowledge to start down the long and exciting path of saving your own seed. Whether you want to be more self-reliant and sustainable, or protect your favorite strain of okra from going ‘out of production’, or develop disease resistance squash and climatic adaptability to your specific garden and region, Save True Seed 101 will get you started. Save True Seed will cover the practical elements of planting and isolation, pollination and pollinators, harvesting and processing, and saving and storing.
Angie Lavezzo – With over 20 years of gardening experience, the magic of a sprouting seed is still Angie’s favorite thing. From an early age, Angie began questioning the logic of big agriculture, and the quest for truth and alternatives led her to her job working as Wholesale Manager for Sow True Seed. This gives her a perfect outlet for her passion for seeds and plants, and good balance to her home life, where she is a farmer, beekeeper, chicken wrangler, and avid reader.
Chris Smith – An enthusiastic grower and permaculture student from a green-thumbed family! As Community Coordinator for Sow True Seed, Chris has launched himself into the world of seed and seed saving since moving to America. On his ½ acre homestead, Chris is experimenting with landraces, selective seed saving, crop trials and seed grow outs. He loves the story of seed and is active in promoting good quality, regionally adapted open-pollinated seed. www.blueandyellowmakes.wordpress.com
There are groups taking steps to end hunger and malnutrition in our community!
At this educational/inspirational program, Lindsay Majer, Social Enterprise and Food Program Manager at Green Opportunities, will talk about the Southside Café, part of Green Opportunities’ Kitchen Ready food service training program. The café offers trainees the opportunity to practice their newly-learned skills in a real life situation; but it is also a unique model of a way that community residents could bring nutritious, culturally relevant food to their own families and their neighbors.
The presentation will feature meaningful audience participation and information on how attendees can volunteer to help people who right now are hungry and undernourished in Asheville.
Green Opportunities began as a non-profit job training program in 2010. Now, says the organization, “We don’t just train residents of low-income neighborhoods, we engage them on multiple levels, working to help build community capacity and completing hands-on projects that make these neighborhoods healthier and more sustainable.” This food program is a primary example of that mission in action.
Green Opportunities Vision
We envision a community made up of resilient, interconnected neighborhoods, whose residents have access to jobs that support their families and improve community and environmental health.
Thursday, September 3, 5:30pm-7pm
Personal Ecology of Place: Developing a Relationship with Your Place on Earth
Whether you are a city dweller, suburban neighbor, or rural resident you can cultivate a relationship with the natural world that surrounds you that will support you in being grounded in your own wellness, as well as heighten your awareness of and commitment to the beauty and gifts of your very own eco-system. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the scope of environmental issues facing us and tune out because the problems feel so big, and most of us live very busy lives that keep us distracted from practices that bring us into harmony with the natural world. Both of these tendencies increase our sense of being disconnected — from ourselves, our communities, and the Earth. During this class learn appealing, enchanting, but simple and manageable practices that will help you tune back into your place on the planet and ultimately to yourself.
Friday, September 4, 3:30-5pm
Pollinating your Soul: Meditation and Gong Bath for Staying Sane in an Urban Environment
Danielle Marie Goldstein
The pressure of living in an urban environment and having a busy life overwhelms our psyches and creates stress. We will learn simple meditation and breath techniques for staying sane in a busy world and how to create more time by creating more space in your life. This workshop will end with a healing Gong Bath that will wash over your nervous system and subconscious mind.
Arjuna da Silva, a member of the French Broad Food Co-op and a resident of Earthaven Eco-community, will present an introduction to Restorative Circles and lead a “semi-simulated” practice circle to demonstrate the technique. We will also hear directly from Dominic as he speaks to us via excerpts recorded during a public talk at Odyssey School during his latest visit to Asheville in June of this year.
By turning conflict into valuable communication, Restorative Circles can heal — and sometimes prevent — violence in families, schools, neighborhoods, work, and street situations. It also has potential as a powerful instrument for social change.