Director's Report: May 2016

Green beans were among the warm-weather crops harvested by volunteers at Jessica's Organic Farm for All Faiths Food Bank last month.

Green beans were among the warm-weather crops harvested by volunteers at Jessica's Organic Farm for All Faiths Food Bank last month.

In the beginning, Transition Sarasota constantly few by the seat of its own pants. While this approach is not without its charms, we have gradually come to embrace the many benefits of careful strategizing and planning. So we are especially grateful this month for all our supporters who recognize that taking time now to prepare the soil will lead to an even bigger harvest in the Fall.

Education for Sustainability

A grant for $5,000 was recently submitted to the Florida Humanities Council to fund a new series of eight outdoor documentary film screenings with special guest speakers to be held between September 2016 and May 2017. We expect to hear back from the Council in early July.

The Local Food Shift

Volunteers donated 56 hours of their time to harvest approximately 2,500 pounds of produce for All Faiths Food Bank during five gleanings this May at Jessica's Organic Farm. Although the season at Jessica's is quickly coming to an end, opportunities to glean at other area farms have been occurring more frequently. This includes an invitation to pick six acres of blueberries at ALL Blueberries near Arcadia on June 2nd.

The first planning meeting for Eat Local Week 2016 took place on May 17th, and was attended by representatives from the Newtown Farmers Market, Green Path Veterans FarmSlow Foods Kitchen, Whole Foods Market Sarasota, the Englewood Farmer's Market, This Spaceship Earth, Ringling College of Art & Design, the Tropical Fruit Society of SarasotaGecko's Hospitality Group, UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County, and All Faiths Food Bank. An online workspace has also been established to facilitate communication among group members in between meetings, which will take place once a month through the end of October.

Fundraising

While checks are still arriving every week, our 2016 Membership Drive is now effectively complete. So far this year, we have received $5,780 of annual gifts and $185 per month of recurring contributions from 43 generous donors (listed below). Together, we've raised $7,485 to date, far surpassing our goal of $6,200.

Grassroots Members: Francesca Lund, Anonymous, Bob Williams, Daphne Digrindakis, Nancy Moore, Marcelle Crago, Roxanne Williamson, Donna Hovanec, Felicia Tappan, Susan Shiffrin, Rebecca Blanco, Paula Knudsen, Mary Andrews, Pam Bournival, Vincent Dessberg, Erika Brigham, Susan and Matt McMillan, Ruth Nissley, Gail Leondar Wright, Diane Desenberg, Jayne Cobb, Ellen Teeter, Robert Landry, Camille Van Sant, Nancy Saum, Claudia Creason, Rebcca Searcy, and Gururas Khalsa.

Pollinator Members: Peg Tams, Terry Mackintosh, Sharon Scott, Pam Morrow, Donna Cubit-Swoyer, Heidi Mackintosh, Steve McAllister, and Malory Foster.

Sustaining Member: Pamela Behr.

Seventh Generation Members: Ward Pallotta, Anonymous, and Darryl McCullough.