Food and Community Connectivity

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I watch patterns.

One in particular that I have paid keen attention to, over the last ten years, is the evolution of the food grower and its effects on the community.

And it has been an interesting one.

People are more aware of their food through the help of social media – and who can exclude the support of local growers from chefs such as Michael Smith, Guy Rawlings, and Jamie Oliver? They have contributed to bringing awareness to eating and living well and as a result support local food producers from either a market, CSA box, community garden, local grocery store or their next door neighbor.

They’ve encouraged people to get back to the basics – and as a result, have filled another void in our world – relationship connectivity.

It’s a shift that our communities have been needing.

This getting back to our roots reminds me of the small town gardens that many people had back in the 1950s, they kept their yearly supply for themselves, and the extra was sold or traded for other products of value. A backyard contained a garden, berries, flowers, and some fruit trees.

Absolutely brilliant concept – but it was bigger than just food.

I recall stories of how my great-grandfather would graft fruit trees for more variety, sharing his knowledge with those around him. How Mrs. Greenthumb always had cabbages to share, or how the young people would pick and sell berries to the women too busy to pick for themselves. And this created a friendly culture which in turn created life-long relationships.

We lost that as we evolved in our world.

But, it’s coming back – but with a modern twist.

I suspect that the continued interest in buying local is more than about food – it’s about strengthening our communities. Social groups were initially how we kept in touch with people within our hamlets, towns, cities or villages, and as many of these groups struggled to evolve in our technology driven age, people sought another way to meet this basic need in humans – food.

What has filtered out in social groups has now returned with the common interest of what is served on our kitchen tables.

We have reconnected with one another.

And small to medium farm business have sprouted from these changes.

It will be interesting to see what the next ten years bring to our communities. I hope it will be the start of meaningful relationships and more local and delicious food for our tables.

As I wrote this article, I just noticed a lady advertising a potluck get together which was open to the community – the perfect example of gathering around food to refuel the community spirit.

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