Saturday, March 28, 2009

Green Evening Cafe with a Seed and Plant Exchange

The Sonnenschein Green Initiative hosted the third Green Evening Cafe on Tuesday, March 24, 6-8:30 pm at the Emporium Cafe, downtown, Hohenwald. Food and Farming was the theme for the March Green Evening. Fifty seven people attended the evening, which began and ended with a seed and plant exchange. Cassandra and Tom Warner of Cane Creek Nature Works Farm sponsored the event. Cassandra spoke on the benefits of gardening. Matthew English of Ecological Artisans spoke about applying Permaculture to your gardens, orchards and landscapes.

The Sonnenschein Food and Farming working group also gave a presentation on the development of food and farming businesses such as a local farmers market, community kitchen and community gardens. After the presentations Jennifer Dauksha-English led a World Cafe on Food and Farming. She explained that the cafe process was a cross pollination of ideas and that folks needed to remember that there were no right answers. The process is like an invention room - where all ideas are accepted.

Following is a small sampling of ideas that were harvested through the cafe conversations:
Hold harvest dinners and potlucks; Host garden and farm tours with fun activities for kids; Contact your local farmers and get them to grow just what you need; Start a Freecycle; Incorporate crafts and art into plans for a new Farmers Market; Educate children through 4-H, Future Farmers of America and other unique activities; Need Market to have perfect location and lot's of participants; Co-op market and surplus taken to Nashville; Need a central person to disseminate information about initiative and tips; Support local farmers and businesses; Buy bulk produce from Amish and then sell at market; Give out awards for growing food at local fair.

Jennifer ended the cafe with a think and listen to give people the opportunity to discuss next steps. Although there were no specific plans to adopt any of these new ideas immediately, the evening was a great success as it is a great building block and networking opportunity. Throughout the event 15 door prizes were handed out, more than half of them were plants. On leaving, several event participants stated that they had a lot of fun and that the evening was wonderful for the community. Please join us for these planned series of free, once-a-month evening events building on Hohenwald's efforts to make Lewis County greener, safer, and more economically viable. The Green Evening Cafe series will be the fourth Tuesday of every month. Call 931-796-4874, 888-878-2434 x 5 or e-mail for more details.

Below is a list of Green Evenings:
January 17 - Green Talk and Trade Show Join us for a Green Home Products Trade Show with an evening presentation by Lawrence Brothers Construction.

February 19 - Recession To Sustainability - Getting From Here to There, by Adam Turtle of Earth Advocates Research Farm. Discuss the development of appropriate cooperative local trade.

March 24 - Food and Farming
Join us for a Green Evening World Cafe to discuss the development of food and farming enterprises. A seed and plant exchange will take place.

April 28 - Transition Towns
Join us for a Green Evening World Cafe with discussions on the making of Transition Town Hohenwald and Lewis County!

May 26 - Complimentary Currency
Join us for presentations and discussions on appropriate cooperative trade and regional currencies.

June 23 - Home Grown Fuel
We'll hear presentations on fuel efficiency and alternative fuels, and then discuss the development of local alternative fuel and energy enterprises.

July 28 - Green Business Incubation
Join us for a Green Evening World Cafe on the development of green enterprises and economic development strategies.

August 25 - The Built Environment
Join us for a Green Evening presentation, view a home energy and money saving video called Kilowatt Ours and then discuss the development of green building enterprises.

The series will continue the fourth Tuesday of each month September - December, 2009.