Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Going Shopping

I'm going to the shops – Anyone want anything?

20 years ago that meant a shopping list of large rizla, pot noodles and beer. Times move on though. And those heady days are behind me. The little people moved in and took over. Nappies, fruity flakes, and milk. And the kids need stuff too.

The Autism thing didn't work out. The vision of the charity and my own ideas didn't tally. Lack of resources meant that instead of function stacking the working week into a permaculture portfolio, I had instead walked into a scenario that demanded more of me than I had ever imagined.

It was unfortunate. But it was unsustainable. With so much going on at home, work needs to operate smoothly and demand less. Resources like time are always finite and have to be spent effectively. I don't regret making a swift decision. It was a tactical withdrawal. This was not my mountain.

That said, it freed up time to find my next project. I like the permaculture saying 'The problem is the solution.' It got me thinking....

Like most PDC graduates, I obsess on my food. How it's farmed, what it does to me, what the supply chain looks like, who benefits, and how it affects the environment. Like most normal people, I also find myself sheepishly perusing the isles of the local supermarket at the weekend. This diet is only supported in part by the local producer, the home grown and the foraged.

Its a problem because I have no interest in bolstering supermarket profits or industrial agriculture. Its a problem because every pound spent in these places disappears form my local economy. And it happens because I run out of time.

To go to the local Butcher or baker entails time to be spent. All very well unless you have kids, jobs or stuff to do. I get it.
I live it. Every. Day
So I'm going to the shops. And anyone local who wants anything, let me know. The idea here is if I have a big enough shopping list we can make it more efficient. If I have a bunch of shopping to get, and people relying on me, it'll get done. If its a large enough order, we can get the producer to help with the process.

I'm starting with my favourite butchers. Park Farm of Hawkhurst. A quality Farm, and a quality Butcher. It uses a local abattoir, and they specialise in grass fed and free range livestock, which makes it a far healthier product . Andy the farmer just had a conversation with me with regards to the way the herds are managed. You obviously wouldn't get that at tescos, and he is open to groups coming to the farm. As far as I can make out, its the best in our area. By using these suppliers, not only is the meat going to be a better quality, but the money stays in the local area, and good practice is rewarded.

So if you have the same problem I've got, this might be the solution.

I'll be driving out every Thursday from now on. If anyone wants anything picked up, drop me a text, email or DM me on facebook. I can get prices before I go if you give me notice.

This is one way to wrestle back power from the large shops and poor food production. By acting more directly, we can empower our food producers, have more control into how our meat is reared, and create more resilience in our whole food system. Its up to us. The large producers and Supermarkets do not share our values.

Now – who wants anything?

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