SFRR Newsletter November 2011

Shop to Strengthen Community and Create Memories.

Celebrations often define our family traditions. Try reshaping your family’s rituals to include local and environmental concerns and focusing on “going local”. Start by rethinking how much “consumption” a celebration really requires. Most of our memories about holiday events center around time shared and laughs traded. As you think about sourcing essential food, d├ęcor, and gifts, remember themes around recycling, local organic products and saving energy and water as you bring holiday magic to life. And most important, take this opportunity to pass these ideas to our children so they can make them a part of their future family traditions.

Some gifting ideas include: Creating a Memory such as gift certificates to local live theaters, museums, spas, music venues, farmer’s market vendors, winery tours and restaurants. Support a Cause by giving an annual pass to a regional, state or national park, or a membership to a nature conservatory, a Bay Area museum, a Slow Food chapter, a CSA farm program or another local, non-profit organization that sparks the recipient's interest and passion . Another “hands on idea” is to volunteer at a food bank, or help serve a holiday meal for the hungry in your community, or take your young ones to pick out a gift , have them wrap it and deliver it to a toy collection location, usually your local fire department. That will give them a sense of the real holiday spirit: Giving.

Remember what this season is all about - Celebration and Memories. So go out and create your own and keep it Local.
-  Sandy Mays                  

Sandy Mays has been a familiar face around west Sonoma County for many years. As a realtor and owner of local community newspapers - Healdsburg Tribune, Sonoma West Times and News and Windsor Times - she keeps a pulse on local happenings and is involved in many community organizations and events. "Currently my focus is on food and the Laguna de Santa Rosa, two non-profits that I support through leadership and fundraising roles. Slow Food Russian River has a great team and focuses on projects that drew me in several years ago and I encourage others to get involved. Food democracy is becoming a focus in this country and Slow Food can be one of the leaders in that movement."


The leadership team is looking ahead at the year to come. We will have our annual leaders retreat in December, when we will look back at our activities and projects of 2011 and begin to plan activities for the coming year. We'll work on a budget and talk about priorities and communication - we are starting to use Facebook more and better. We will also be planning our Annual Meeting, usually held in late January, where we present all of this to all of you, and listen to your opinions and ideas.

We will hold elections at the Annual Meeting, and we are actively looking for 2-3 new leaders to join our team. Our long-time leader and Treasurer, Laura Martin, will be leaving the Team after 10 years. She has been our Treasurer and bookkeeper and a visionary leader and vital member of our team and she will be greatly missed. We are looking for a new Treasurer, and you have gotten messages from us recently describing the job. Remember that being the Treasurer comes with being part of our dynamic team and lots of good times and shared meals as we meet monthly. If anybody has questions about either the Treasurer job or joining our team, please email me at info@slowfoodrr.org and I will get back to you.

We look forward to seeing all of you at our holiday party on December 11th, and at our Annual Members Meeting in January. Look for emails from us soon about some fabulous mushroom events we are already planning for January and February. And please, send your ideas and visions for Slow Food Russian River to us, hopefully before December 14th (our retreat date). How would you like to be more involved? What kinds of educational activities would meet your needs and interests? What sounds like fun in the year to come?

Yours in Good, Clean, and Fair...
Slow Food Russian River

Larry Martin, our devoted Slow Food Regional Governor, would like to share this letter regarding the amazing school garden project at the Steele Lane Elementary School in Santa Rosa.

Dear Larry:

As the new Garden Coordinator at Steele Lane Elementary School, I'd like to extend my appreciation to Sunrise Rotary and to Slow Foods for the very generous donations that make my position possible. The garden program is essential to providing these students with hands-on experiences in nature, to encourage an appreciation for our planet and an understanding of where healthy, tasty food comes from, something they may not otherwise experience without your support. Your donation gives these children a broader, healthier education experience and is much appreciated by so many. Everyone that walks past the garden area has some words of enthusiasm for the transformation! We have received support donations from Aaction Rents, King's Nursery, West County Oasis Bamboo Garden, North Bay Corporation, Oasis Day Spa, Signs Now and Wyatt Irrigation.

Additionally, I would like to extend my thanks to the members of Sunrise Rotary who took the time to help out at our Garden Work Party last Sunday. What a great day!!! We got so much done!! We made great progress together on Phase One---knocking back the Bermuda grass so we can lay the cardboard and mulch. Phase Two will be to tackle the planting boxes. The Bermuda grass has grown into the wood! When individuals like you all take the time to help, we get so much done together for the kids. We are well on our way and I deeply appreciate your commitment to helping us grow!

Please let everyone know that we have scheduled the following work party dates for the remainder of the year. We anticipate that much work will need to be done to get the garden in order for the kids.

Sunday, January 22, 9AM-Noon
Sunday, February 26, 9AM-Noon
Thursday, March 15, 2PM - 5PM (after school)
Sunday, April 1, 9AM-Noon (No joke!)
Sunday, May 6, 9AM-Noon

We will be having a plant sale to support the garden at the Open House, May 3rd. If we have plants left over, they will be offered at the Celebration of the Child later in May.

Slow Food Russian River Holiday Party - See above for details.

Annual Members Meeting - Details coming soon!

January/February is  MUSHROOM MANIA. We will be offering a tour of Gourmet Mushrooms, Inc. in Graton and are in contact with a number of smaller growers in the area for other events. If you have ideas you wish to come true, email our mushroom team leader Zeno Swijtink at swijtink@sonoma.edu.