Dear Members and Friends of the Petaluma Community Guild #851,
What a year 2014 has been for the Petaluma Community Guild! I wanted to send a recap of our Guild’s activities, fun, and activism had in 2014 — and a look forward at some of the things to come in the new year.
The Petaluma Community Guild will foster a sustainable community by advocating for local farmers and the creation of equitable, resilient local agricultural and food systems. We will embrace the area’s diverse cultural heritage, promote reinvestment in our local economy, welcome the wisdom of our elders and support each other in our efforts to be responsible stewards of the land for the benefit of future generations.
The new year means that it’s time to renew your membership. We’ve maintained a good, core membership this past year, and increasing our numbers in 2015 will be a big priority. If you have friends and colleagues that you think might be interested in joining, invite them to a meeting and send them to our quick application!
You can renew in person at the January meeting or with PayPal online at the Petaluma Community Guild website http://petalumaguild.org/grange-application/ using the buttons on the right side of the page. The benefits of membership are many:
- Your own section on PetalumaGuild.org
- Personal fulfillment from making a difference in your community.
- Fun, family-friendly experiences where young and old alike share.
- Discounts on products and services, including AmeriGas Propane.
- The comfort of knowing that as a Guild member, you are never alone.
Year in Review
2014 was a year of coming together, getting social, and teaching each other how to live more sustainable lives. It was a full year of lectures, workshops, and other programming — thanks to our awesome Lecturer, Connie Madden and Vice President, Chris Fisher.
We welcomed visiting speakers for conversations and presentations — including Jessie Stokes (CSG Youth Program Director), Aimee Vorhaus (SLO Food and School Garden Project), Evan Wiig (Farmers Guild), and Raleigh Campbell (from Weaving Earth and creator of Josie’s Garden on I Street).
We were abundant with inspired action, advocating equity for farmers and sustainable living — through conversations about Sonoma Clean Power (with Lawrence Jaffe and Jerry Allen in March and sponsoring a forum in September with our many partner organizations), a town hall with Bob MacFarland and Brock Dolman about adopting a Farmers Bill of Rights, celebrating Hemp History Week at Lydia’s in June, supporting a legacy of heirloom crops by participating in the annual Heirloom Festival, and showing leadership in the fight against GMO crop production.
We filled our brains and spirits with herb and tincture workshops (courtesy of Debbie Astrin and Melissa Casanova), a hugelkulture workday at Tiffany and Jaimey’s 8th and B St. abode, and pizza parties galore at Oasis Community Farm.
Guild Lobbying and the 2014 Convention
San Luis Obispo Guild #639 pulled out all of the stops to welcome the CG member Guilds for the 2014 Convention. Jim Crawford and I attended as delegates for Guild #851, and the Convention membership passed two resolutions submitted by Petaluma Community Guilders:
HEW-14-003 Ban on the use of Glyphosate (RoundUp)
C&E-14-001 Banning of Fracking in the State of California
In total, two dozen resolutions were adopted at Convention this year, which you can see by clicking here. We will be working to gain support from Senator Mike McGuire for our Glyphosate resolution, working with the CG Lobbyist.
What’s coming in 2015?
We’re already off and running — planning and plotting wonderful things for 2015. The #1 priority is increasing our membership, as noted above. Take a moment to renew your membership and, if you have friends who you think might be interested in the Petaluma Guild, please invite them to a meeting or two!
We are exploring strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations (such as the Farmers’ Guild and our member farms) — as a way to increase interest in the Petaluma Community Guild and pool our resources. Our first Farmers’ Guild meeting will be in late January. And we are putting out a call for volunteers for the Farmers’ Guild Raising happening here in Petaluma on 2/14/15.
The search continues for a permanent home for the Petaluma Community Guild — a place where we can hold meetings, gatherings, educational events, and hands-on food production and homesteading classes. Connie is doing a lot of great work on this, and I’ll be joining her in finding a creative solution by starting a conversation with the Marin-Sonoma Fairgrounds.
And we’re actively planning programming — including more tincture workshops, fermentation workshops, launching and hosting farmers guild meetings in Petaluma, launching a new weekly movie series at Aqus (possibly in partnership with Daily Acts and Metta Center), seed and start swaps, and much more.
If you have ideas about guest presentations, programs, events, or ways we can do good for the community, please bring them to a future meeting or send them to me via email. All ideas are welcome!
President, Petaluma Community Guild #851