Building the Local Food Community

Building the Local Food Community

Feb 21

Though we still actively avoid factory farmed meat and continue purchasing those products we’ve found to be safe and happy, we are also turning our sights more on happy produce and our local food cycle. Ultimately, the thrust of our efforts with meat and dairy was not to make animals happier for themselves, but to make them happier because that will make US — the consumers — happier. It’s only a logical extension of these values that is leading us now toward strengthening our local food chain and helping to develop a community with a mostly-closed food system. This means that food is grown locally, purchased and cooked locally, then composted locally.

We are not starting to pursue this in a vacuum, of course. Some great people and organizations are already hard at work to make local food a standard instead of a treat. Among these are The Simple Living Institute, which is currently working on a printed guide to all locally grown produce; Transition Orlando; and Our Whole Community, a faith-based organization that helps churches develop community gardens.

More and more, Laura and I feel that we want to end up as farmers, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even next year, but we want to actually MAKE something from nothing through the miracle of the plant cycle. Right now, though, I have this idea that it would be great to have a frequently-updated map of all local growers. If you were interested in growing corn, you could consult the map to find that someone in the next neighborhood has successfully grown it, and contact them for tips. If you are a chef, you could find all the growers in your area who are producing tomatoes. Plus it would be useful to gauge the state of local food in Central Florida, to be able to see just how many people are growing food and in what quantities. With any luck, I can work with The Simple Living Institute to make this an extension of their Sustainable Food Project.

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