Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Lights Ride, Makers Fair, Regular Farmers Market, Radio Shows on Community Gardening and Diversity Discussed at Last Meeting

In attendance: Robert Trudeau, Carolyn Manning, Kari Brownholland, Maurice Loridans, Loren Demerath, Cynthia Keith, Feico Kempff


We discussed possibly having a Holiday Lights ride, touring lights a night by bike in a given neighborhood; maybe distributing fliers along a route that we choose to publicize telling them in advance.

People could submit nominations for lights; we could plan our route after the lights have gone up. Robert noted that in Austin there’s a three block area that’s intense. Broadmoor is very bikeable. Saturday night two weekends before Christmas. Maurice noted that to ride at night people can get cheap LED flashlights at any autoparts store to be seen and legal; he said they’re easily mounted with piece of old inner tube (which he showed us).

Maurice might not be able to lead the Christmas Light Ride, he’ll be out of town, but Carolyn and others can lead it; we all know Broadmoor. Kari said she could volunteer to greet the group with homemade cookies when we pass by her house. Loren said he could volunteer to cook gumbo at the end. The date was tentatively set at Saturday the 11th, meeting at the Gold Dome at 4:30, then heading down Alexander and coming back by 6:00 or 6:15 in time to have gumbo then go to the Centenary Chorale concert at 7:00, for any interested.


As we discussed neighborhoods, Robert mentioned that the Broadmoor Neighborhood Association perhaps ought to be coming to our meetings and building a laeison. Maurice said neighborhood associations tend to turn out in droves to oppose requests for permission to sell alcohol.

We noted that our members tend to be white, middle class, living in Broadmoor, Highlands, South Highland, or Downtown. We discussed west Shreveport neighborhoods and organizing rides there. Robert noted that Pamoja Arts Center the oldest black arts organization in Shreveport; that it’s good resource for shows, lessons, and drum circles; it’s on Linwood, just above Midway; Leia Lewis’ Sankofa Gardens is another notable organization. Both are places where there is an Afrocentric culture and could provide open doors into the west side of Shreveport. Very friendly and warm people and atmosphere there. Sankofa also includes one of Shreveport’s community gardens.


The group discussed the Makers Fair both this past and upcoming Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It was a great success and April Dahm deserves all the credit for organizing it. Loren said it would be nice to be able to standardize the organization of it so that it can become a regular event--perhaps quarterly. Feico suggested that Robert interviews with video and make a facebook video for the Makers Fair.


The group then turned to a discussion of the farmers market in Ruston. Arden and Kevin Kennedy used to live there and said it was a wonderful source of freshly picked produce that operates nearly every day of the week! Arden was curious as to why we didn’t have a similar market here and speculated if it was because our farm land is used differently in this part of the state. Maurice said it is mostly small scale gardeners and large-scale cash crops here. Ruston is in hill country and have intensive farming vs. extensive farming. In intensive farming you can’t handle acres of a vegetable crop. Feico noted that this area started with truck farms; people who sell produce to the cities; Italian and Greek families who started truck farming; they still have them.

Maurice also noted that one of the goals of community gardens is to have excess; people who might have much knowledge and skill and operating gardens and a sort of “urban farming” might some of the recent Mexican immigrants in town; many of them come from communities in Mexico that have markets based on local produce.


Feico suggested we invite Grace Peterson to our radio show. The question sits before us: what do we need to marshal labor and land to recreate what they have in Ruston?

Since the meeting, Carolyn and Loren decided to work to have this week’s radio show devoted to diversity. How can an awareness of diversity issues help us make a better Shreveport?

Before the meeting, Carolyn, Robert, and Loren decided to try having the show go a whole hour. We’ve already been given permission by the KSCL directory station manager Cazes Verbuis and faculty advisor Michael Laffey to do it. We always seem have more to talk about with our guests!

Next week, as always: discussion and organization on new projects and ideas, and updates on ongoing ones!

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