Sunday, June 26, 2011

All the news that's fresh and local

I have been absent from A Teachable Feast for almost a month, and I must beg your forgiveness (um, anyone still out there?). I had no idea the time had flown by! I've been so busy getting our school garden launched and planted and funded, that I've barely had time to even tend my own humble salsa garden in my backyard, nevermind compose mellifluous blog entries on food and learning.

But that doesn't mean I don't have lots to share! For starters, our garden is wonderful! We have six raised beds that are planted with tomatoes, onions, broccoli, peppers, squash, pumpkins, beans and even a few mystery plants. The children planted most of them, with help from teachers and parents, during what was a crazy end of the school year. Now our Willett Summer Garden Club has taken over, and several families will visit our garden over the course of the summer to weed, water and harvest, and to share their experiences and observations on a website so all of our children can participate in the learning during the summer. I am often there myself, making sure all is going smoothly, moving plants around and watering. It's been amazing, because every time I go, someone else stops by, to see how we're doing, or to help in some way. People are genuinely excited at the thought that children have planted this garden and children will benefit from it. We have big plans for the future, and I am optimistic that we'll succeed in all our efforts to make the teaching garden an integral piece of every child's experience at Willett School.

In related food news, our Attleboro Farmer's Market opens this Saturday, July 2! I couldn't be more excited about it. It's another opportunity to show children where their food comes from, while supporting local farms and crafts people. The buzz about the market has been electric around town, both among those of us who intend to shop there and among the farm vendors who will be selling there. I have a good feeling this market is going to take off. A Teachable Feast hopes to play a small role in the area of food knowledge. I may be contributing some short articles for the Market's website, and will work to plug in some food experts to share their knowledge at the market. Make sure you check out the market's site for details, a calendar and awesome links to other local food resources. Watch this space as well, since I'll be reporting about the market here as well.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Attention Sustainable Food Entrepreneurs!

To anyone interested in pursuing a small food-based business, this looks like a great learning opportunity: (passing this on from a posting I just received)

What You Need To Know When Looking For Investors: A primer for Slow Money businesses

When: Thursday June 23, 6pm – 9pm
Where: The Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St. Cambridge, MA 02138
$25 – You can pay at the door, but please RSVP for this event: slowmoneygreaterboston@gmail.com

The main event - a presentation by John Friedman beginning at 6:30pm:

Farmers and small food producers are increasingly savvy about marketing their own products and very often need investors to help move their business to the next level. John's experience in this niche is exceptional and he will introduce the basic concepts necessary when approaching potential funders. And, all class attendees will receive a free copy of the Slow Money Primer, authored by John Friedman

Come join us to learn more about garnering investment for your farm or food-related business. You’ll have time to network with friends and meet new people while enjoying snacks from Basil Tree Catering (a local, sustainable business).

John Friedman is an attorney specializing in corporate development for entrepreneurial and emerging businesses in the sustainable agriculture and technology industries. He counsels clients refining their business plans, creating financial models, raising outside capital, developing and maintaining distribution channels, and seeing to their other transactional, regulatory and litigation needs. He is a member of the American Agricultural Law Association, Slow Food, and the Slow Money Alliance, among many other organizational affiliations.