We recently connected with Bonney Parker of Toms River, New Jersey per her past and present involvement with the Northwest Earth Institute discussion courses (she and her group are currently doing Discovering A Sense of Place).
Bonney told NWEI staffer Rob Nathan of how she and her sister have been presenting cooking workshops at a local organic farm three times a month (she has also written a cookbook based on this venture with her sister). Bonney says, “Some of our NWEI discussion group people are faithful attendees at the workshops, which have grown over the past two years from about 5 people to 30 people coming each time!” We asked Bonney if NWEI courses had influenced the process in any way (she and her group had done NWEI’s Hungry for Change: Food, Ethics and Sustainability course earlier this year). Here is what she said:
“Some of the attendees of the workshops became members of our discussion group, so NWEI has had an influence. Our thoughts and actions regarding the workshops and the subsequent cookbook have been influenced by what we have read. For instance, we now ask folks who come to the workshops to bring their own eating utensils and cloth napkins with them. I always have a supply of forks and spoons for those who forget, but that number is very small. We usually ask the owner/farmer who is present at the workshops to talk about how he farms and what certain plants are and how they grow and are useful, etc, in addition to our nutritional information about the dishes we make.”
Thanks Bonney for your continued involvement with NWEI, and for sharing this inspiring story with us – and for sharing an example of connecting to place and fostering sustainable food choices. Bonney notes that for the workshops her sister Maureen (pictured above at right) picks the seasonal produce with the farmer for that night’s workshop.
If you’d like to order the cookbook, or learn more about Bonney’s grassroots efforts, you can contact her at email@example.com.