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Not only last Saturday’s workshop succeeded very well, to an audience of 16, opening the Amherst Winter Farmers Market’s weekly workshop series this winter with elegance, but Nick and Betsy, long-time supporters and active participants, of Transition Amherst, even wrote a blog post about it on their “Adventures in the good life” blog!
Come to a discussion about how to create emotional resilience in our lives.
How do we “keep going” when everything looks so bleak? Lets talk! How to prepare ourselves for changing times and deal emotionally with emerging economic and environmental issues. How to use the gained stability to enrich our lives through physical action too. FREE!
WHEN: Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: All Things Local Cooperative Market
104 N Pleasant St, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002
See more: Grow Food Amherst Announcement
Date: December 20 Saturday at 12 noon
You’re Invited to a Community Forum to Discuss Ideas:
Monday, Sept. 23, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
at the new store site — 104 North Pleasant St., Downtown Amherst
Next to Food For Thought Books
A Kitchen Team has been working on ideas for cooperative use of the commercial kitchen, little dining area (four tables), “tasting island” and more. How might the kitchen help you eat local food all year ’round? If you have ideas, want to be a producer, want to buy take-out food, want to eat local prepared meals, preserve the harvest, or simply support eating local, please share your thoughts!
We invite you to join the conversation and tell your friends.
Tell us what you like to eat! Fill out a survey at the event or online: www.surveymonkey.com/s/TWMBTCY
Share your ideas at the forum or by emailing: ATLCoopKitchen@gmail.com
Anyone can apply to be a producer and sell products in the market. For more information go to: www.AllThingsLocal.coop
If you can’t attend the forum, but would like to share your ideas OR indicate your interest in commercial use of the kitchen, please write up your ideas and email them to the All Things Local Kitchen Team at ATLCoopKitchen@gmail.com as soon as you can, and no later than September 24. The Board of Directors has asked for a proposal for use of the kitchen and food products to be sold fresh, for immediate consumption. The Kitchen Team is assembling an Initial Use Proposal to help kitchen use get off the ground quickly. We must create an initial plan to ensure that the kitchen is utilized as soon as possible, yet also be able to function without a Kitchen Manager for at least several months. Next year, once food preparation businesses have generated a flow of income to cover kitchen costs, volunteers and members will be expanding the dream. Our shared mission: to use the co-op kitchen to help provide the whole community with healthy, local food.
What do you like to eat? What ideas do you have for how the market can help you and people you know eat more local food? The kitchen, the market, the four tables for eating, and the “tasting counter” will be a fabulous resource. We look forward to your help and ideas!
See you Monday, or communicate with us via the survey or email!
Please help us spread the word about the Community Forum and survey.
Yours in Happy Local Eating,
Peg, Amanda, Hwei-Ling, Tina & Trish
All Things Local Kitchen Team
The Communications working group (John G., Tina and Gabor) had a very energetic meeting on June 13th to plan the Internet presence of the ‘All Things Local store’ (ATL) project. Here is what we discussed:
The project will be documented on the Transition Amherst website, as we mutually want to support each other in our goals, since they are similar: to make our community more resilient, food or otherwise. But the project would get a larger representation than just this single blog page, with information on static pages, a facebook page and ways to sign up. Our names below represent who does what. All content will be sent to gaborzol at gmail dot com, so Gabor can update the site with the changes.
Under Projects we would have a description/summary page (Tina) and several sub-pages under that, for example about:
- Who are we (working groups, task teams, advisors) (John)
- Timeline (history and future) (Tina)
- Collaborators (check with them first) (Tina)
- Resources (Local roots documents, other info) (John)
- Links (Blogs, external info on Co-operatives, etc.) (John, Gabor)
We also would have ways to get involved (signup for mailing list) (Tina, Gabor)
A facebook page (Emily could work on that?)
A little box announcing the next event (Gabor)
All activities announced on the calendar (everyone)
These pages/locations would be linked from other appropriate pages (Tina, Gabor).
Monitor the rest of this site for these changes in the near future!
Amherst Growing Food in Community Meeting
Amherst Town Hall
June 7, 2012
Who is in the room and what is your interest?
Betsy Krogh – growing at home since the early 70’s including an edible forest garden, root
cellar, canning and drying, neighbors sharing eggs, expand the community gardens
Molly F alsetti-Yu – part of Transitions Amherst, teach at Smith, encourage students
Kathleen Doherty – UMass Permaculture, worked with Northampton to produce a
brochure on how to create a permaculture garden, more accessible to non-homeowners
Michelle Chandler – specialty micro-farm, hens and rabbits, Master Gardener, all about
growing food, canning
John Root – gardening for years, permaculture, working at Triple Brook, Earthwise
Landscaping is a new business, chair of refuse and recycling committee, need to compost
Julie Federman – Health Director, 5-year community transformation grant called “healthy
hampshire” looking at high rates of obesity, food and fitness at the policy level, how to
promote community gardens or local store, making food part of the local landscape
Valerie Cooley – teaches policy, knows food policy, students coming to home, social
entrepreneurship training, micro-agribusiness incubator
Bill Cooley – North Amherst, property which is overgrown, interest in bees and chickens
with neighbors, makes beer and mead, permaculture ideas into zoning, working with
Bernard Brennan – Amethyst Farm, Ag Commission, Transition Amherst, Master
Gardener, horses, bees, goats, maybe a cow, CSA member, grow community, host a CSA
and farmer training program, large herb garden, edible forest garden
Mona Naimark – Transition Amherst, compost toilets, yes I care, we are all needed
Sue Morrello – gardening in public spaces, apartments need public space, grow food
Stephanie Ciccarello – Town Sustainability Coordinator, new position, town is supportive
of green issues and energy conservation, growing more food is important, students need
to be encouraged to grow food, education is needed
John Gerber – I would like to be a cheerleader for all of these wonderful ideas
Wide Ranging Discussion: Conservation Department manages community gardens and
it has been difficult to maintain, there are different models for manages community
gardens, clearing house or inventory to identify land opportunities for sharing space and
ideas, help people figure out how to share space with their neighbors, Gardening in
Community and garden together rather than dividing up plots works because it was
focused on social gathering and learning, community garden at the Survival Center, bread
and other food from the Survival Center to raise animals, Cambodian gardeners need
space, focus on different populations, shared kitchens for teaching workshops especially
connecting with the faith community – this will keep costs down, network to connect
people, yahoo group or phone number to call to connect people who want to plant with
land, growers dating service, gardensharing, online gardening clearinghouse, connect to
libraries, hyper-locavore, yardsharing, sharing backyards, perennial food gardens at
schools lower maintenance costs, is there a place to store equipment, tool library, seed
library, outreach to colleges, wish list on town web site, connection with ag school, does
the business school provide opportunities for students to gain experience, lets focus on
hunger, lets feed the hungry, Rachels Kitchen for gleaning, glean orchards, and more.
Some Specific Ideas
edible landscape trees in town
shade tree committee for gardening
gardening in community (work together)
wish list on town web site
grow food and grow community
Transitions Amherst event
skill sharing open mike
Portland Fruit Tree Project (gleaning for the hungry)
database connecting people
work with Stockbridge students on town projects
tool registry – by neighborhood
nut trees at the Survival Center
town and gown relations
block party in fall with Alex and the BID
educational event in the fall with Kathy Harrison
permaculture brochure (like Northampton)
1. Stephanie will facilitate the next meeting on July 11 at 10:00am
2. We will invite others to the next meeting
3. We will identify 3 top ideas and form working groups to take action
Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts and passion around growing food in
community in Amherst . Attending this meeting is not a commitment to continue to
engage in this conversation. Everyone is busy. However, we do hope you will continue
to share your time and energy to the best of your ability.
At the first meeting on May 22 in Town Hall, about 75 people joined us to learn about food and craft coop in Ohio called Local Roots and to generate a list of questions to be answered at the next meeting. About forty people attended the follow-up meeting on May 29 to form teams to work on different tasks.
Jessica Eikleberry, former Market Manager and still on the staff of Local Roots, and three producer members of the cooperative, shared stories and perspectives to give us a deeper understanding of how the market works. Here are some of the questions and answers:
- Did you consider what if any Fair Trade items to include (non-local, such as chocolate & coffee?)
We recently (this year) added some fair trade items to the market. We (Local Roots) buys and resells at an approximately 35% mark up. We do this to round out the product selection and be more of a one stop shop for customers.
- How do you organize volunteers? How many do you have? What sort of business hours coverage do you fill with this help? How do you train them?
Our market manager does the organizing and training according to the needs of the market. We found it is best to have recurring volunteers who have “jobs” that they are trained to do (be it cash register, cleaning, inventory, etc) who come at regular times. We usually (try to) always have 1-2 in the market with the manager at all times to do the normal business or running the market (like cash register or setting up displays) under the direction of the manager which frees the manager up to do things like: talk with customers, producers, email, train new volunteers, etc. We have about 130 hours a month for these sort of activities.
Volunteers also do things like our newsletter, and all board members volunteer for projects as well (and sometimes recruit their own volunteers).
- Do you, and if so how do you recruit volunteers? How do you assign them to tasks? How do you coordinate and schedule volunteers? Do you find you have times when volunteers aren’t available, or when you have too many?
We post needs in our newsletters and mass emails. Many people actually come to us looking for opportunities. We have found it is best to talk to the person first to see what their interest and needs are then try to match it with a “job”.
- What is the maximum time a volunteer puts in? Pull-time, part-time? Minimum hours requested of volunteers?
It is 10 hrs/year to pay for your membership. A few producers put in the minimum so they can sell with us. Most people who volunteer do much more! It is about being involved, not the hours. We have several people who come 3 or so hours each week.
- Are volunteers responsible for quality control? If not, who is?
The manager ultimately is responsible for what goes on in the market
- Do you have a customer request box?
Yes, we have had customer request sheets, comment cards, etc. We had a little trouble with customer requests because sometimes they would request things that were not legal (raw milk) or were not local, etc and then would be peeved that we did not come through!
Another question that came up during our Town Hall meetings was “won’t All Things Local hurt sales at the downtown Saturday market during the summer?” We have posted some thoughts and suggestions for your consideration here.
In addition to answering these questions, Jessica sent us background information on their management policies. We’ve included these below:
- Information on membership in Local Roots
- Local Roots bylaws
- Guidelines and policies for producers
- Rules for selling in the market
- Guidelines for rental of market space
- Legal compliance by product
- General guidelines on how to choose products for the market
If you are willing to review any of these documents and tell us what you like about them and what you don’t, or have any questions or suggestions please either post your thought below of send send them to
Thank you for your continued interest in the creation of All Things Local in Amherst!