In recognition of the International Year of Pulses, VINE Sanctuary will devote our upcoming equinox potluck to spreading the good news about the many merits of the protein-packed plants known as pulses:
- As plant-based sources of protein, beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils and other pulses can feed the world without wrecking the planet.
- As highly nutritious and easy-to-grow sources of healthy food, pulses are the key to food security.
- Pulses reduce climate change in two ways, by helping to fix nitrogen into the soil and by helping to reduce demand for animal-based protein.
- Pulses enrich rather than deplete soil.
- Highly hardy pulses require less water and fewer other inputs than other crops, thereby reducing both water waste and water pollution.
Pulses will be an essential ingredient in the transition to a plant-based agricultural economy locally, nationally, and internationally. Therefore, VINE Sanctuary calls on our friends and allies in other places to stage their own Pulse Potlucks.
What is a Pulse Potluck? A vegan potluck lunch or dinner where every dish is centered on one or more pulses. Ideally, potluck attendees will also receive some information about pulses, either by means of a brief presentation by the organizer, or some sort of handout. The main goal is for participants to leave the event both knowing more about pulses and (most importantly) more likely to grow and/or cook with pulses.
Whether you are an individual who gathers a small group of friends for a private potluck or a person or organization who arranges a public event, here are some tips for organizing a successful Pulse Potluck:
- Choose a date some time before the end of the year to be part of IYP. Choose a date in the seven days before or the seven days after September 22nd to be part of the pulse of Pulse Potlucks around the equinox.
- Find a place. If you’ll be holding a public potluck, try a community center, food co-op, church, or other place with tables and running water.
- Invite core participants. Choose a few vegans you know and invite them to help with the event. If this will be a public potluck, ask them to agree to make two dishes to share, so that you can accommodate guests who cannot bring a dish to share.
- Visit IYP websites (here, here, and here) and other pulse-related webpages for ideas you can use in organizing and publicizing your event.
- Invite more participants. Use social media to invite your own friends or, if you will be holding a public event, create a Facebook or Evite event and ask all of your friends to share that.
- Challenge your participants. In both your invitation to core participants and your open invitation to the public or a wider group, challenge people to come up with creative vegan dishes centered on pulses. We’ll be happy to send you a VINE t-shirt and/or other swag to use as a prize for the most creative dish!
- Publicize your event. For public events, you might also want to make flyers to post around town, put a listing in the local free newspaper(s), or even send out a press release. Be sure to mention the many pluses of pulses in everything you create!
- Tell VINE about your event. Let us know about your event, and we will help you publicize it on social media. If enough people and organizations plan events, then we’ll create a Pulse Potluck page, listing all of the different events. (Hint hint: This would be a great way for vegans collectively to show our support for plant-based agriculture by participating in IYP.) We’ll also be happy to help you sort out any questions that arise as you plan.
- Make it a fundraiser. While it’s important that potlucks be free, and especially essential that a public Pulse Potluck be open to everybody, you certainly can put out a donation jar to help cover any of your costs in organizing the event, giving any remainder to an organization that promotes plant-based eating or farming.
- Have a great time, take plenty of pictures, and don’t forget to tell us all about it!
PS. If you’re here in Vermont, we need both core participants and help with organizing the Pulse Potluck we’ll be holding in Springfield. Let us know if you can help!
- A Well-Fed World has generously offered to match any contributions to VINE made via donation jars at Pulse Potlucks, and they also will help you organize your event!
- We’ve created a new “Power of Pulses” brochure, so be sure to contact us in advance of your potluck, so that we can send you copies to distribute!