Stops & starts along the journey to Terra Madre

Terra Madre. It’s something I’ve told myself I should attend regardless of what it takes to get there – the cost, the time away from work, etc. – to convincing myself that it can wait another two years (and hoping that it will indeed continue)… and all the way back again.

What’s all this about? Well, I’ve been serving as the co-chair of Slow Food Seattle since the beginning of the year and doing my best to connect the people in our local community to the places, purveyors, farmers, and traditions that are at risk of disappearing for any number of reasons – globalization, big ag, subsidies, our busy lives juggling family, work, and finances. We’ve got some incredible resources, artisans, and groups committed to doing the same in this region and I’m proud to be one among many. It’s something that I care deeply for and want to continue to learn about and support. This coming October, Slow Food International will come together in Torino, Italy for an event called Terra Madre. I’ve been invited to attend as a participant in the role of an observer – which means that I have a tremendous opportunity ahead of me. The only thing holding me up right now? Finances.

So I’m stepping forward into the rest of Horace’s oft repeated Carpe Diem. According to my friend Becky, the phrase is part of the longer “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero” – “Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future.” That the ode says that the future is unknowable, and that instead one should scale back one’s hopes to a brief future, and drink one’s wine. The full quote tells a better story.

Terra Madre

Carlo Petrini speaking at Terra Madre

Terra Madre is an international Slow Food convention of sorts. Members of chapters from countries around the world gather together every two years to share what is happening in their communities on topics ranging from small-scale agriculture, sustainable food production, gastronomy, globalization, and economics. In essence, coming together to collaborate and inspire, to bring the tenets of Slow Food – Good. Clean. Fair – into a multicultural discussion and to share innovative solutions.

I know there are many important ways to be philanthropic with so much needed in the world, and I am greatly humbled and appreciative for the people in my life Donate for Terra Madrethat have encouraged me to go this route. I want to bring the experience of Terra Madre home to Seattle, to our community, and I need your help to do it. This is the start of my fundraising efforts to get to Torino in October, I hope you’ll consider donating what you can via the PayPal button above, potentially donating your extra airline miles, or more simply, by dropping a check in the mail to the address below.

Jennifer Johnson | 4727 42nd Ave. SW, Apt. 414 | Seattle, WA 98116

For those local to the Seattle area, I’ll be holding a fundraising event in early October with a promise of great food and drink, more to come on that soon. Thank you – or with luck, I’ll be saying – Grazie mólto!

Check back at my Terra Madre page for updates.

Details on Terra Madre

This is the most recent post on it from the Slow Food Seattle site. For more info, the best description is direct from the Terra Madre site:

More than 5,000 representatives from the worldwide Terra Madre network will meet in Turin, Italy for the fourth time this October 21 to 25 – coinciding once again with the international Slow Food fair Salone del Gusto. The five-day meeting will bring together food communities, cooks, academics, youth and musicians from all over the world, who are united in a desire to promote sustainable local food production in harmony with the environment while respecting knowledge handed down over the generations.

A new feature in 2010 will be a focus on cultural and linguistic diversities – in recognition of the need to defend minority ethnic groups and indigenous languages, and with an appreciation of the value of oral traditions and memory. At the opening ceremony, representatives of indigenous communities from all continents across the world will speak to the audience in their native languages.

The second day will be dedicated to examining eight crucial issues for the future of agriculture and the planet (from biodiversity to renewable energies and education to traditional knowledge). On the third day communities will meet in national and regional sessions, while on the fourth day Earth Workshops will be held.

The official closing session of Terra Madre will be marked by the presentation of a program of proposals from the Terra Madre network for a sustainable future. There will be specific opportunities during the event to receive information, to present projects involving taste education (gardens, canteen projects etc.) or food biodiversity (Presidia and Earth Markets) and to organize Terra Madre Day in your community or country – with the second edition to be held on December 10, 2010 around the world. The Terra Madre youth network will play an important role during the event.


One thought on “Stops & starts along the journey to Terra Madre

  1. Jennifer,
    Happy late 40th Birthday and have an incredible trip! We’ve been out of touch for too long…. can’t wait to hear about your big adventure.

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