So Saturday I got to go to the Chicagoland area.
Sounds like a dream, right?
Well, I had a purpose, other than a potential Pottery Barn/IKEA/Nordstrom stop. That purpose was an event with Illinois Farm Families. We were to meet and greet and answer questions with suburban and urban (aren't those one and the same?) moms, and through this interaction, give these moms a better feel of who is growing their food.
Sounds perfect, huh?
Well, perfect if anyone would have shown up!
Our first stop was at a suburban library, where we met with two (YES, TWO) moms. They had great questions, and I think we made good connections, but there were just two.
Onto the next stop, where we had 10 moms RSVP to the event. We were thinking that this would be a fun one, in the city, young moms who had concerns, some of them with whom we had met before, some new.
So we arrived, parked, set up...
For an hour, we waited while patrons of the Bucktown/Wicker Park library walked past me and my over eager-I'm-here-to-share-my-story-with-you-smile plastered on my face.
Maybe that was a reason why no one came...that weird smile.
Anyway, it was a bust, but a good learning experience.
If you are reading this and were one of those moms who RSVP-ed, but didn't come, I'm not upset. If you're an IFF believer and are disappointed, don't be.
This even solidified my belief that we have bridged the first gap in agriculture advocacy. The moms we previously met know that we are neither hee-haw nor evil. They are spreading that word.
Onto the next level.
I equate this to sorority rush...we have the founders (farm moms, advocates, believers and workers on this project). Our pledge class, i.e., the field moms, have gone through the program and are doing a good job spreading the word, so now we founders and first pledge class members need to go out and rush new faces. We know the program, so now it's OUR turn to do the recruiting.
I'm all for this project, and although was disappointed with the turn out, and then the impending ice which cut my Pottery Barn time to ZERO (for which, Joe is happy), I realized that this is a learning opportunity, and while some groups may continue to want to keep doing the same thing over and over, I feel like IFF might be different. They may realize that a bust like this is a learning experience, and we HAVE to change the outlook, and the outreach.
This is still necessary, and advocacy is critical, but we can't keep trying to do the same thing over and over when our group is growing in their knowledge and understanding.
Plus, I can't waste another trip to Chicago and NOT have time to hit Nordstrom's shoe department.