At Abundance NC, we love to organize inclusive and powerful events (see event calendar) that educate people about the importance of sustainable community food systems, a strong local economy, and all other aspects of creating a resilient community. Our conferences, local food festivals, Pecha Kucha Nights, speakers’ events, dinners, and parties challenge people to think differently about conservation, the environment, climate change and each other.
The Amazing Pepper Festival, now in its ninth year, has become one of the most highly regarded food festivals in North Carolina and is our biggest annual event, but it started from humble beginnings. In 2006 it was a small pepper tasting that 40 people attended, to help a local farmer develop new pepper varieties that would do well in our climate. By 2013, we had 1,400 people participating and more than 40 food and beverage vendors whipping up delicious pepper-themed concoctions for everyone to taste.
We put on several other regular events each year, as well as one-off events that we take on as an opportunity presents itself, like our hemp-themed party to celebrate the release of a new documentary about the multiple uses of hemp, a fiber, food source, and building material that is easy to harvest sustainably but that faces unfair political discrimination. The directors were in attendance, hemp foods and clothing were on display, bands entertained us, and fun was had by all.
ANNUAL OR RECURRING EVENTS:
- Pepper Festival– Our annual celebration of local food and sustainable farming that raises money for a local pepper breeding program with the goal of developing peppers that grow well in N.C.
- Climate Change Conference – In 2012, a farmer approached us, asking us to put on a workshop for farmers looking for ways to combat the challenging effects of climate change on their farms. In response, we took it one step further and held our first annual Climate Change Adaptation Conference in Feb. 2013.
- Pecha Kucha (“Pech-ah Ka-cha”)- A storytelling night we put on seasonally. Pecha Kucha is a structured international format to speak about something you’re passionate about. Speakers have 6 minutes and 40 seconds to present on a topic using slides with images to help tell their story.
Our ANNUAL FUNDRAISERS:
- Harvest Abundance – Each summer we celebrate the bounty of summer crops with a fundraising soiree at the lovely Oakleaf Restaurant, a farm-to-table restaurant in Pittsboro.
- Earth Day 5K – Earth Day is the perfect excuse to party, and to bring out our running shoes to raise money for our programs. After the morning race, the festivities continue with live music, food trucks and general revelry.
UPCOMING ONE-OFF EVENTS:
We host about 4-8 special events a year, as needs and interests arise in the community.
- Collective Biodiesel Conference – The Collective Biodiesel Conference started in 2006 to unite grassroots Biodiesel groups and to provide a mechanism for information-sharing between members of the Biodiesel community. The CBC hosts a exceptional variety of speakers, workshops, and activities that allow participants to directly put what they learn into action. Participants range from backyard chemists to well-established Biodiesel co-operatives and community-scale producers.
- Wild Food & Herb Market – The United States’ first ever wild food and herb market opened in Carrboro on March 10th, 2013. The Wild Food + Herb Market took place one Sunday afternoon each month on the Carrboro Commons from March through November 2013.
- Renewable Energy and Local Food Summer Camp – In summer 2013 we expanded on the concept of youth empowerment by teaching children and teens functional skills such as basic carpentry, foraging for wild edibles, gardening, cooking, repair and reuse, basic mechanics, contributing to a local economy, and other activities helpful in instilling personal growth and confidence, and strengthening individuals to serve their community.
- CASE, Chatham Alliance for Sustainable Energy Town Meeting -vAbundance provided marketing, facilitation for countywide, multi-cultural “town meeting” on sustainable green building and development.
- Green Building fundraiser – Save Energy and Keep Your Co-op Warm! Chatham Marketplace installed an “Air Curtain” above the front doors to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
- Pittsboro Co-Housing Forum – In November 2007 a small group of folks met to talk about the possibility of creating a unique community within Pittsboro. This is now a thriving group of committed individuals working towards developing a co-housing community.
- Pittsboro Mural Project -A fantastic collaboration between artists, the community, kids, our school system, local businesses and Abundance. This beautiful long lasting mural at the Pittsboro circle was created by muralist Stacye Leanza as well as a group of dedicated citizens: Diane Swan, Suz Robinson and Geo DeSocio and others. This project lead Abundance into Fiscal Sponsorship which is a large part of our mission today.
- Pittsboro Parade – Community building, economic development and upgrading town image; adding entertainment to the holiday parade. Abundance facilitated float building with businesses and non profits, organized the WINGS dancing group and also hired the Paper Hand Puppets to add flair and awareness to the Pittsboro Parade 2007.
- Pepper Tasting Extravaganza – We helped Farmer Doug of Piedmont Biofarm conduct a pepper tasting for research performed in connection with Seeds of Change. Included heirloom seed saving lecture, pepper infused hors oeuvres, jam, soup and bread and we will spin some calypso! Read Doug Jone’s paper on Designing Sweet Peppers: My Work to Elevate Them to Center Stage of Local Foods.
- Pittsboro Farmer’s Market – Raising money and awareness for Chatham’s Farmers’ Markets. Marketing and logistics support. Local farm to fork dinner with 100 attendees that raised money for new logo and local organic cotton bags.
- Whole Foods and The Abundance Foundation team up for a Local Farm Aid Fund – The first round of funding went to Roberson Creek Farms and Piedmont Biofarm to help them after the spring hail damage.
- Triangle Food Commons – On March 29, 2008, Abundance organized one of the first triangle local food discussions at Community Church in Chapel Hill. In cooperation with David Harper land conservationist and Spence Dickinson of Spence’s Farm. Attended by many of the local food thought leaders in the region and working groups formed from this roundtable discussion.
- Ribbon Cutting of Office of the Future – On Feb 4, 2010, we held the grand opening of Abundance NC’s completely off-grid office in an eco-tiny straw bale house, powered and heated by solar!
Check out our Event Calendar to see what’s happening next!