Slow Food

Slow Food cherry picking and National Congress

Well, the cherry picking is still on for Sunday. We’re just going to make it a shorter event. It will be just as hot, because I can’t schedule it for early in the morning or after five, but we’ll plan to get there around 3:30 for about an hour of picking, pay up, and hopefully it will be tolerable enough that we will want to have our picnic and Frank will speak to us.

I just hope and pray that no one keels over. But I did put it to a vote. The vote was a tie. A lot of people would like to go later in the month, but a couple of them missed my deadline for the vote. It still would have been close. I joked to them that they must be a bunch of Democrats.

Thing is, anyone could organize a Slow Food trip to one of the orchards, or a vineyard, or a restaurant, or a farm, or a park for a cook-out, or to their house for a potluck. But no one steps up to do it. At least not this year. It kind of puzzles me because it’s not a big deal to organize a small event. It IS, however, a big deal to organize ALL the events, which is why I’m not doing it this year,and I’m tired of asking people to do it. I like the way that SF Triangle did it – in their planning meeting announcement, they said to bring an idea for an event that you would be willing to organize. At our meetings, we get skads of great ideas, but by “go” time, the people who proposed them or volunteered have forgotten or found other things to do, so sorry. Or, inexplicably, I suddenly find out that they assumed that I would be helping them when I might not even been planning to go. Triangle might still have some of the same problems we do, but I’m guessing that it’s working for them better than our current system. Maybe it will never change, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just have to learn to live with it, which is the decision I came to last fall.

So, all this is leading up to a related topic – it appears that I will be representing our convivium at the Slow Food National Congress in San Francisco. There is a bit of confusion about how many delegates we get. I thought that we had over 100 members, and that gives us two delegates. But that is not what SFUSA has down for us. At any rate, my friend Deb Bettini plans to go along, either as a delegate or an observer. We’ll be voting on national Slow Food direction and policies, doing some leadership training and listening to discussion panels and speakers such as Carlo Petrini, Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle, Alice Waters, Eric Schlosser, Gary Nabhan, Vandana Shiva, just to name a few. And eating Slow Food meals for two full days and staying in a nice historic hotel downtown, for a very reasonable price. Very, very exciting stuff!

I figure that it wouldn’t hurt for me to gain some understanding of Slow Food’s national goals and policies, and it sure wouldn’t hurt for me to get some leadership training and talk to other convivium leaders. (I’ve learned a whole lot the hard way the last few years.) Deb is the chair of our Farm Committee and active in the N.C. Mushroom Growers Association, and she and her husband are very interested in getting young people interested in farming and good local food in schools.

So that is what is on my schedule for the end of August. I’ve never been to San Francisco, and I’m really looking forward to it, even though I’ll be busy with SF business most of the time. I hope to at the very least make it to the Ferry Market.

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