I mentioned back in my New Year’s resolutions that I had some local food initiatives that I was working, and things are starting to fall into place. A lot of details are being hashed out still, but here is the general outline.
1.) The CSA farmer that I delivered excess produce for last year wants to do it again. This great, especially because we learned that she doesn’t actually end up getting a tax deduction for this, like we thought. (What kind of screwed up tax code do we have?) I just have to find some drivers to rotate around so that one person (me) isn’t doing all the deliveries, but delivering the food even without the tax break is a great thing!
2.) I’m working with another group (Local Foods Connection) who is going to purchase two CSA shares from a local CSA farmer (different than #1 above) and we’re going to distribute those shares to the low income flood ravaged areas of town; either free or at a very low cost to the people. Additionally this farmer is going to attempt to raise one more share via small donations from her customers to bring to our central location. While the food is there we are going to let people pick what they need (instead of a whole huge box) and also use that opportunity to do some education about how to prepare that item, talk about eating healthy and hopefully ways they can make their dollars stretch (among other things). You should check out the Local Foods Connection website to see what they are up to, and make a donation if you wish.
3.) Additionally, the farmer from #1 and I are going to attempt to set up two new farmer’s markets in the city for young farmers and focus the markets on the areas of town where people have difficulty accessing fresh produce, as well as trouble getting to the existing markets because of transportation issues.
I’m also working with another group to devote some resources to setting up small raised beds in the yards of interested parties, as well as education about raising their own produce and, most exciting, infilling the demolished lots from flood damaged homes with community gardens and orchards. This coming summer is the summer of fresh local foods!
I gotta tell ya, this summer is going to be busy and exciting!