So many great ideas start with being inspired from another source. My friend Russ listened to the Edible Valley podcast the other day, where we interviewed Megan and Chris from Halstead Farm. His mind began to envision a manifest on how to keep more of our dollars in the local economy. He has come up with one and I fully support it and have agreed to help out with this initiative.
His plan is quite simple. If 1000 Comox Valley residents can re-direct $100 a month from their grocery bill and spend it on locally produced foods, over a year we can shift 1.2 million dollars away from the big box groceries into our hard working farmers pockets. In an era of ever shrinking small farm producers, with the emphasis on enormous mono-culture agriculture with un-sustainable levels of fossil fuel inputs, WE have to fix this. These small mom and pop farms grow food that is not only more nutritional, it tastes better and is healthier for our souls. My conscious is free knowing an animal was raised with the best animal husbandry and being offered what it was supposed to be eating.
It is a sad fact that the average meal for a North America family has traveled 1500 miles or more. In Canada that number is probably exceeded. When we ship most foods we are essentially shipping water. Fruits, vegetables and meats all contain a high percentage of H2O. Of course water is heavy, one liter weighs a kilogram, so the fuel used to ship this water around is astronomical. The areas with the highest concentrations of agriculture also tend to be the areas with low levels of rainfall, so the water is drawn from deep aquifers. Fossil water that has been stored for millenia, akin to pulling oil from the ground. These aquifers are being pumped at ever increasing rates and will eventually run dry. FOREVER. Shipping water from the drier areas upsets the natural balance even more, resulting in even less rain fall and more drought. This is a vicious cycle that will collapse.
We are blessed in the Comox Valley with vast quantities of natural, shallow water because of the rainfall that we get for a good part of the year. Crops are watered with renewable sources. Our climate allows for winter crops. We have plenty of fresh air and land for farms. Our farmers market hosts wonderful, dedicated and hard working folks that want to share the results. We have everything for basic survival grown within our borders. Let us get back to that, like our ancestors did only a generation ago. With the $100 dollar challenge this can kick start conversation and show people that this is doable. We can vote with our dollars and get the movement growing, getting stronger and stronger. In future posts on here and the "$100 dollar challenge" Facebook page I will be giving tips and suggestions on how to do this. Shopping locally really isn't hard. Lets leave the faceless corporations in the dust. Keep you dollars in the Comox Valley.
Please share this with your friends. Social media is the most powerful tool we have to invoke change. Explain what the $100 dollar challenge is. Russ is hoping to have 1000 people ready to start on August first. We want to have feed back from the participants so we can get a number on the amount of dollars spent on local foods. By next August hopefully his goal is met, and with luck it will be much greater than that. Thanks you for reading and considering this challenge.