First two weeks of Public Humanities Fellowship


Completing my first two weeks on my Public Humanities Fellowship, I am a happy camper.  What about it?  Let me be concise since I am in the middle dissertating but do not want to forget some good memories.

1/ I read one day that a nonprofit organization that relies its finance on membership is unhealthy.  After having  discussion with Chris Bockel, an Executive Director for the FairShare CSA Coalition, I have learned another.  A nonprofit organization that also relies on grant (external funds) is also unhealthy.  We should develop a program that can produce something that can sustainably generate money to support the organization.

2/ Talking with a FairShare CSA staff member who is responsible for  Farm Certification, organic certification is in general not easy.  True that there is plenty of regulations that need to follow.  Also, getting certification for organic non-produce such as goat cheese, honey, meat, etc is much more complicated than organic produce.

3/ The 2014  Bike the Barns is coming upon Sunday the 14.  This is a major fundraising event for FairShare CSA so lots of energy and thoughts put on this event.  Though I came late, I am glad I still get a chance to get involved.  Working in a nonprofit area continues to amaze me!  Staff members have multiple skills.  This is a place where I could relate the philosophy of head-hand split, often cited in community organizing or community-based research literatures.  Regardless of your credentials, all kinds of tasks are important to be taken care for a successful events. 

4/ We had a task to categorize all of our CSA farms/farmers for our legacy project.  The goal is to select potential interviewees for the oral history process.  I did not realize that the process was fun and very effective.  I printed 49 or so of farm names on two sheets of paper and then cut them individually.  Then I put all of them on a table.  What I did ask to FairShare CSA staff members was simply to group these pieces of paper in however they think is relevant.  It took them about 40 minutes and all I was just observing their interaction and capturing some words characterizing the farms/farmers.  Very effective participatory process!