Lunch and dry goods coordinators needed ASAP
In order to keep Rhubarb running as it has been in 2019, we need new coordinators to step up. These are crucial roles, and the committment is manageable: a bigger job of about 2 hours once in 4 weeks, and then in the alternate fortnight, the usual job. Coords need to be organised, comfortable with delegating and able to make quick decisions. You need to be ok with a bit of heavy lifting, or ask us to find you a buddy to do the lifting parts of the job. You'll get a discount on your order in the week that you're rostered on as coord.
If the co-op isn't able to fill these roles, it won't be able to continue to function. The first change would be a drastic reduction of dry goods available to order.
We urge all members who have the capacity, to email firstname.lastname@example.org and start a conversation. Thanks!
Rhubarb's first (annual) farm visit
I'm optimistically calling it! Our first ever farm visit was such a wonderful day, we're all hoping that we can make it a Rhubarb tradition.
The farmers were incredibly generous with their time, which meant we stayed longer than expected at each stop.
At Living Earth, Olivier and Falani acknowledged the traditional owners of their land, and noted that little is known about the Aboriginal stewardship of land in the Southern Highlands because it was farmed from almost the very beginning of colonial settlement. They talked about the difficulty of farming in that place, and showed us all aspects of what they do. While we admired the rows of lush lettuces, the neighbours' cows came over to say hello. Olivier and Falani's daughter, Naia, helped them pull and distribute carrots, that we brushed off and ate right from the ground. Heaven!
About half an hour away, Taluca Park is in an area where there are still stands of native bush, including on their 104 hectare farm. We picnicked under their old (and not native) oak, then went on a very long slow walk around the farm, visiting fields of hens and their Maremma guard dogs. We stood from afar and watched another group of hens with alpaca guards. We watched Frank wrestle a goat out from her trap in a fence, discussed planting of grasses and feed crops and stock rotation, and checked in on Taluca's pigs. The older pigs were mud-batheing, while close to the house, the "maternity ward" revealed a pair of mamas who had chosen to bunk together (by knocking down a fence) and their 20 collective piglets, asleep in one pile.
Frank and Annemarie, their three kids (and Frank's parents, who came down to say hi and bring amazing cakes baked with Taluca eggs) were clearly super proud to show us the thriving farm they've established, and to tell us about how they maximise the happy lives of their animals while trying to regenerate the soils in their fields.
At both farms, the Rhubarb crew felt deeply appreciative of the work these families are doing to produce food as ethically as possible. I think the visit has really bolstered our connection to the farms, and to each other. I loved watching all the little kids on the trip take extraordinary delight in it, especially in the game of finding all the eggs that the hens had laid just straight on the grass, rather than in their moveable truck! (For the record, the farm can't sell those eggs, they can only eat them or feed them to the pigs.)
We've received loads of messages of gratitude and thanks from the members who came. Here's a couple:
"What a wonderful day we had together! So good to connect with the land, people and animals whose life, love and labour goes into our food."
"How inspiring it was to get to know some community members and watch our food grow! I felt deeply touched by the wisdom, dedication and loving care of the farming families... The goodness of the people is mirrored in all these happy animals and sustainable farming practices."
Thank you to everyone who came along, and to all the members who sent feedback. Many people couldn't make that date, hoping you can come to the next one!
Some photos from the day are here:
Rachel, ordering team leader, and farm trip organiser
ALL VOLUNTEERS - please update the roster
For divvy shifts AND behind the scenes roles.
Roster here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LE0mhaqkMjomsG-5FBrjtOS1kInRAduqZ3bQ0AWdTCQ/edit?usp=sharing
For evening volunteers:
Updated procedures here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BQEgcueZtZcmhSvUNL-BLhk0_hvNiuYQlp-B9Q43hEE/edit?usp=sharing
We love new members
Everyone in the Rhubarb community loves to see our co-op grow. At the moment, though, we don't have any behind the scenes jobs available. All new members must be able to work the lunch or evening divvy at least once a fortnight, or every second order. Some members choose to work more than this, and we appreciate their contributions all the more.
So please don't sign up thinking we can find you a job on a day other than Thursday. If you're not available, but are keen to join us, send us an email and we'll keep you in the loop if we start to offer other days: email@example.com
Meanwhile, the best way to nab a behind the scenes job? Work divvies for a while, and get to know us, and put it out there that you'd like a different job. We'll let you know when we have a vacancy.
rachel - Sunday 12:44 PM 1 December 2019