Board meeting minutes, 2/18/2010

Minutes from Slow Food Seacoast Board Meeting, Thursday, February 18, 2010

Attending: Alison Magill, Pam Angulo, John Forti, Jenny Isler, Erin Jenkins, Amy Pollard, Laura Spelke

Alison called meeting to order 7:30 pm

Suggested [Small] Fundraising Events

Showing Fresh the movie:

  • 25 or so people, charge admission ($5?)
  • Usage charge depends on number of people expected to view
  • Minimal risk; can show more than once
  • Can show at regular meeting as well

Amy suggested King Corn

Various small events on potluck days, preceding the potluck dinner: wild edibles walk, fermentation  workshop, cooking demo

Event Schedule (NOTE: All dates are TENTATIVE!)

March 7 Potluck Dinner & Talk at Stoodley’s Tavern

Theme: Local Sustainable Seafood

Sustainable Seafood Panel with Erika Zollett and Michelle Moon

April 24 Earth Day/RAFT Plant-In/Potluck Lunch at Strawbery Banke (rain date April 25)

Garden cleanup in morning followed by potluck lunch

RAFT-Chef’s Collaborative Grow-out/Plant-in

Participants take home RAFT seeds and plants for fall harvest

Suggested topics for hands-on workshops (need volunteer leaders):

  • How to grow heirloom vegetables
  • Raised beds
  • Community gardens

Alison is asking some people to lead children’s activities and workshops (Suzanne McDonald, Beth Hallett)

How many workshops? How long each? Concurrent?

John will do the press releases as soon as he has the information

June 6 Cooking Class & Potluck Dinner at Blue Moon, Exeter

Maybe small cooking class in afternoon with Matt, before potluck—serve what was prepared

Pay for class followed by regular potluck dinner

Ask Blue Moon for theme and get date (Amy will follow up)

July (after 15th) Down-on-the-Farm Picnic

Great event, very time-intensive but not a big fundraiser

Suggested location: Lauren Chase-Rowell’s farm, which is geared for education (Alison will follow up?)

Permaculture theme?

Issues from last year:

  • Pie contest (eliminate? not enough entries to support judging, “people’s choice” award, and dessert for all)
  • Activities schedule (many people missed pies completely because the wildlife walk took place concurrently)
  • Involve hosts more

August (TBA) Wild Edibles Walk & Potluck Dinner

Wild edibles walk (Arthur Haines?) with participation fee in afternoon

Feature some foraged food at potluck dinner

September 12 RAFT Heirloom Barn Dinner

Michelle organized volunteers last year (big job)

John put question to the Board: Would others help plan? AGREED

Issues from last year:

  • Dinner provided to volunteers was a let-down; not as advertised (“a family-style meal prepared by chefs” vs. grilled burgers)
  • Farmers and guests did not mingle—consider ways to feature farmers and stimulate interaction with guests (à la Jenny’s Veggie Accessories!)
  • Need educational component and visibility for the RAFT produce

Suggestions to make it fun and educational with quality material:

  • Display heirloom vegetables
  • Better explain what is served, where it is from, its history, what do with them
  • Use posters, pictures, and story boards on walls, display tables, and dinner tables
  • Veggies as costumes; decorations with labels
  • Introduce and feature RAFT Grow-Out farmers (e.g., the framed photos prepared  few years ago, now hung at Philbrick’s Fresh Market)
  • Hire a photographer to work with farmers?

September 18 Portsmouth Fishtival

Michele will be involved this year

Slow Food Seacoast’s involvement will be minimal/supportive

Will need volunteers for SFS table

Issues from last year:

  • Prescott Park asked volunteers to do jobs that were not appropriate (e.g., work concessions)—need to address with Prescott Park management
  • Event planners underestimated number of attendees
  • Prescott Park oversold tickets

October 9 Harvest Festival

Work with Strawbery Banke Fall Festival

Demonstrations on pickling, preserving, seed saving, RAFT

Fermentation workshop with Cate?

Slow Food education

Need people to volunteer for workshops and demo

RAFT competition: “Save your Best”?

Sunday November 7? Thanksgiving Dinner

Theme: Time for Change  (end of daylight savings time)

Need to secure church to determine date; Amy will follow up

Other Discussions

Get 4-H and other groups involved in Harvest Fest

Get heirloom livestock to Harvest Fest

Increase participation—new people, kids

Need to confirm whether there is a RAFT commitment among Seacoast farmers

Are RAFT seeds available to distribute at CSA/CSF Day?

Participate in Stratham Fair in July?

Other possible events:

  • “Farmer for a Day” with Wendy Berry
  • Making maple syrup, with Sugarmomma (Deb Locke)
  • Weston A. Price talk with David Plante or Amy Vezina
  • How to do a meat share, with David Frischling

Website and Communications Issues

Need better distribution of work
Website is time-consuming and needs constant updating

  • Pam has added links to “the 4 food groups”, Slow Food USA and local Slow Food chapters,  and other Resources to website sidebar to encourage people to seek more connections
  • Ask Andy for help with unresolved/uneditable issues with the WordPress theme (e.g., edit text heading styles, sidebar headings, “Blog” link in menu tabs)?

Pam is posting events and announcements to blog

  • Need more board participation (for 2 or 3 posts per week)
  • Board agrees that it’s okay NOT to repost all blog posts from Seacoast Eat Local (encourage people to sign up to receive those announcements); use links as much as feasible for quick posting
  • Post minutes on blog in “Meeting Minutes” category for transparent viewing

Facebook Fan page is up and running—more than 200 Fans already!

  • Pam is sharing/reposting from Slow Food USA, Secoast Eat Local, and various other sources (sometimes several times per day)
  • Per Alison, 1 or 2 updates per day should be adequate

Newsletter

Very time-consuming; Alison has been doing it
Suggest a collaborative effort, using a template with sections where 3 or 4 people contribute:

  • Intro from leaders
  • Events/Calendar
  • Membership/Welcome New Members
  • Outreach/Volunteer Opportunities
  • Wildcard/Seasonally Relevant News
  • Link to Slow Food article or blog post
  • Add organization links to boilerplate footer (Slow Food Seacoast & Slow Food USA at minimum; others like Seacoast Eat Local and farmers’ market calendar if space allows)

Membership

Jenny sends welcome email to new Slow Food USA members, asking them to visit SFS website and join our mailing list; no way to tell whether they have done that

Question to the Board: Should new members automatically be signed up to receive the newsletter (with opt-out option available with first newsletter)? AGREED

Jenny also sends renewal reminders to  Slow Food USA members when their membership lapses

Finances

Need to determine how much money will be needed for the year
Balance in account about $3,500 (of which $2,200 is earmarked for RAFT program)
Some bags will be “sold back” to Seacoast Eat Local; we will be selling them at all tabling events
Need to upgrade Flickr account to view and organize all pictures (Pam will follow up with Erin)


Meeting adjourned 10:00pm
Minutes recorded by Laura Spelke