April 2008

Minutes from the Sunday Supper Club
April 13th, 2008

Thank you to Ike and Julie Broaddus for hosting our meeting!

Five Minute Flash Reports:

Treasurer’s Report- Treasurer Lisa Richard reported that our balance now stands at $182.55.  Thanks to all who recently made donations.

Mike Turner for Congress- Ike Broaddus provided an update on the Mike Turner campaign.
§         Mike is hoping to get 1000 people to donate $28.00 each (representing the 28 years Frank Wolf has been in congress) to his campaign.
§         May 22nd there will be a debate between Judy Feder and Mike Turner in Sterling
§         Mike has been endorsed, by a margin of 10 to 1, by the Progressive Democrats of America
Please visit Mike’s website at www.miketurnerforcongress.com for more information.

Recycling in Fauquier County- Sandy Alm encouraged all of us to recycle.  In addition to the usual recyclables (#’s 1 & 2 plastics, aluminum cans, glass, mixed paper) we can also recycle fluorescent light bulbs, paint cans, and electronics.   See www.fauquiercounty.gov for details.

No End in Sight/Body of War- Andrea Martens recommended that all should see these two documentaries.  No End In Sight tells the story of the events following the fall of Baghdad in 2003.  Based on over 200 hours of footage the film chronicles the results of the failure to plan for post-invasion Iraq.

Body of War, a recently released documentary by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro, powerfully tells the story of Tomas Young.  Tomas enlisted in the army immediately after 9/11 because he wanted to go to Afghanistan and get the “evildoers”.  Instead he was sent to Iraq where after only five days he was shot and paralyzed from the chest down.  The movie tells the story of his treatment, recovery, and his growing political activism.  Tomas’ willingness to share the most intimate details of his life, his sense of humor and his incredible strength are an inspiration. The film is now showing at the E Street Cinema in DC.

For the Good of the Community

Bill Day is recruiting people to go to Wise County to meet with Senator Puckett to share citizen concerns about Dominion’s planned coal fired energy plant.

Gerry Eitner invited people to attend the June 1st dedication of the peace pole and peace garden at Rady Park.  Visit www.communitiesofpeace.org for details.  If you are interested in donating money, plants or labor please email Gerry at gerry7253@gmail.com or call 540-341-2859.

“Month of Peace”- The Town of Warrenton has declared May a “month of peace”.   Warrenton was the 1st “Community of Peace” in the United States.  Now communities around the world are joining in.

Sunday Supper Club Planning Committee Meetings- Linda Swanson extended an invitation to all to join us at our monthly planning meetings.  Please come and help brainstorm future topics for our meetings.   Our next meeting will be Thursday April 24th at 6:30 at Panera’s in Warrenton.  We hope to see many new faces!

Guest Speakers:  Pablo Elliott, Harvey and Ellen Ussery

Thanks to all our guest speakers for their information and passion!

Pablo, director of the local food project at Airlie, began the evening by speaking about his project’s efforts to advance local sustainable agriculture.

He mentioned the confluence of events which have created the phenomena of the local food movement.
1) Concerns over the quality of food in grocery stores.  People want to know where their food comes from.
2) Growing interest in responding to environmental issues such as climate change and energy concerns.
3) Increasing awareness of the need for land preservation and support of local farms/farmers.

The local food movement is growing exponentially due to consumer demand.

What are the barriers/challenges to moving forward with this?
The main issues are on the production side.  We need people growing local not just buying local.  Barriers to production include difficulties with access to land as well as inexperience and the difficulties of “making the leap” into farming.

Diversity is a key aspect of local food production.  Recognizing the importance of diversity, Airlie hosts a wide variety of events which promote networking, discussions, what works/what doesn’t, grass roots efforts…

For a calendar of events go to: www.airlie.org

Ellen Ussery spoke next, informing us of the “dark side” of food production.  Large corporations control most of food production.  As the demand for local food has grown, these large businesses have joined forces to squash this movement.

One story she shared with us is the story of raw milk.  For full details go to www.realmilk.com.  In Virginia there was a regulation which forbade the sale of goat milk and could have been interpreted to prohibit a person from drinking milk from their own animal.  A bill was introduced which allows people to drink raw milk from their own cow.  Now we have a flourishing market for those wishing to buy “cow shares”.

Harvey Ussery- www.modernhomestead.us.

Harvey spoke of the need for local producers to grow food in a sustainable fashion.  Many problems exist today because there has never been a generation of people more alienated from the source of their food.  We take for granted that someone else will provide for us.

Harvey quoted the wise voice of Wendell Berry: “How we eat determines to a considerable extent how the world is used.”   Where we spend our food dollars is a vote for a kind of system of agriculture.  Buy food you KNOW is being grown in a sustainable way from farmers who are treating plants and animals the way they evolved.  If we know the truth  about what we’re doing to living creatures we’ll find alternatives to some of the prevailing methods.

One way to address climate change is to change the way we eat.  There are plants which help to sequester carbon in the soil.

Harvey also spoke of the importance of avoiding non-organic fertilizers and toxic weed/pest killers.  These have a deleterious effect on insect balances among other things.  When we take down any part of a natural system we inherit its task.

Harvey closed by issuing an “invitation to magic”: magic as an experience of participating in the miracle of life.  Everyone can garden- even if you have limits on time and space we can each do something!

Helpful tips from our Q&A
§         Hot pepper on corn tassels helps to keep raccoons out of the garden
§         Waist high electric wire with strong ground can be helpful for repelling deer. Bait the wire with aluminum foil coated with PB.
§         Milorganite (organic fertilizer) also works well to repel deer as they hate the smell.  Spread around perimeter of garden.

Suggested sources for more information:
Books:  “How to Grow More Vegetables And Fruits…”- John Jeavons
“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”- Barbara Kingsolver
“The Omnivore’s Dilemma”- Michael Pollan
“In Defense of Food”- Michael Pollan

http://www.ftcldf.org/ – website of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund

http://www.sundaysupperclub.org/?q=node/2717- “Help Wanted, Young Farmers”

http://www.fauquiercounty.gov/government/departments/agdev/index.cfm?action=farmlist- Fauquier County Farm Product Directory

http://www.visitfauquier.com/agricultural_markets.html- Directory of local farmers markets.

Save the Dates- you won’t want to miss our upcoming meetings!

Sun. May 4th-  A “Conversation with the Candidates”.  We’re pleased to welcome Judy Feder and Mike Turner, candidates for the Democratic nomination for the 10th Congressional District

Sun. June 8th –  We’ll be joined by Dr. Jonathon Lewis, Fauquier County’s new superintendent of schools.

Sun. July 13th- Lynn Broaddus, current director of Friends of Milwaukee’s rivers, travels from Wisconsin to speak with us about the importance of clean water and sustainable water management.

Happy Spring Everyone!

Andrea Martens,
Communications Coordinator, SSC