Issue 30

Paradigm Shifts: Changing Local Buying Habits

Paradigm Shifts: Changing Local Buying Habits

It seems that the idea of a “traditional” spring has quickly come and gone to hot intense sunny days, followed by back-to-back storms, once again this year. This quick transition has affected the demands on local produce. As I write this, we have experienced two very successful Farmer’s Market weekends, blessed with beautiful weather and early spring limited bounty. It seems that most produce vendors have sold out quickly with what they had available. The much-needed rain had delayed some plantings for those that were not able to get into their growing areas and the quick transition to heat poses other challenges for crops. But, thankfully so far, most seem to have made it through the untimely wind and hail storms. I am extremely thankful for this.

In addition, Paradigm Gardens’ workshops and events were nicely attended. I have also noticed within the CommUnity, more and more educational classes on such things as: food growing, cooking, preservation, foraging, permaculture, fungi, composting, native plants, pollinator protection pieces and food related events keep popping up, awesome plant sales, International Herb Day, Earth Days and the list goes on and on. Wow, that is almost intoxicating, what does one do?

I am very pleased with the community support and various organizations’ commitment to provide these educational opportunities. These types of events and activities do take a number of organizational resources, people, money, space and time. This is an excellent indication of a change happening in our community. I believe that many more members of our community are stepping up and beginning to truly understand that we must begin to solve our local production challenge by beginning to educate ourselves, understand our current resources and begin to take small steps to support the local foods movement. We have created a momentum. We need to continue with this momentum to transform our lives, homes, communities and the world.

Now, we must begin to continue to challenge every aspect of our food buying decisions, and our commitment to our personal health and wellness, our loved ones, our kids, grandkids and the generations to come.

How do we do that? Well, we vote at least three times a day with our food dollars. If we could conveniently and strategically begin to incrementally support some factor of the local scene more often, this would have incredible residual effects.

  • It may be as simple as supporting a local farmer’s market and buying local produce or a value added product, like a hot sauce or baked good for example.
  • Buy into a seasonal Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program
  • Buy through one of the local food hubs with the help of your friends on your block, church or bingo card club.
  • We could also support local eateries that support local sourcing of product and people that have been educated to be qualified laborers in those fields. When one begins to ask how our local food service businesses run, you develop an extreme appreciation for more community members.
  • Grow your own garden. This is by far the BEST OPTION! When one grows a garden they learn to appreciate nature, and when that happens we begin to learn more about ourselves.
  • This next option is by far the easiest! Volunteer or donate your time, money or value added resources to a LOCAL group of food system development. There are many groups out there working hard each day to serve the various needs in our CommUnity!

Tap into the ability to make a difference in the world around us. We need to re-imagine what the food system should look like. Collectively, we must use the potential of food to transform our local environment.

Edward Berna

Edward Berna

Edward Berna is founder of Paradigm Gardens. He is fascinated with local food systems, intensive plant production models and plant nutrient density. His connections to year round local food production fuels most of his foodie desires. Edward enjoys experience travel and learning from others and their heritage experiences

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