The meeting was held yesterday to determine if the necessary support was available to proceed with process of converting out local deli/grocery to a community owned co-operative. Co-operatives are, historically, the most stable form of business ownership. Nearly 300 people showed up. In a community as small as ours, that’s huge. The support was overwhelming and the plans can now move forward. As I am on the steering committee, I stayed to help with feeding everyone after the meeting and then to clean-up. All told, I left for church at 10:00 in the morning and didn’t return home until 8:00 last night. It’s a good thing that church is next door and the Community House across the street. I was way too tired to drive.
I was able to overhear a lot of conversation as I cleared tables and brought out food. It was just bits and pieces but one thing is clear. People are anxious to connect with and invest in their communities. People who were working at high paying, high prestige jobs a few years ago are now raising vegetables and chickens. Families are working together on building projects and sharing child care. While there is a good deal of worry about the state of our economy and our environment, there is also a shared sense of purpose that was good to hear.
It all had a familiar sound to it. Then it hit me. It sounded just like the stories I have been reading about the Great Depression. I wonder if the years of excess spending and consumerism,insulated us from deeper connections with each other in a way that was just not healthy. A bit a adversity seems to be bringing out the best in people.
A lot of the talk was about growing food. I suppose the bitter weather has left us all pining for spring. I know I can’t seem to keep my nose out of gardening books and seed catalogs. I thought I was done ordering but the new Miller catalog came on Saturday and got me all excited about nut trees. Butternuts, walnuts and pecans, oh my! There are new, grafted varieties that produce in just a few years and I just have to get some. Then there are the berries. I have a lot of berries and I want to be sure not to plant more than I can use. But there is the possibility of selling my excess to consider. The market for organic berries is strong as is the market for home-made jams and jellies. Fortunately, you don’t need a commercial kitchen to sell those. I am really giving some thought to setting up a stall at the farmer’s market. The girls would help and I think it would be fun. Do those words have the ring of doom to you that they have to me? Lots of things that sound like fun (puppies, camping, a new baby) turn out to be more work than anything else.
I have to go to town today to clear up a problem with a car title. YUK! The only thing that will make the trip less onerous is that there is a dandy little wholesale, bulk food store and I will do some stocking up while I’m there.