The cutting edge of local food

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The cutting edge of local food

What’s great about the locavore movement is that, aside from the question of governmental support and encouragement, it’s really a bottom-up deal. It’s decentralized, it’s adaptable; it can mean anything from the obvious venues (City Market) to a pot of mint on the windowsill of a nursing home.

Or ( another example) gardens at Friendship Court.

So, while the bigger and more visible local-food projects continue to pick up steam, many smaller ones bubble up too, not so much in the limelight, but equally hopeful and power-to-the-people-ish. Stuff like…

…the Patchwork Farms Project. This is a group of city-dwellers who are planning to grow veggies in other people’s front and back yards (with their permission, of course) in a cooperative fashion. "Bring a shovel or spade," they say. They’ll grow as much as they can, get neighbors involved, barter and give away the fruits of their labors, have parties, and generally make gardening into a community-building exercise. They’re having a sod-busting party as I write this (March 4, 1-5pm) and undoubtedly other events you can jump in on; call (757) 287-5036 if you want to make some green-thumb friends and help out.

…the International Rescue Committee‘s New Roots project, which is supposed to give refugees settling here in town a chance to grow their own garden plots. The fact that the metaphors here are really obvious—putting down roots, nurturing growth—doesn’t make them less powerful. If you’re a gardener, you know what I mean. And if you’ve got extra garden tools or seeds hanging around, they’re looking for donations. Call 979-7772.

…the soon-to-launch Locally Grown Nelson, which seems to be kind of an online end-run around the current lack of a Local Food Hub. It’s cool; check it out. You can buy ginger cookies or breakfast sausage on the website, then pick them up at the community center and pay the producer directly. Nelsonites will be pleased; Albemarlians will be envious.

I’m sure there’s more—what else is going on out there, locavores? You starting a pie-swap with your buddies? Planting potatoes in secret spots in the park? Clue us in.

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