I just got back from the first meeting of our Menu for the Future discussion group. The Vermont Earth Institute helps facilitate discussion courses on a variety of topics related to sustainability and the newest topic is food! I am particularly excited about this group (I've done a few before) since I helped on the committee to select the essays in the reader (it was organized and edited by the Northwest Earth Institute in Portland, OR). Basically the idea is you get together a group of friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc to come together for 6 sessions and everyone reads a handful of essays on the session topic and have a facilitated discussion for an hour or two. The overarching purpose is — To explore food systems and their impacts on culture, society and our planet; To gain insight into agricultural and individual practices that promote personal and ecological well-being; To consider your role in creating or supporting sustainable food systems.
We chose to do ours along with a potluck dinner since the topic was food. It was great to meet some new people from Calais, Berlin and Montpelier and hear about people's experiences with food, their gardens (if they had one), and other stories. It would be great to organize a group in the Mad River Valley to start later this summer or early fall. If you're interested, email me and I'll start compiling a list and try to get a group together.