We're beginning to hear about the plans that different jurisdictions are making to re-open their economies. Imagine walking in the park again. Having a drink on a sunny urban patio. Maybe even hugging a friend, or indulging in a solid handshake. I'm getting ahead of myself, but how could I not - it feels like fresh air, like a light in the distance.
We all agree though that things will be different - the question is how? The pandemic has revealed the brittleness of many of our social and economic structures, but as Leonard Cohen wrote: "there is a crack in everything - that's how the light gets in".
There are cracks in the food economy - big ones. (We recommend Ralph Martin's latest book on the topic.) But big cracks mean a lot of light getting in. In the past months, as the monolithic systems that normally bring food to our tables have frayed, people have planned and planted their own gardens, they've volunteered to gather and distribute food to vulnerable people, they've built democratic online markets, and they've created new businesses to connect growers and eaters.
At Heartwood, we've been blessed by the support of our community and our customers, so "Food, Folks & Farms" is a program we're launching to share the love. Food, Folks & Farms is a celebration and promotion of Community Food Resilience - the re-thinking of food systems toward ones that are more local, ecological, nutritious, and accessible.
The program has four aspirations: 1) to support local growers and food producers; 2) to help get that food to your table; 3) to financially support programs addressing barriers to food access; 4) to host an ongoing conversation about why Community Food Resilience is important, both during the pandemic, and afterwards.
Whether it's honey from Three Sisters, asparagus from Uphill Farm, or anything else we'll highlight in the coming months - our hope is that this program will help generate new compelling connections within our local food ecosystem.
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