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Food procurement committee & kitchen

Michael Pilarski


Joined: Apr 02, 2005
Posts: 173
Location: Washington State
    
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Food Procurement Committee [STARTED NEW TOPIC]
Michael Pilarski is part of this committee

Three sources of food
1) Donated by participants. Part of this is home-grown, part of it is purchased and part are donations solicited such as day old bread or even some dumpster diving. Aim for 75%
2) Purchased from local farmers. It will not be difficult to link into the local organic farming crowd. Vegetables is what we tend to get lots of participant donations from. Eggs, dairy and meat are usually needed to augment donations. We will be checking into purchasing a whole cow locally. Aim for 15%
3) Purchased through a regular natural food supply chain. The Port Townsend Co-op is the most likely choice. 10% or whatever is needed after we’ve done what we could with the above two sources. Salad oil and cooking oil, some spices, cheese, butter, almond milk, rice milk, salt, and so forth,

For every convergence we have publicized that people should bring food to donate to the common kitchen. If any crowd should be able to feed itself, it is the permaculture crowd. In the two years at Sahale and at South Seattle Community College the food was about 75% donated and a majority of that grown by themselves. I have heard that this proportion went down at the St Helens, Oregon convergence last year. We should make a plea to all the participants to see if we can get back up to 75% food from the participants. Can we feed ourselves? Are we willing to adapt our diets for the weekend to forego citrus and instead eat regional fruits with high vitamin C content.

The food procurement committee of course will have to work closely with the cook(s). we will need a local person from the Port Townsend area who is deeply familiar with the local farm/food scene.

Kitchen outfitting
Inventory what is available on site. The cooks then brainstorm the list of everything else they need. Someone(s) has to line up all that stuff. Cookware, serving ware, etc, etc.
This includes planning for all dish washing, cleaning supplies, towels, etc
Best scenario is that the cook(s) have a lot of the needed kitchen stuff or knows where to borrow it.
Michael Pilarski has a lot of the things for outfitting large event kitchens. I am willing to bring a lot of kitchen stuff if it cannot be located closer. So I will be part of this committee

Receiving, inventory and storage of food on site. Last year there was a whole crew and a separate building for this. Receiving inventorying and storage of huge volumes of food is a lot of work. It needs to be gotten from the storage to the cook’s hands as needed. What is storage capacity like at the two kitchens? How big is the cold storage(s)? Any other rooms, buildings available.

Menu planning
So how is the cook going to prepare a menu from donated food? Every registration form has a section that asks people to write down what food they will be bringing to donate. This information is keep collated and delivered to the cooks periodically so they can see what things are being promised. This gives us some idea of what is incoming. Plus we can draw on past year’s experiences. I have some of that institutional memory and know all the cooks from past years, who we can call for advice. The menu planning phase will inform what we need to order through stores.

Cooking.
The head cook has to cook as well as direct the kitchen team. There will have to be separate cooks for the two kitchens. It has been proposed that one be vegetarian and one be carnivore. The head cooks have to be cooking whizzes plus have impeccable people skills. We should start looking. It would be nice to have a sterling cast of applicants to choose from.
 
 
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