First shared meal

The first shared meal was a great success, around 50 people attended, bringing an array of wonderful dishes of food and drink to share.  I hope we all got to chat to new people and to share our dreams and aspirations for Diss Food Community.  We recognised that whilst we are still at the ‘dreaming’ stage there is room for running pilot projects that enable us to learn, to make mistakes on a smaller scale, to try out ideas, and that doing this will help to inform our dreaming as we learn more about the constraints and the possibilities.

At the meeting we had a show of hands to see which pilot projects people would be interested in being involved in, and it emerged that there was a good level of interest in all three.  Below is a poll that everyone can vote on to let us know what you want, so get voting. (You can vote for more than one, all three if you want.)

We talked about the need to get working groups together and have been able to make some progress with this.  I’ve listed the individual groups below:

(It would be good to be able to list a contact person for each group so that anyone interested in joining one of these working groups could contact them directly, let me know if you would be happy to have your email address posted here.)

  • Communication -website, press, newsletters
  • Membership – recruitment, promoting Diss Food Community
  • Events – organise social and collection events
  • Farm Co-ordination
  • Logistics – set up and manage veg collection and distribution
  • Local Food Hub Co-ordination
  • Legal – set up legal structure and constitution
  • Finance – payment system, record keeping, fundraising

The Communications group and the Legal group have already met to talk about their roles and responsibilities, the other groups will need to do this too, hopefully a leader will emerge from each group.

Gary asked everyone to share their thoughts about what would make the project special for them, here are some of the responses:

  • We could move away from our dependence on supermarkets (followed by applause)
  • Opportunity to have more social events and to meet others in the community
  • Chance to learn new skills
  • Being able to teach our children about where our food comes from
  • That we as a community would have more control over the food we consume
  • We could share ideas on how to live more sustainably
  • To get stuck in digging, actively helping out and participating on the farm

Other thoughts of a more practical nature arose from discussion.

  • Need for a forum for having open discussions about the project, for continuing to dream about the possibilities.  The communications group will look into this.
  • At this stage we want to be inspired about the possibilities, it was suggest that we invite someone from another community agricultural project to come and give a talk. (I have posted video links about the Stroud project here)
  • Need for an ethical policy on working in partnership with local business – the local food hub group could begin by looking at this.
  • Donations – we had intended to ask for donations, but forgot!  We are incurring small costs for stamps, letters, producing leaflets, banners, hall hire etc.  Perhaps someone in the finance group could look into starting a bank account and a fund to cover these costs.
  • Chris Lewis has offered to start working on a database to store members details.  After discussion we thought that there is a need for an administrator to be responsible for keeping this up to date once it is set up.  If you think you might be good at this email disscommunityfarm@yahoo.co.uk
  • Carol Denham is going to start work on a seasonal recipes section for the website, if anyone would like to help her with this email disscommunityfarm@yahoo.co.uk

Thanks to all the people that helped to make last night a success; for the wonderful food that you all prepared, and for sharing your thoughts.  Thanks to those that came early to set up, and those that stayed late to clear away, and those that did lots of washing up in the middle.

The next event is going to be on 10th April at 3.00pm at Roydon Village Hall, the events group will keep us all informed about the plans for this.

Looking forward to seeing you all again soon

Ange

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