Big Lunch, Great Idea!

Hi Folks and Merry Christmas, Hanukah and whatever else good is going on. In the spirit of reaching out, creating community and, of course, eating, here’s a great idea I just heard about: The Big Lunch. Check it out:

The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

This year it happened on Sunday 5th June when the best part of two million people took part. Next year it falls on the same weekend as The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations on Sunday 3rd June 2012. A record number of people are expected to take part. Make sure you’re one of them!

A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in the garden or on the street, to a full blown party with food, music and decoration that quite literally stops the traffic.

How I love this idea! So simple and so fun. Let’s get The Big Lunch started everywhere! I’ll remind you again as summer comes around. In the meantime, bask in the joy of the season upon us, and look forward to more connecting in the year to come. — L.

Time for a Block Party! (Yes. Right Now.)

Hi Readers! The other day I got a note from a reader saying, “We need more GOOD news about Free-Raning.” And so, here we go! — L.

Dear Free-Range Kids: A few weeks ago you posted something that another reader did to create a sense of community.  I’ve been meaning to follow up, but things in Wisconsin have been, umm, kind of crazy lately, as you may have read.

Anyway, I live in the sort of neighborhood where there a lot of
renters, and not very many kids.  My husband and I have been bemoaning
this for years.  There’s a younger child next door to us, and a family
w/ 3 kids about a block up, and that’s it within our 2 blocks.

Well, the mom of the 3 kids decided recently that she wants her kids
to know everyone w/in a 2 block radius.  And so to facilitate that,
she decided to have a block party.  In February.  In Wisconsin.  She
arranged for a landscaping company to push some of the snow into big
hills, got the street blocked off, told people what she was doing, and
it worked out really nicely.  We had about 3 versions of chili there
(in crockpots, plugged into a surge protector on a heavy-duty
extension cord), cocoa in big thermoses, kids making snow forts, etc.
We weren’t able to stay for the whole thing, but there were people
coming & going for at least 4 hours.  For a while I went back to my
house to work on our potluck contribution, and left my daughter out
there to play.  After about 1/2 hour I heard a bang on the porch–she
had run home to get her sled–and she took great delight in running
home *by*herself.

So don’t let the weather stop you from getting to know your neighbors!
People might think you’re nuts, but they’ll usually show up to a
party… Erika