Saturday, December 20, 2008

Meeting Notes 11/11/08

Taste test of Squash:
- Red Squash (?) – 2; 3; doesn't like it; good with savory seasoning
- Butternut – 2; second sweetest; good for soup; easiest to peel; 2; 2
- Delicatta – 1; sweetest; 4; 1
- Buttercup – 3; starchier; 1; taste like yams/sweet potatoes; pie; 3

Olive Harvest – Alida

Sunday before Thanksgiving: Sunday, November 23rd
Time: TBA – 9am tentatively
- Bring a picnic lunch
- Check for stuff in olives (bolts, etc.)
- Mike Madison will be pressing our olives
- We will be doing it by weight again – Alida will be checking in with Rick about the scales
- We need: carts, barrels, buckets, ladders, etc.
- Mike will be donating bins for the day to use to
- Danielle – Ask Tim to borrow Experimental College Garden Ladder
- We are planning on picking in the same area as last year – to the west of the UC Davis Airport
- Alida and Rainbow will be sending out a "save the date" to the listserve soon (like tomorrow?)

Scripps (Community Currency) – Nico ( and Rainbow

- How does a community currency work? – a lot of people and groups and people in Davis are interested in supporting a local economy; the name is pretty self explanatory – this is a currency that you print out specifically for your community; it is totally legal
- Why have a community currency if we have a currency already? – dollars are used typically for car payments, rent, etc.; don't necessary want to spend it on things that support a local currency; with community currency people are able to spend their community currency towards community goods
- How does it work? – Pay $10 each month and get $2 community currency – post goods/services on a board (internet, bulletin board); exchange of goods and services using only the local scrip. The people spend the currency pretty quickly so it circulates well and supports a healthy economy
- Ithaca Hours? – community currency system in New York;
- Ideas for buying services/goods: Training, buying tools, all people who buy the scrip are sharholders in what to spend the money that is generated in buying the scrip (the $10 monthly charge)
- Using a currency may be better than a service exchange, but here are some service exchange programs ideas:
- TO move forward:
o Contact local community groups that would support the project, like the CoOps, the Davis Food CoOp, Project Compost, Students for Sustainable Ag, CSSC, Farmer's Market Association, The Domes, Davis People's Free School, J- St. CoOp, N- St. CoOp, MLC,
- Things to ask:
o Is this interesting, and something you would like to pursue – YES, SSA likes the idea and wants to pursue it
- Alida – has information for Nico and Rainbow on another program that is running into issues with their community currency
- Will the Davis Business Association, City Council be involved – Nico will be contacting them….
- Does anyone you know have good web skills to help design a good website to help set this up – LIZ MAY KNOW SOME, SHE WILL ASK…
- Rainbow – on
o Has talked to a lot of people that have been interested in the topic, and people who have tried it
o It will take a lot of attention and support to make it more sustainable
o Free Service Exchange can be designed instead – no direct exchange, no accounting, you can use these services if you want; you submit one service, and then you have a list of services that you can choose from yourself
o The IRS is wanting people to keep track of these expenses, so it somewhat defeats the whole purpose of the community exchange
o Christie – in Berkeley, there are several credit unions that are offering a community building investment program that shareholders have the ability to vote on what projects they would like to see occur in their community
- IRS issue is kinda scary – Nico will be doing more research on this; Ithaca Hours do not have to keep track of their currency; we may be able to get around this by changing the name, instead of "Davis Currency", it can be something more like "
- Alida will be getting her friend's research project on Local Currencies, and will be forwarding it to Nico and listserve….
- Please send us Input on services that you would be interested in offering, so that we can get an idea of what the community would be providing...
- Getting local business involved/on-board is good, because then we won't be putting them out of business

Obama Action – Christie McCullen

- COMFOOD listserve is asking organizations for policy suggestions
- SSA will be doing our own thing, and also send it to COMFOOD
- Can publish our letter to the Roosevelt Institute
- CCE for reorientation guide for 2009-2010
- Organization
o When do we want to send it out? December 8th
o We want it to be concise, so that Obama will actually read it
- Ideas for letter:
o Put on smart-site in form of wiki; people can add things to the wiki based on these ideas
- Publish letter – send it California Senators (Boxer and Feinstein), ASI, SAREP,

Small scale has relatively higher output than large scale + it increases jobs in the agricultural sector so support small scale
Support new farmers credit, capital, resources, and public, abandoned lands (describe the creativity and ambition of new farmers paired with creative urban landscapes to make food)
Farming in education
Decreasing dependence on petroleum
Funding research
Funding extension
Where does the funding for all this new support come from? Decrease subsidies!
Increase Equip type environmental subisidies instead and not directed to CAFO's
Make big ag responsible for negative externalities
Harvest methane from shit lagoons for energy
Make patenting life illegal (i.e. Don't necessarily go against biotechnology but go against the laws that allow corporations to patent life forms)
Locally-marketed food tends to be more diverse and fresh, improving"food security";
Common sense tells us that locally-marketed food carries less embodied
transport energy, contributing less greenhouse gas etc. problem is, those damn (highly biased) new zealand lamb producers (in the economist and NY times) and some UC davis study i can't wait to read, both refuting claims of local food distribution efficiency, seem to have (unfairly) gotten most of the recognition on this issue. Anyone have convincing articles on this to recommend?
3. Farmers who own their land are more likely to steward it well and
contribute to overall environmental quality.
4. Small farms who sell locally contribute lots more to their local
economies (i heard michael shuman say something like 40% of local farms'
income dollars stay in their communities, vs. 8% of wal mart and safeways'
food dollars... anyone have a citation?)
5. The goldschmidt idea that rural social welfare is better where family
farms are alive and well... our own mccannell and fujimoto have contributed
to this research, and a much-overlooked government paper shows that
communities which have excluded corporate agribusiness on a certain scale,
across the midwest etc., have ended up faring better than those which
invited it in. I have some good references on this, but welcome more. it's a
good one.
6. Land permanently dedicated to smaller-scale agriculture helps create
growth boundaries and is more likely to provide good buffers, wildlife
habitat, and all the things listed above than land constantly being optioned
out by developers.
Along with supporting new farmers, support programs for minority and
immigrant farmers and for farm workers who want to start their own farms
*Help for young returning veterans to start farms
*Immigration reform! Addressing legal status etc for the people who
grow/harvest/process our food
*Extending national labor standards to agricultural labor, and enforcing
*Fair labor certification program (like organic- or adding labor into
organic standards)
*Cooperative development programs
*addressing international trade, trade agreements, etc as a part of this, another big/difficult topic but CRUCIAL to the futures of small farmers both in the US and abroad
Need to add:
- whole food system
- economic security
- energy security
- nutrition
- urban development
- social justice
- international trade (NAFTA, CAFTA)
- Food Safety
- Labeling Regulation***add Legalize Irradiation for all leafy greens? This should be opposed
- Food Access (Social Justice) - Community Planning for Grocery Store placement
- Farm-to-School/Farm-to-Institution/Farm-to-College
- Tax credits for businesses who use local foods
- Taxing people who purchase processed foods
- Subsidizing produce crops, not commodity crops
- Seed saving
- Waste management à more composting! (education, community based)
- Textiles (Sweatshop Free)
Christie** Check out the California Food and Justice Coalition à policy recommendations for the Farm Bill reform (more food system)

Meeting for Obama Action – Meet Next Tuesday at Christie's House – 7pm 809 E. 11th Davis, CA

Next SSA Meeting – Tuesday November 25th

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