[permaculture] Local Food Networks | Was: Dacha Movement: History and Effects In Russia

venaurafarm venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Thu Aug 9 21:51:45 EDT 2012

On 8/7/2012 4:09 PM, Toby Hemenway wrote:

 >> While I'd love it if everyone gardened, a
 >> coordinated community food system
 >> is more resilient and allows more
 >> diversity than individual dachas, and fits better with American
 >> culture and land ownership patterns.

 > I think a coordinated local food system that networks
 > backyard and community gardens, CSAs, local farms and markets, and
 > even some commodity foods for as long as they exist (I'm not real
 > keen on raising all my grains) can generate a surplus that can help
 > feed those who aren't able, or for whom it makes no sense, like
 > skilled workers in critical roles, to grow their own.
>> While I'd love it if everyone gardened, a
>> coordinated community food system
>> is more resilient and allows more
>> diversity than individual dachas, and fits better with American
>> culture and land ownership patterns.

LL writes:

 > A computer/web/internet-based product
 > and services production, marketing and distribution network, PSPMDN.
 > could be created and made to work serving everyone participating,
 > no matter how small, as consumer or seller, barter, trade, donate,
 > have its own currency and be compatible and cooperative with the IRS.


The idea of starting some sort of network that connects food producers 
and consumers is interesting and could be worth pursuing.

I have thought through a food network concept that could work. It would 
be very much like the traditional food coop. It could involve a variety 
of currency types: money, coop credits (a type of currency), direct 
exchange of goods between parties

It would be a roll-your-own, homebrew, 
you-get-out-of-it-what-you-put-into-it kind of thing; I will elaborate 
on this further.

The system would be made up of:
consumers, producers, workers and those supplying resources

It would be very much like the old food coops (remember the Community 
Food Coop on West Rosemary St. in Chapel Hill at the Community Bookstore?)

It would be of, by and for the participants, serving their needs for 
food and income.

Ideally it would allow the producers to spend their time growing produce 
and not driving making deliveries. Producers would include:
backyard growers, those with proper kitchen making processed foods (kim 
chee, kraut, baked goods, jam and other canned goods, vinegars and 
obviously much more, cheese?, kombucha, artisinal goods), market 
gardeners, market farmers, community garden members and those who are 
willing to make bulk orders for foods then resell or barter portions to 
those members of the network who are interested in such goods, rice, 
flour, other grains, beans, seeds, garden seeds!, and much more (this is 
pure food coop activity). Maybe we just need to start a food coop.

I came up with an idea for a national network, a products and services
production, marketing and distribution network made up of nodes as small 
as one individual to national regional nodes made up of states or groups 
or states which are made up of counties or groups of counties made up of 
homes & homesteads > farms > hamlets > towns > cities > counties > 
groups of counties. There are other ways of organizing groups of members 
as components of the network, by trade or interest in special products, 
i.e. cheese, eggs, kombucha. The range of products offered would include 
food: produce, herbs, flowers, prepared goods, etc., manufactured goods: 
Ex.: tools, clothes, furniture services: bookkeeping, web development, 
legal medical services (massage, homeopathic, naturopathy, etc.), 
writing, editing, photography, graphical arts, works of art and much 
more. Livestock and meat products would require much more work, 
management, inspections and certification but could be a possibility. 
Cottage industry and work from home is the theme here.

So, you have the following member categories:

consumers, which would probably include all members

producers: growers of all types and producers of artisinal products, 
resellers to coop members of goods bought outside the immediate network

workers: those who supply or borrow and use transportation to pick up 
goods from producers and take them to some to-be-defined central point 
or points; those who process collected goods, maintain the "warehouse" 
facility and make as-needed deliveries, i.e. to network members without 
transportation or as per prior arrangement; those who perform office 
duties of all sorts

suppliers of resources: those resources might include a warehouse 
facility (could be a garage, a house or a building), refrigeration
equipment (a walk-in cooler, portable coolers, refrigerators and 
freezers), vehicles donated or loaned, office equipment, ISP DSL 
accounts for access to email and the web for the network and more

I am thinking that it would be wise to include entire community gardens
or individual gardeners growing there

Currently it seems that we already have the following types of food 
distribution services:

community food shuttles (I know of at least two but there are probably 
more and they move an enormous amount of food each year, TRS & IFCFS,
food pantries, churchs that gather and donate food to the needy, 
Gleaners, and food donations by Salvation Army type groups and more

farmers markets

local independent and coop grocers

direct sales by producers to individual customers, people or businesses 
such as restaurants

CSA's and CoOp CSA's

marketing coops (I do not of any that are owned by growers)

privately owned or corporate marketing coops

produce brokers buying from local producers

on-farm sales

roadside stands and on-farm stands

pick-your-own operations

local independent grocers buying as much as is available from local 

subscription agriculture services: I know of one of these operating 
mostly in the Triangle ares; they buy from farms across the state,
sending their refrigerated truck to pick up goods on site or within 
reasonable driving distance from the farm. They package goods at their 
warehouse and hand deliver to their customers


I have forme3d a new discussion forum, hosted by ibiblio at UNC, Orange 
Grapevine. I have added many fancy bells and whistles with forum 
mirroring using great Google resources: groups, sites, blogger (blogs), 
google docs and more. I was thinking that those of interested in local 
sustainability and foodsheds, fertile crescent concept, food networks, 
food security, local currencies and related subjects could use that 
forum to carry on discussion.

Orange Grapevine

"The Grapevine"

About the forum:
1) a place to post listings of farm and homestead-related items for 
sale, wanted-to-buy, swap and barter or donate.
2) anything to do with local agriculture and permaculture, artisanal 
production/cottage industry/crafts/woodworkig/metalworking
with an emphasis on locally made, locally grown

Intertwining threads of activity in Market Farming, Orcharding, 
Vineyards, Home Food Production, Landscaping, Fruit and Vegetable 
Growing and Breeding, Homesteading, Local Food Production and Permaculture.

And I would add that the primary focus is developing a community
food network. Discussion of such systems, coops, foodsheds and the 
fertile crescent concept is also encouraged.

I have updating and reconfiguring to do to align it with
a food network orientation.

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