We had our monthly sustainability meeting last night and, as always, I came away with a bunch of ideas and projects. The one I am most pleased about is a planned walking series. A bunch of us are going to be meeting each week at different homes and do a land walk to access what wild edibles and medicinal herbs exist in that spot. We have some experts in the group and a lot of people with good experience.I am no expert but I am enjoying the opportunity to learn. I am getting a lot better a picking out individual plants on my property. Not that many years ago, I only saw a sea of green; Now I can pick out the nettle, the plantain, the mullein, the Jerusalem artichoke, the raspberry leaf. It is like my husband and bird calls. I hear a cacophony of sound. He hears the individual call of the Jay and the Cardinal. He can tell you the day the Orioles return in the spring.

Another project that sounds terrific is a garden exchange. A group is setting up a farm stand at our local market. People will be encouraged to drop off excess produce and take some away with them. If you don’t have a garden and are in need of food, the hope is that you  will take what you need. The same group is working to get local farmer’s market and farm stands to accept food stamps for produce, seeds and seedlings. What a concept!

Finally, we talked about our local, small school. We are always at risk of losing it to a big, regional school as a cost cutting measure. Our children would be bussed about 40 minutes to the larger central school. Apparently, the people in charge are not worried about the the effects of peak oil and are not including the rising cost of gas in their calculations. A group is working on taking charge of our school. We are having a work bee on Saturday to paint, plant and otherwise spruce up our school. We refuse to let it go to inferior,centralized education with larger classes and rotating staff. Sustainability is about a lot more than food.

On another note: I drank the ginger ale yesterday. It was very fizzy and had a strong ginger taste. DH thought it was a bit too strong but I liked the flavor. It isn’t Canada Dry. It is a lot better. In the coming days, we will all have to get used to the idea of food that is less predictable. In mass production, what matters is uniformity and price. Our own food, locally sourced and made from scratch will be subject to the changes in weather and availability of ingredients, even our own moods may affect the outcome.

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