Slow Food Solano members are remembering our good friend, architect of our School Garden Grant Program, enthusiastic volunteer par excellence, and overflowing fount of knowledge, Mary Bourguignon (or Mary B., as we affectionately referred to her), who passed away unexpectedly on March 16, 2017. Please see her obituary on the Daily Republic website at http://www.dailyrepublic.com/obituaries/mary-terese-bourguignon/
Mary B. was dedicated to Slow Food tenets – good, clean, affordable food for all – and was known for following her beliefs with action. She lost little time in creating our School Garden Grant program 11 years ago and then tirelessly promoted, raised money for, and oversaw the granting process until the last two years. She gave our organization purpose and direction with her investment in school gardens. The School Garden Grant Program has become the heart of Slow Food Solano.
While Mary worked tirelessly to establish a well-honed grant process, she didn’t stop there. Slow Food Solano needed a public statement to display at special events. So, she found an exhibit designer to create a Slow Food information table that really made us look like we knew what we were doing. This exhibit and Mary’s enthusiasm to reach out to children led to Slow Food Solano’s participation in the annual March Youth Ag Day at the Solano County Fairgrounds. She organized volunteers and activities to accompany an ever-evolving exhibit. As 3,000 third graders came through, Mary was ready with activity stations that got students thinking about and looking at real food. She was non-stop in patiently explaining to these students how to read the sticker on an apple to see if it was certified organic. No doubt more than a few of those 3rd graders still look for the “9” next to the inventory code.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Mary not only for these programs that she put her stamp of enthusiasm and organization on but also for her constant exhortations to us to do more, to set concrete goals, and to involve more people in our programs.
We will carry on her work and strive to build on the great legacy she has left us.
– Ruth Begell, chair emeritus and Cynthia Huddleston, present chair, Slow Food Solano.