Friday, June 27, 2008

Local Stirrings

Last night I went to a screening of the documentary Good Food, a film about the growth of organic food community in the Seattle area. Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young directed, and were visiting in our area, so locally-based film distributor BullFrog Films arranged a short-notice screening. Our church offered space and coffee; about 40 people came. The film was released just this month at the Seattle Film Festival and this was the first not-Seattle screening for them. The film is a series of interviews with farmers, produce distributors, local officials, professors, restaurant owners, and farmers' market operators. There were a number of times that the magnificence of the produce made us moan. But as wonderful as that looked compared to our own local disorganization, Dworkin readily admitted that organic production represented only small fraction of the agricultural output in Washington. The film is definitely worth watching, and gets your wheels spinning about what has to happen in a region to start building a better local food culture.

I got to talk to Dworkin, met John Hoskyns-Abrahall from Bullfrog, and met a guy that runs one of the community gardens (70 plots). Hoskyns-Abrahall told me he has heard of a group in Topton that is organizing to carpool for local food shopping - promised to send me an email address.

Lately, there have been a lot more articles in the local newspaper about gardening and stretching one's food dollar. Yesterday, there was a front-page feature about a retired woman that installed solar panels and now a windmill in her yard to go off-grid. She grows most of her own produce on her quarter-acre lot, and I bet she
has a basement stuffed with stored food. The reporter for the article was Michelle Park, and I will keep an eye on what else she covers. Could be a good connection for future event promotion, although the video she did about spending rebate checks was goofy. It would have been better to report on people using their checks to keep their gas and electric turned on.

I can just feel a project coalescing around me, something important that I could do. But things are just so uncertain family-wise right now. We have people who need care, people looking for jobs, and I really want to move out of this tiny house as soon as possible. I see us in a city - but what if we don't stay in THIS city?

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