I hit the ground running in March 2011. Penn State Cooperative Extension hosted the Local Foods Showcase in the 2nd week that brought in over 50 vendors and chefs and another 160 community members. Before the event I assisted in all aspects of the logistics and administrative preparation including designing nametags, table tents, stuffing folders and, day-of, manning a registration table as well as a vendor table. Another large majority of the month was focused on outreach via the Yum Pittsburgh blog and facebook page. I contributed two blog entries, with more soon to come, and increased facebook “likes” by 10%. I also helped create community awareness of Penn State Extension’s role by connecting a local teacher with resources on sustainability and by tabling for Penn State at an Environmental Resources Fair.
My first Pittsburgh Food Policy Council meeting had fewer attendees than usual because of the time of year but was still an excellent introduction to some of the councilmembers and their roles in the community. I took minutes, which I distributed to the steering committee, and started research on other Food Policy Councils with an eye towards gathering these councils in a regional symposium in late summer.
Jeff and I used March to brainstorm, connect, recruit, and plan for the next nine months of Pittsburgh Garden Experiment events. One event, Pruning and Espalier with Jana, went off without a flaw and had a great turnout. Other events, such as a Vacant Lot Remediation Course and a Composting Course, are gathering a lot of interest on the meetup site, already, and the calendar looks to be filling out quite nicely and with a broad range of events.