Every 3rd Thursday, Dandelion Communitea Cafe hosts Green Drinks. June's featured speakers will be Emily Rankin, founder of the Audubon Park Community Market, and Julie Norris, co-owner of Dandelion Communitea Cafe. Emily and Julie are developing an "Ourlando", Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) chapter. Green Drinks is the only place in Orlando where you can eat, drink, enjoy great music and talk and learn about the issues concerning OurLando's community. The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies brings local small business owners and community leaders together to promote sustainable, healthy community life and long-term economic viability. Local BALLE chapters nurture, support and emphasis the local community and environment by:
www.livingeconomies.org Emily Rankin
- Sourcing products from businesses with similar values, with a preference for local procurement.
- Providing employees a healthy workplace with meaningful living-wage jobs.
- Offering customers personal service and useful safe, quality products.
- Working with suppliers to establish a fair exchange.
- Coopering with other businesses in ways that balance their self-interest with their obligation to the community and future generations.
- Promoting business practices that support an inclusive and healthy community, and protect our natural environment.
started the Audubon Park Community Market, which was founded on the mission of educating the community on living a sustainable lifestyle and providing them with the goods to make it happen. It has weekly topics, which focus on Localism, Urban Planning, Slow Food and Green Building. Speakers and children?s activities are based on these themes. The market also features live, local music, to remind "Ourlando" of the great culture and talent that this beautiful city holds. They are in process of finding land for a community garden and a compost heap. It will first serve to compost all of their waste from the market, and then hopefully reach out to the larger community. The market intends to stabilize into a fundraising program for a community strengthening, non-profit. The market is open Saturdays from 9 am- 2 pm. www.audubonparkmarket.com
Emily is currently studying Growth Management at Rollins College and working on a Main Street Audubon Park program. While working as a chef, Emily began to realize the importance of sustainable solutions. This experience illuminated many of the key issues, from our dangerous global trade patterns and declining national health to the struggles small businesses experience in this big-box country. After years of study, travel, and experience she realized that building stronger communities is a distinct point of leverage in solving many of these issues. Emily's next step was to experience Portland, Oregon. She first spent a year and a half managing events at the Timberline Lodge. This is when the next level of awareness really set in. The lodge was sitting in the middle of some of the best farm country in the U.S., yet their food was coming across the world, by way of major corporate distributors. While, studying Community Development at Portland State, Emily learned even more about sustainable living and local economics. The theme of supporting local and organic foods rang through clear to her and she had always known eating meat was doing much harm to the planet, and its people and animals.. Next, Portland State offered Emily an opportunity to travel through Nicaragua. There she met with people who ran sustainable farms, those that built organic restaurants, which in turn created local economies, and others that taught the local communities how to farm their land while preserving it. There she observed a culture that worked together to create their healthy community and it reminded her of what sustainability was really about. This desire for true community brought her back to Audubon Park where she grew-up. Julie Norris
is the visionary behind Dandelion Communitea Cafe, a certified green restaurant & teahouse at the heart of Ourlando's eco-movement. She is a founding member of Orlando's Slow Food convivium, a member of the Simple Living Institute and is currently co-creating Central Florida's "Local First" campaign. She's an avid supporter of the local art & music culture and showcases the diverse people & happenings in Ourlando on her weekly radio program, Front Porch Radio. Julie's passion for community, the environment & culture are the driving forces behind all her endeavors. More on her ventures at www.dandelioncommunitea.com