I always feel a little introspective as the end of the year draws close. It's a time to evaluate all that's happened this year, maybe redirect some activities, and generally focus on my goals and where I want to go. This year, I'm feeling truly grateful for all that's happened this year and for the amazing people I've been blessed to have in my life. Here's a few of the highlights:
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference: We were part of SSAWG's Share the Wealth program in January, flying to Chattanooga, TN with a group of people who, individually, have had a large impact on my thoughts concerning local agriculture.
Slow Money DFW's 20x20 at SMU: What a great line-up of speakers! This event in April left many of us motivated, inspired and ready to change the world. In the process, we were able to see a community begin to develop. Thanks to Robert Olivier of Compostmania for all his hard work in putting it together!
Dallas' first Food Summit: In September, forty-plus individuals got together to take a look at the north Texas food system, and to talk about what we could do to make it better. Farmers, gardeners, university professors, chefs, public and private organizations - many areas of our community were represented. We had some great interaction and it's helping focus our efforts in the New Year.
Barn Aid 3: Eden's Organic Farm put together a fundraiser for Feed Texas First in October. Fabulous food, great people, and some funds raised to help pay for some workshops in the next year. Chefs in Dallas are wonderfully supportive of local agriculture.
MoonRyvr Ranch BBQ and Hay-down: This is an annual event in November that my family always enjoys. This year it was different in that the dairy was hit with a huge hay bill due to the drought. Lack of water = no grass = not good for grass-fed cattle. Lunch, a silent auction, and cow-patty bingo (use your imagination) and the money raised helped feed the animals. Truly a community in action.
Weston A. Price Foundation's Wise Traditions conference in Dallas. Judith McGeary's heartfelt plea for Texas farmers at the Saturday banquet resulted in over $2000 being donated to the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners' Disaster Relief Fund.
So, I guess as I look back this has been a year of community - a community that I feel so blessed to be a part of! It's also been a kick-start for Feed Texas First, which will transition to a project under the nonprofit Grow North Texas in the New Year. Here's looking forward to a great year for sustainable agriculture in 2012!