Aligned with the ideals of Slow Food, this movement is dedicated to recapturing of our freedom and quality of life through rebuilding our local communities and health person by person, one step at a time.
Change does not have to be drastic, painful or sacrificial. It can be as easy as choosing to combine your resources with one or more neighbors and purchasing a whole beef from a neighbor who ranches – and having it butchered/processed by a local locker plant.
It means meeting your buddy at the Farmer’s Market for coffee and a chat, instead of the national chain restaurant. (and perhaps walking to the market, instead of driving?)
It can also take the form of investing in the expansion, new equipment or facilities of local businesses, rather than buying gold from a broker 3,000 miles away.
Or finding a neighbor who has an herb garden and supplementing their income in exchange for fresh cut herbs for your favorite recipe.
Or trading your fresh baked bread and some $’s with a neighbor who knows how to fix that leaky shower head, rather than hiring a repairman that is routed by the 1-800 dispatcher from a town 2 1/2 hours drive from you. (just think of the savings you gain by not paying the ‘trip charge’!)
I look at my own life and know I’m a far cry from being a totally organic eating, locavore. I buy my wheat, beef and pork direct from the rancher/farmer, but they are about 84 miles from me. Still, it’s a step in the right direction.
I also usually purchase more than my family can eat in a year, so my freezer/garage storage area becomes a grocery store for older friends who have small households and no room to store a full beef or pig or 5-gallon buckets of wheat. They get great food at the same price I paid (no mark-ups) and it allows me to bolster my bank account when there is more month than money – exchanging what I do have of value for that which I may be running short on! :>)
I’ve traded or lowered my fees for database and website design in exchange for mentoring, the sharing of a booth at a conference, etc. I provide sprouted whole wheat bread for 6 families (doable in my ‘bachelor sized kitchen’ – not doable on a commercial sized scale!)
While I still dream of living in solar/wind powered home, with garden space, a chicken coop and a milk barn, where all I need for the health and security of my family is available in walking distance, I’ve finally realized I don’t need to do it all, Today! (unless, of course, I do finally hit Powerball – bonus to the local contractor who can get me installed in my dream home in 3 months or less………..LOL)
Mike Dooley, author of Infinite Possibilities and founder of Totally Unique Thoughts (TUT), organized the charity of his devotees into a doable practice – $1, each month, and the proceeds go to different works.
(And I highly recommend signing up for his daily “Notes from the Universe” – there are days when these uplifting messages have been my saving grace………………)
How many people live in your community? If everyone contributed $1, per family member, each month, how fast would that youth center get put up? How quickly would the space for a weekly mutual trade exchange fair be realized?
My recent foray into the world of political campaigning, via donation of my time/expertise to support a local candidate for the Office of Sheriff, has once again proven to me how effective grass roots movements are.
There’s a reason why.
My favorite metaphor for explaining why grass roots efforts are so effective is the Pyramid Story.
Think of the Great Pyramid in its’ heyday. Beautifully encased in white limestone, with a gold capstone – archeologists surmise it could be seen from miles away.
But without the thousands of tons of plain, perhaps even dull, base stones, the blood sweat and tears of visionaries, engineers and laborers, that casing and gold capstone could not have been displayed to such great advantage.
Our individual freedom and creativity, the health and quality of life experienced by ourselves and our families, the resiliency and strength of our local communities – Those are the base stones that make the shiny casing and capstone called America.
Here’s to the Foundation that supports it all…………..
You and me.