Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Terra Madre.. Why a donate button?

In my last post, I spoke of Beth's impending trip to Terra Madre and included a "Donate Now" PayPal button to help raise some money to defray some of the costs of the trip.

Some readers may ask "Why ask for money?" "It's your choice to go, shouldn't you pay for it?" Indeed, these are questions that Beth wrestled with in making the decision on whether or not to go to Terra Madre. The fact that Slow Food Chicago is already footing a good part of the bill made Beth hesitate to pass the hat herself.

But... the funds from Slow Food Chicago exist because of their fundraising. They raise money to send local food leaders to Terra Madre because it is important that their community is represented by articulate, knowledgeable, and passionate food producers that understand the issues of our region, AND because those leaders will use what they learn in Italy to further the Slow Food cause when they get home. Beth is such a leader...and why she was chosen as a delegate.

Beth will represent the Slow Food community at Terra Madre.  She will, also, represent the Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm community. Although there are definitely intersections of the two, we decided it was appropriate to allow the CVSF community to be able to support Beth's efforts as well. After all, isn't that what our agriculture is all about?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Terra Madre Redux

Okay... So back in the spring Beth and I each applied to be delegates to Slow Food's biennial conference in Torino, Italy. Beth was selected as an alternate - I unfortunately didn't make the cut at all.

Beth viewed her "alternate" status as a pretty firm "no" as who would give up a trip to northern Italy? As the busyness of spring and summer on the farm and at the farmers market and at soccer practices and various points in between, we pretty much forgot about Terra Madre.


.... about a month ago, Beth received word that spaces for alternates had opened up, and we had to make a decision about whether or not she would take one and go.

For me it was a no-brainer, "You're going!"

Beth went back and forth for about 24 hours weighing the pros and cons of going. With overwhelming support of family, friends, and farming colleagues the pros soon outweighed the cons - by a long shot.

Never the less, learning about an international trip with just 8 weeks notice adds some logistical and scheduling challenges -farm chores still need to get done, kids need to be fed, clothed, etc, and markets attended - as well as some financial decisions..,.

Although the Chicago Slow Food chapter is very generously providing much of the funding for the trip there will undoubtedly be additional costs. A rough estimate is that the trip will cost about $600 above the support from Slow Food Chicago. We've been saving for a family trip this fall and can reallocate those funds to Terra Madre and just delay our family trip until spring.

Another thought is to raise some of the money from our community of  farm supporters, hence the Pay Pal donate button below. For everyone who donates and provides a mailing address, Beth will send a postcard from Torino. Beth will blog about her trip; and we are brainstorming ideas of how she can share her story with supporters when she returns. A "farm dinner" is one of the primary ideas at this point; of course we are open to suggestions!