5 Slow Things to Do in San Diego on Black Friday Instead of Shopping

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By Slow Food Urban San Diego Board Member, Kathryn Rogers

In sunny San Diego, with our near-perfect year round weather that is the envy of northern dwellers across the country, one of the strongest indicators (besides those 4:30 sunsets) of the long-anticipated holiday season is a whole lot of marketing. We get e-blasts, mailers and point-of-purchase reminders galore that the best way to celebrate this holiday season is by buying as much as possible.

Long gone are the days when retail employees spent the Thanksgiving holiday at home with their loved ones. Now we can jump on those holiday deals while we’re still in the first clutches of a Thanksgiving feast food coma. We’ve traded retail therapy for good, old-fashioned family time.

This Thanksgiving, Slow Food Urban San Diego invites you to reclaim your dining table with gratitude for the bounty of food and the people who produced it, with a heritage turkey and locally sourced, seasonal side dishes. You can enjoy slow living the whole weekend and throughout the season, perhaps by opting for these five local activities in lieu of the mad crowded rush that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

  1. Visit a Farmers’ Market. Whether you intend to purchase produce and homemade goods or just want a great reason to taste seasonal fruits and veggies and chat with local farmers, a day at the farmers’ market is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Many markets also have a wide selection of prepared foods (in case you’re still hungry) and some even have live music.
  2. Get Outside. The County of San Diego manages more than 120 parks and preserves throughout the region with locations ranging from the beach to the valleys, the mountains to the desert. Not to mention all our local parks and open coastline. These trails, scenic vistas, playgrounds, and lakes are perfect for hiking, cycling, strolling, or horseback riding. Being active is a great way to avoid the crowds and burn off some of those extra calories.
  3. Make Homemade Gifts. Nothing says “I love you” more than a gift crafted from the heart. Whether its beeswax candles, a hand knitted hat or your famous holiday cookies, you can “wow” your loved ones while saving time and money by making presents in batches. Stock up on your supplies and ingredients in advance so you can spend all of Black Friday cozy at home, crafting away. Any little ones in your house will surely enjoy lending helping hands as well.
  4. Enjoy Arts and Culture. This Friday, Balboa Park has scheduled more than 20 exhibitions, 15 film screenings, botanical garden tours and family activities including holiday puppet shows, many of which are free and open to the public. Hop on your local bus line or bike path to make it a completely green day while avoiding parking woes. Then enjoy the natural and historical beauty in the company of your dear ones.
  5. Share your Abundance. As you are feeling extra grateful for all the good in your life, take time to give back to your community. Local organizations offer a number of volunteer opportunities for individuals and families, including preparing and serving meals to people experiencing food insecurity. Wild Willow Farm and Shakti Rising are also hosting a Give 5 Black Friday Challenge where you can volunteer your time or make a donation in support of sustainable farm education programs.

If the buying bug is still tugging on your purse straps or wallet folds, shop local whenever possible. This puts money back in our local economy, and you’re likely to discover more unique gifts compared to online or in big box stores. Check out Edible San Diego’s Holiday Guide for tasty local gift ideas, stroll shops on Adams Avenue during Small Business Saturday (November 28) while enjoying festive libations, or head over to South Park on December 5 for the Holiday Happenings Walkabout.

To find additional small businesses in your area, check out the Urbanist Guide.

Wishing you and yours a slow start to the holiday season!

More than Honey and Sweet Sips Networking

Honey tasting.

Honey tasting.

Big thanks to everyone who came out for our Sweet Sips networking event in July at Local Habit. Mead tastings by Golden Coast Mead, honey tastings offered by Wild Willow Farms and local beekeepers from the San Diego Beekeepers Society and special honey-based dishes by Chef Jimmy. A sweet time, indeed.

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Natalie from Golden Coast Mead serving up some mead.

And thanks to all who joined us for the re-screening of the More than Honey documentary. This is an amazing, intriguing, beautiful and quirky film. Please see it if you haven’t already.

For those of you interested in learning more about bees and what you can do locally, here are a few great local resources:

San Diego Beekeeping Society holds classes and meetups to encourage responsible beekeeping. Lots of expert members there. You can find a list of beekeepers on their website who perform live bee removals and other bee resources in the county.

Wild Willow Farm is a non-profit organization offering beekeeping classes (also farming classes). The instructor is very knowledgeable about bee issues locally and globally and can tell you about hosting a hive on your property.

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Paul and Cathryn, our friends from Wild Willow Farm.

Girl Next Door Honey offers beekeeping classes and workshops, one-on-one consulting, a host-a-hive program and performs live bee removals.

If you need to remove bees from your property, please consider live removal by one of these folks or those listed on the Beekeeping Society website. Bees are important to our food supply and need a helping hand. Stay tuned for future bee-related events.

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Enjoying honey and mead.

Join the SFUSD Board of Directors

Slow Food Urban San Diego is soliciting applications for our Board of Directors. If you are interested in joining our Board, please email a brief bio and letter of interest indicating the position in which you are interested in to info@slowfoodurbansandiego.org by October 15th. In-person interviews will be scheduled in late October. Join us in supporting good, clean & fair food in our community. Positions up for election are described below.

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Join us. We have wine.

Members of the Board serve up to two two-year terms in any one position, and newly elected Board Members will serve during 2016-17, beginning in January 2016. To be eligible, you must have or obtain a Slow Food membership. 

Education Committee Chair
The Education Committee provides the San Diego community with education and enrichment opportunities and supports campus and school chapters. The Committee supports existing programs, including the School Garden program, Edible for San Diego Kids, Farm-to-School, as well as educational programming for families and adults. The Chair oversees the Education Committee, which meets monthly, striving to engage and include Slow Food Urban San Diego’s membership as much as possible.

Farm Liaison / Ark of Taste Liaison
The Farm Liaison works to link Slow Food Urban San Diego with the local farming community and recommends strategies for the Chapter to advocate for and support farmers. The Farm Liaison sits on the Slow Food California Ark of Taste Committee (~2 conference calls a month and review of applications to the Ark) and to support Ark of Taste Programming and recognition in San Diego. The Farm Liaison may form a committee.

Membership Coordinator
The Membership Coordinator oversees all things membership. S/he maintains and updates the Chapter’s membership list and leads in recruiting and retaining members; reports membership status at each board meeting; organizes membership drives and leads in planning Slow Food Urban San Diego’s “Slow Sips” events. The Membership Coordinator also maintains relationships with our Member Benefit Partners and continues to build the Member Benefit Program. The Membership Coordinator may develop and coordinate additional programs to build the Chapter membership and may form a committee.

Outreach / Food Justice Committee Chair
The Outreach / Food Justice Committee spreads the word about Slow Food and collaborates with relevant community partners to promote sustainable food production and urban farming. The Committee represents SFUSD at community events and coordinates with the Membership Chair to develop and coordinate programs to build Chapter membership. The Committee also liaises with the Slow Food University Chapters, the SD Food Systems Alliance, and the Slow Food California Policy Committee, which meets monthly via conference call. The Chair oversees this committee and identifies community events and partnerships that best support the SFUSD mission and programs.

The Fund Development Chair
The Fund Development Chair creates, maintains and updates an inventory of resources of potential donors and sponsors; develops and implements a fund-raising campaign to be supported by the Board. The Fund Development Chair may form a committee.

Secretary
The Secretary records minutes during monthly Board Meetings, administers annual elections and coordinates a schedule of interviews for Board positions.

Treasurer
The Treasurer maintains the books for the organization, handles expense reimbursements, accounts payable, and annual filings. The treasurer is responsible for leading the budgeting process and providing financial guidance to the Board, as well as presenting a Treasurer’s report at monthly board meetings. A working knowledge of Quickbooks is desired but training by the outgoing treasurer will be provided if necessary.

Vice Chair/Chair-elect
The Vice Chair works with the current Board Chair to administrate the Slow Food Urban San Diego Board of Directors and maintain chapter standing. Candidates must have served on the Slow Food Urban San Diego Board for a minimum of one year and agree to assume the Board Chair position in 2017 for at least a one-year term.

Communications Committee Chair
The Communications Committee facilitates Chapter communications through website maintenance, newsletters, social media and networking and ensures consistency of communications to members, media and the community. The Committee oversees marketing and getting the word out regarding Chapter activities. The Communications Chair oversees the committee and supports the Chapter Co-Leaders in tracking Slow Food California, Slow Food USA and Slow Food International activities of interest and in sharing SFUSD activities with other Slow Food entities. Strong writing, editing and communications skills required.

Sincerely,
Slow Food Urban San Diego Board of Directors