First visit to the Healdsburg SHED “a modern grange” was quite wonderful. Had come to hear Frances Moore Lappe’at the rollout of the North Coast Heritage Grain Alliance, a very hopeful combinatiion. Info on NCHGA is at http://www.grainalliance.org/news.html

Their mission:
To provide California’s North Coast region with education and support to build a sustainable local grain economy.
Our vision is a thriving, well-connected community collaborating to ensure a robust regional grain economy. We support the exchange of best practices to grow and use heritage grains, reflecting our diverse culinary lineages. The NCHGA aims to bring back this thriving grain economy through education, job creation, food sovereignty, sustainable farming, and alliances between producers and customers.

Frances Moore Lappe’is a longtime heroine to me and mine. I had the good luck to work on a year-long project with her, Californians in Dialogue for the Common Good, engaging thousands of college students in conversation and workshops inspiring participants to engage in local governments, Living Democracy as Moore names it. That project also brought Jerry Brown into our 3220 Sacramento St. Gallery for a book signing – after 29 contacts – but that’s another story! His last response: “Will Frankie be there?” When yes was the answer he was in the room.

3220 Sacramento Street, earlier referred to as The Gallery, had a great focus on Global Communications in our hearts and minds. Now working on a book of remembrances from those days, I get to ask these two luminaries and more to contribute to the 3220 book about this event space and gathering of visionaries in the 1980s and 90s which none us can or wants to forget. I scheduled and ran events there a couple of years and participated many more years.

So here I was at that fancy glass box, the SHED, tasting incredible Goddess dressing (a whole appetizer; just add lettuce leaves), where I could learn about the brand new Petaluma-based North Coast Heritage Grain Alliance (good timing, folks, just as genetically modified salmon makes its way into the marketplace. OUCH!) realizing we desperately need healthy food AND hope for our future and here, in this evening rollout of a baby organization, were both.

I am quite hopeful about reconnecting with Frances Moore Lappe’, best known for her seminal book, Diet for a Small Planet, as she has once again captured extremely valuable information in a useable format in her new World Hunger: 10 Myths, AND is about to launch yet another quite wonderful project I can boost and hopefully get engaged with. More on that soon…

When I was in company of Frankie and her then husband, Paul Martin DuBois, these two were a fantastic tag team, nudging audiences out of their comfort zone by challenging them to actually make a difference in their own communities – committing to the practices of Living Democracy. The pair formed the Center for Living Democracy, and at this point, Lappe’ feels she wants to recommit to that work, looking at a launch of a new project with her activist/author daughter, Anna Lappe’. Mother and Daughter now live in Boston and their Small Planet Institute address is Cambridge, MA. Stay tuned! Frances Moore Lappe has been a great influence on so many in many countries and she’s still as passionate and focused as when I first heard her.

A few nuggets from her presentation:

What is our mental map? SCARCITY and that we are all separate and things are static.

World Hunger: 10 myths (new book: great!)
People are hungry; livestock provides 17% of calories. Look at number of hungry;
Get a Grip on real situation.
Lancet says 75% of death is due to diet – lack of food or bad food
Why do we create needless suffering?
New report from Oxfam 80 people control as much wealth as the rest of humanity!
Ads for Pepsi all over India! More sugar-related deaths than gang violence!
Mental map: we are taking stones from our foundation.
Top soil loss: 4 trucks per person worldwide.
We are disrupting nitrogen in the soil even more than carbon in the air!
Peak phosphorous!
Need for biodiversity
Dead end for agriculture

Scarcity Mind denies that people need:
Connection
Meaning
Power

Our brains are constantly being created by our thoughts.
We are all cocreators.
There are no parts – only participants!
It’s the New Rage!
Against a system of thought
Not a dreamy fantasy.
Our actions are contagious and we are making history.
Creating ways to change the market to ways of creating value.

What we have gained most is courage.
What brings us to our best?
Transparency
Mutuality
Bold Humility

Hard to separate from the past
Need to work on courage
Cheesy gimmick: when (we get scared) our heart pounds so reframe it as
“that’s just your inner applause”