The weekend went just as we had imagined and hoped it would be. We didn't have too much in the way of a formal structure set in place for the conference: we hoped simply to rely on the magic that happens when you mash together keen, excited folk with a warm, open space and amazing food. What we got was a veritable frenzy of conversation and idea-sharing and new friendships and excitement.
I was totally blown away by how different each group that we invited was: from the intensely political to the unabashedly epicurean; from those that dumpster-dive for food to those that sourcing directly from farmers; from feeding thirty people once a week to others which feeding four hundred every day; from those that have a formal organisations to those that simply exist by way of friendships and routine; those with two members to those with over a hundred; those that operate soup kitchens to those that operate coffee shops to those that operate bulk food stores; and so on...
And yet, we all had so much to talk about and share. Here is a sample of some of the workshops that were held (we simply created a paper spreadsheet and had people post up workshop/discussions they wanted to run):
- Spreading the message: community outreach & publications
- Dumpster diving
- Food packing and wrapping: serving minimally packaged food
- Creating inclusive community with our groups
- Maintaining institutional memory
- How to organise to win referendums and elections
- Community gardening
- Food sourcing issues (from farmers and otherwise)
- Recipe and cooking techniques exchange
- Organising a cross-country solidarity network
- Food security outside of the kitchen