Today, I fulfilled my first tiny bit of what I hope will be a substantial role on the Communications Team of the Bloomington Community Orchard. The People’s University of Bloomington had the first of a two-day Media 101 for Nonprofits, a great refresher of PR training & lots of time to brainstorm. This is only my second day helping the orchard, & I hope to learn tons from it.
Meeting with Erin, the lead of the communications team, we discussed how lucky the orchard is to be started in Bloomington, a rather liberal, local food-focused community. In most other places in the state, the project seems like somewhat of a joke. Why is it necessary? What’s point? Who’s really paying for these trees you just planted for everyone? Why would I pick fruit there?
The real question is, how did we start thinking this way? Why does growing your own food seem like a bizarre concept? What about a place where you can pick fruit & get to keep some as payment seems so unbelievable?
As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m dedicated to the cause of real, American family farming. (I encourage you to see comments on my other post for what a “family” farm is. I need to make a strong clarification here: I am not accusing a family-owned farm with a thousand of acres of corn of being, in any way, at fault. I put fault on a system that has, in many cases, forced family-owned businesses into a model that stops being sustainable for the family. This is an important discussion, and one that I’ll post on more fully at another time when I have more information from my friend, whom I thank for bringing the correct terminology to my attention & furthering this discussion. I look forward to more of your similar comments, readers!)
We often tell ourselves that American farmers feed the country. We say that America feeds the world. While America provides many of the world’s grains, the American produce section is another story.
At the market the other day, I was looking for tomatoes–one of the most common garden components & a plant that does well in Indiana summers. I picked up tomatoes from several different baskets. Honduras. Canada. Mexico. I was getting exhausted. The final basket, full of plump beefsteaks, was from Ohio. Bell peppers were another story. Whether organic or traditional, the only option was Holland. So take a second & ask yourself:
Where are you eating? You can’t afford to eat out everyday. Can you afford to eat out of the country? (Check out how the UK is calling attention to the issue.)
More on this later. I’m at the end of my one hour of personal time for the day. Back to public management assigned reading. Yaaay.