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The meeting was held at the Wright’s Home, 535A Strawberry Canyon Road, Royal Oaks
Present: George Fred & Kimberly Wright, Christy Parker, Allan Lonnberg, Sharon Sneed Hull & Kent Hull, Marty Kay Field, Lloyd & Lindy Martin
Responding with regrets: Roxanne & Ed Craddock, Jean & Jerry Thomas, Diane & Richard Emigh, Carol & Don Monkerud, Greg & Shannon Muck, Stephanie Taylor (thank-you all for responding)
After a dinner of pizza of naturally-fermented dough, tomato sauce made from Mariquita Farms San Marzano tomatoes, homemade mozzarella cheese and home-grown herbs cooked in the wood-fired oven, Sharon’s home-grown salad, and sausages made with meat from Marty’s home-grown pigs, the meeting was called to order by the out-going leader, Kimberly. Kimberly has served as leader for seven years, since the founding of the convivium in July 2002, and under the 2008 National Statute has exceeded the new limit of 5 years in office. By unanimous vote Christy was elected to serve as leader (also known as president) of the Monterey Bay Convivium of Slow Food USA;. Also by unanimous vote, Lindy was elected as treasurer, and Kimberly will serve as vice-president & secretary. Christy will report the election results to the National Office.
The next point of business was discussion of a change of email account, with possible enhancements using currently available technology. The current email account is tied to Kimberly’s personal account, and has become a spam magnet. Christy will follow up on improving email communications.
Due to the lack of response to email communications in the past, it has sometimes been necessary to send out hard mail via USPS. It was suggested by Lindy and approved by all to set up a petty cash fund to pay for mailing expenses. These will be reduced if email recipients respond to convivium emailing.
Kimberly reported that current convivium membership is 24. Membership in the names of a couple are counted as a single membership. Of those 24, 5 were represented at the meeting, and an additional 4 had communicated their approval of Christy’s election. Kimberly expressed disappointment at the lack of participation on the part of the membership.
Kimberly also reported on the finances of the convivium. The bank account is with Bay Federal Credit Union. Current balances include $1524.11 in checking and $1507.56 in savings. A minimum balance of $1000 is required for a no-fee account. Additional monies are intended for either the Freedom School Garden Program or other worthy causes. Most recently, in 2004 we helped to fund travel to Terra Madre for Jim Dunlop & Rebecca Thistlethwaite of TLC Ranch.
The next topic of discussion was Future Events. We will continue to try to sponsor a monthly gathering. On August 30, Diane & Richard Emigh have offered to host a barbecue at their home (details of which will be sent out soon). On September 7, we will be hosting one or more Eat Ins in support of the national Child Nutrition act, locations to be announced. On October 11 is the annual potluck picnic with the Santa Cruz chapter and the Dante Society; this year’s feast will be held at Valencia Creek Farm in Aptos.
Other future events and dates are yet to be determined, but Christy is working on a farm dinner in Big Sur. Suggestions are requested from our membership. Kimberly recommended that we have more book discussion meetings, and Allan agreed to research & recommend at least two books for the coming year. Christy hoped that we could sponsor visits to producers for school groups. All were agreed that more participation by and interaction with younger people is important to the future of slow food as well as to Slow Food. We also agreed to pursue the possibility of an event with ALBA.
George Fred reported on the convivium participation on the Cooking for Solutions event at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on May 9 of this year. The convivium was invited to participate by the organizers of the event, which is a major step forward for acknowledgement of the convivium by the event management. Christy & Fred represented the convivium. They were located in a very favorable position by event organizers. As many as 6000 contacts were anticipated; unfortunately, the National Office sent out very little literature. Fortunately, the event organizers were generous with free photocopies; consensus is that this is not the impression that we want to make when invited to participate in a prestigious event.
Fred also brought up the question of inactive chapters in adjacent regions, including Carmel and San Benito. Last year we organized an event in the Carmel Valley with hopes that it would inspire someone else to step up and reactivate the chapter. Distances in the region prohibit regular attendance of events by members who live in diverse areas. The farm dinner in Big Sur will be our offering to members who live on the peninsula & south this year. There has been interest by Slow Food members from the Hollister/San Benito area in events held on the Gilroy side of the hill. We will do what we can to include in outlying areas without discouraging members who live in the area that we have traditionally served.
Marty requested a roster/contact list for current members. This will be taken under consideration, with thought given to member privacy.
Sharon writes a regular gardening column for the Santa Cruz Sentinel; she offered to mention any garden-related event in her column. Other possible media contacts were discussed.
The meeting was adjourned and followed by a tasting of Chocolate Visions newest creations, including chocolate bars with 1) honey roasted peanuts & toasted coconut, 2) apple wood smoked almonds and candied Meyer lemon peel, and 3) apple wood smoked almonds and dried apricots. For those with any remaining appetite, Christy had baked fruit crisp made with Blenheim apricots from Betty Van Dyke topped with oats from a small farm & mill located near the home of her aunt in Oregon.
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