On Monday, Alyse and I first packaged coffee and then bagged and made some more spiced cashews. We then went to the conference room and Alyse gave me a short tutorial on the athensown.net wordpress stuff. She showed me how to update the plugins and how to backup the site. She then tasked me with making a small page on athensown.net and to mess around with themes, colors and stuff. I did and it’s rather easy, once you figure out your way around. Just a few things to remember, never update Widget Context; it will break EVERYTHING. Also, under discussion in making a new page, ALWAYS unclick both “allow comments” and “allow trackbacks and pingbacks”.
The other day, Alyse and I went to the opening of the new Hills Market in Columbus and as per her request, this log will have more of a theme than just about the day.
Her first question: “In what ways did you see the Hills Market attempting to be sustainable and build community resilience? How do you think Athens’ Own could help them towards this goal?”
I think that they are doing pretty well in that first part, considering the large amount of “Made in Ohio” products that they have for sale. They aren’t just relying on big national companies for their products, even if that company is organic or whatever. They involve many small Ohio businesses and seem proud to do so. That involvement makes everybody a bit more sustainable and resilient because if they sell the products, that’s more income for the producers (thereby helping those small businesses) and more for the store itself. As for the second part, I think that Athens Own is helping the Hills Market by providing them with a great Ohio product that doesn’t just come from one Ohio business, but also from the various farms that the meat comes from in addition to Athens Own.
Her second question: “Do you think selling our products at the Hills Market is a good “form of production” to bring us closer to our goal?”
I do think that the selling of AO products does help in bringing us closer to the goals. It certainly helps with “generate profit from fulfilling work.” I also think it helps with the “participate in activities that are fulfilling, challenging, and inspire growth and development.”, mainly the challenging and growth and development, in that it is a bigger distributor than anything AO is involved with so far. That’s growth and development, but also the challenge is in providing more product to a big (er) distributor.
Her last request was to go through the holistic management testing questions with the decision to sell or not sell at the Hills Market.
I think that (from what I have learned so far) the decision to sell seems to pass the relevant questions. The only thing that I think could be worked on and therefore would help, is the pricing of the sausage. It appeared that AO had increased the price of the meat for just Hills Market transactions (which they would still need to mark up) and not for everybody. I think that if AO gave them a lower wholesale price for the meat, the Hills Market would sell more, needing more from us thereby helping us towards our goals.
Yesterday was the first day that I did any serious work (besides the work at the Farmers Market) for Athens Own. I worked with Alyse and Matt at ACEnet bagging coffee, cashews, marinated olives and we started a new batch of olives. As expected, I saw a new side of Athens Own. I see most of the products at the market and I have even in the past helped packaged some of the stuff at the market itself, but I hadn’t yet participated in this process to this extent. Seeing as how I had done some this before, I already knew how do most of it, but I had forgotten some of it. I quickly re-learned what I had forgotten about the coffee bagging process and of course learned new things throughout. The same goes for the cashews: I re-learned some things and learned some new things. As for the olives, I didn’t really remember that AO even did olives, but as soon as I saw them I remembered. That was all learning, both the packaging process and the making/starting of the new batch.
I also learned things about ACEnet itself. I learned more about the contents of the AO cage and the freezer/cooler. I learned more about the layout of ACEnet and where things are like the sinks and which sink is for what and where utensils are. I also saw more of that local community mindset because there were other people there at ACEnet doing things too. It seemed like everybody was everybody else’s friend. Even the people I hadn’t met before were really nice and accommodating.
All in all, this internship is full of learning and new experiences and I expect it to remain that way. It’s also more learning and experience than I could get from the market alone.