Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Local Food Events -- Movies, Book Signings, and More!

March is here and it brings with it a number of food-related events you might want to add to your calendar!

On Saturday, March 5th, a spring meeting and party will be held for all the CANGrow and associated community gardens from 10:30 to noon at the Del Norte Family Resource Center. All current and future gardeners are welcome. We are about to break ground on a new garden at the corner of Northcrest and Washington in collaboration with the Del Norte County Health Care District and Open Door Community Health Centers. Almost 50 new beds will be looking for gardeners! Coffee, healthy drinks, and snacks will be provided by Champions for Change Nutrition Program and our local Starbucks.

On March 11th and 12th, Mark Winne will be in town to work with our fledgling Food Policy Council planning group. Mark is the Food Policy Council director for the Community Food Security Coalition. He has a new book about people challenging existing food policies called Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cookin' Mamas: Fighting Back in an Age of Industrial Agriculture. Mark will read from his book and sign copies (available for sale that night) at the Del Norte County Library at 5:30 on Friday, March 11th. The event is organized by Del Norte Reads and is free and open to the public. Mark will also be running Food Policy Council workshops on Saturday.

Del Norte Reads and the Del Norte County Library are actively promoting sustainable food and agriculture this year through their monthly Meaningful Movie Nights. Each month, on the last Monday of the month, they are presenting free screenings of films focused on food and agriculture issues.

They started in January with Dirt! The Movie, a sometimes-amusing, but also serious look at the literal base of all our agriculture and the effects of industrial agriculture on the health and well-being of this precious resource. February's movie was Permaculture: The Growing Edge. Permaculture is a form of sustainable intensive agriculture closely tied to place and climate. Bill Mollison, one of the two Australian founders of the permaculture concept, always looked at problems as opportunities. I happened to be growing up in Australia during the time permaculture was being developed, and my mother's favorite Bill Mollison quote is "You don't have a slug problem -- you have a duck deficiency!" I think here in Del Norte, we ALL have duck deficiencies!

On March 28th, the Meaningful Movie will be Fridays at the Farm, a beautiful film about community supported agriculture (CSA). Richard Hoffman, the filmmaker, documents a year of his family's involvement with a CSA farm on the outskirts of Philadelphia. The film is short, so Karen Rath of Del Norte Reads is putting together a local panel for a post-viewing discussion. Ocean Air Farms, our local Del Norte CSA, will be represented, as will CAN's community gardens. If you've ever wondered what it's like to be part of a CSA, this film will answer all your questions in a moving and caring way.

Finally, I am very pleased to announce that Joe Gillespie, the force behind Crescent Elk's wonderful school garden, will be teaching the first of this year's Successful Gardening Series classes, co-sponsored by Community Assistance Network and College of the Redwoods' Community Education program. The class will be held at the Crescent Elk garden on March 19th, from 10 to noon and will focus on understanding seeds and seed starting. Students will be getting their hands dirty and taking home planted seeds (there will be a $5 materials fee). RSVPs are required because space is limited!

For information about the community garden event, the Successful Gardening class, or the Food Policy Council work, please call Angela at 464-9190 ext. 107. If you'd like to know more about the book reading/signing or the Meaningful Movie Nights, you can call 464-7072.

If you are organizing or know of other food or farming events in Del Norte and surrounds, please let us know! We want to support the work that is happening here.

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