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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Riverside Food Cooperative Annual Meeting

Fox farm hosted the Riverside Food Cooperatives annual meeting the last Sunday of September.    The annual meeting is required and a annual financial report must be presented along with voting on pertinent issues.     I am also a board member of the cooperative, so I offered the farm as the venue for the meeting.    We decided to make it a potluck with a emphasis on vegetarian and gluten free dishes.    We created a signup process on Eventbrite and also opened the meeting to non members so we could gain some additional members.   We had 145 sign up and around 100 attended.  It was a nice mix of coop members and non members.    We gained 6 new members who signed up during or after the BBQ.  If your interested in joining the Riverside Food Coop, please visit
and click on join.

Here a couple pictures of me welcoming the attendees to the meeting.

I asked the landowner of my farm to speak.   Her name is Lana Hapeman and she has owned the orchard and farm for 25 years.   She is very dedicated maintaining properties like this, rather then turning them into housing tracts.

We invited Arthur Levine of Huerta de Valle, and community garden and working farm in the flight path of the Ontario Airport in Ontario Ca.    Its a wonderful concept where the sales from the farm support the community garden by providing seeds, water, etc.  Arthur is a fellow from Pitzer College in Claremont CA.   The farm receives support from Pitzer College and Kaiser Permantente.  Arthur spoke about the need for community garden and the value of people growing their own food as a way to alleviate poverty and improve the health of a community.

We then discussed Cooperative business.
I spoke about the need for a food hub and that we would like to open a food hub along with a cooperative store and one may come before the other.

We also discussed the grant we received to sell vegetables on the Eastside of Riverside from the City of Riverside and Kaiser Permanente.    Nick M spoke about his work in implementing the grant.

One of the facets of the grant is the weekly harvest bag.  The program provides weekly bags of produce at a greatly reduced price along with health and nutrition classes.   Lorie Brendecke, a county nutritionist, also plans and implements the classes for this program.   

The legally required component of the annual meeting is the financial report.  Sue Struthers, the treasurer asked to do that last, since its also the most boring part.  Here she is discussing the financial report.

Finally, the end of the meeting and time to eat.   The cooperative provided beef and veggie burgers and the guests all provided a side dish that would complement a farm bbq.  
My partner, Duane Cook and one of our friends, Brian Garretson, and Jorge Fierro, a coop core member volunteered to man the grills.    Duane has the hat,  Brian is wearing solid blue shirt, and Jorge has the blue checkered shirt.

The feast begins.   There was nice selection of salads and side dishes for guests to choose.  Here are some images of the guests making their choices.