Monday, December 16, 2013

A window of opportunity??


Yesterday I had a revelation (brainfart as I call it).
There have been so many things going on, yet I failed to see the connection, but here it was..... A window of opportunity is starting to show itself (or maybe it's just wishfull thinking by me). It might be because of the weather these last days. It is awefull; the snow has gone and so has the sun, the temperatures are constantly shifting between freezing and non-freezing, snow turns to rain and back again and as icing on the cake it is very windy too. Large patches of watercovered ice develop and one of these caused me to come into close contact with a concrete set of stairs in a non-regular manner, greatly enhancing my allready significant physical discomfort the weather causes me.... But I degress....


Let me tell you the story.....
Once upon a time, there was a Dutch family, the father, the mother, a son and 2 daughters, living in Sweden and in need of a home for themselves. They had no money and they had no jobs, however they did stroll the internet looking for houses, just to get an idea of how the market was. Among the hits, he found a house within the limits of the community, but it was far too expensive.
Then one day the family was in the direct vicinity of said house and he decided to go for a look. He dismissed the house as being located too far off, to expensive etc. etc. and thought nothing of it. By this time she had a parttime job and he worked a few hours every now and again too. The collective imcome however was still not sufficient to be able to afford a house of their own. Untill one day, while searching houses again she discovered that the previously mentioned house had been lowered in price.... and shortly afterwards again! To a level they just might be able to afford it!! The people at the bank twisted and turned every rule to make the purchase possible and even the children were immediately unanimous on all accounts regarding the house. (Those with more than 2 kids know that this is very, very rare indeed! Some might even consider that to be "a sign") The seller of the house had lowered the price drastically and we were actually required to wait untill the openhouseweekend. Yet the seller also specifically requested the house being sold to a family with children, so he agreed on a early sale and not to wait.
Unfortunately the father has also a problem with authority. He can not work under a management, that bosses him around and shows little respect for him as a human. Hence he keeps losing jobs.... apart from the ones on a local potatoefarm and heritagemuseum. There he performs very well and is very liked by colleagues and employers alike.

While they were living there, there were a number of things that at first seemed totally insignificant and unconnected. The parents had allways had a love for the outdoors and for gardening and they started making plans. Plans for growing their own crops, to have some chickens and maybe even some bees, allthough he never liked (processed store)honey.... Untill he tasted some of the local, unrefined honey! Now he eats it by the spoonfull. They came across an article in the local newspaper about an elderly couple, living in the direct vicinity who grew herbs on a commercial, yet small scale and the parents thought :"Hey. Why not ask these older folks if they can teach us how to do that in this climate?", but that never materialised. Not even after a similar article, more outspoken in context and photo's, appeared again half a year later. The same thoughts, the same action.

The local heritagemuseumgroup has a traditional christmasdinner each year on 3 consecutive days. They allways need people to help and the mother volunteered for friday and saturday. The oldest daughter helped out on friday too and she was spoken to by an elderly man, asking her who she was. Then the mother meets the man and his wife and is met by the same question. Guess who they were?? The mother mentions the family's plans of chicken and bees and the elderly woman points immediately to her husband and says:" He has beehives". A conversation unfolds and the mother learns that the elderly couple indeed used to grow herbs commercially and have several beehives, but that they are only doing it during season these days. It just becomes too much work. The parents end up being invited to the elderly couple's home.
We drive past a couple of greenhouses and roadsigns everyday that say "greenhouse" and "beekeeping", but it all looked vacant. Guess who ownes those?

A few days later the parents went for a walk together in the snow, without a preset plan or route. They went left, they went right, looking here, seeing there and taking unknown pathes..... and their walk lead them past the elderly couple's house...

During the same period of time several other things developped.
The family learned more and more about the ways of life of their grandparents and the people befor them and they started to see that the modern ways were not the ways they should be using to live. Instead they grew more and more convinced that the old ways, with no exuberant use of resources and power were the better ways. The swing of the pendulum of modern day consumerism, capitalism and destruction of the world had gone to far. It needs to come back...
Especially in recent days their interest in basic things, like handcraft, food and ways of living started growing and they started to see the wrongs of today's society in regard to everyday life. They saw the lies of the big companies, banks and governments and the more they looked for answers, the more they were shocked, horryfied and alarmed with what they found.

Strangely enough there is this sort of "foodrevolution" developping in the country, where people from all over are starting to see the many wrong things within the everyday food and foodindustry, even the equally wrong connections to science, governments and the medical world in regard to feed. And that picture is spreading like an oilstain on water toughing more and more branches, showing their interconnection... Sites, informationgroups and the like start popping up all over the place showing how mislead the people have been all this time and the father himself is becoming quite involved, discussing, spreading the word and connecting the dots.

Within the family's community there is this small group of people, including the family, that spontaniously formed last summer, bonded and became friends and they started to share meals and food and tips about food with one another. If there was a local source of good, honest and affordable food to be found, they shared the information, so that all could benefit. And that extended to non-fooditems as well. Whenever someone had something they did no longer need, it was passed on and slowly the family's network is expending.

Within the larger circle of the community a lot of things regarding local and honest food develloped too. After many years a slaughterhouse was built by the owner of a large ecological chickenfarm. Now local, ecological pigs and poultry could be slaughtered and sold locally. The same goes for locally hunted animals and very recently the last missing group was announced to be added very soon; cattle.
This owner also bought up a local grainmill, so it would remain and he is a part of a local commercial foodnetwork, including all sorts of local and ecological foodproducers, ranging from potatoes, to said chickens, pigs etc.... There was another section that was destroyed recently; a woodfed hardbreadbakery. It was bought up, dismantled (destroyed is the better description) and sold off again. Local entrepeneurs tried to save the bakery, but ended up buying the empty building. Last week they announced to try and resurrect said bakery on a smaller scale and under a different name and they received massive support!

And suddenly there popped up this seemingly innocent looking post on one of the larger social mediasites from a another new member of the community they lived in, saying people should stop supporting those large companies, banks and politicians and go local. grow local, buy local, work and live local... and said poster was busy setting up a network of similar minded people, asking for their participation, based upon the work of one of his contacts, who is succesfully doing the same in another community. He also seems to emphisize the need to spread the trueth about current
The poster happenes to be a baker, baking sourdough bread using ecological ingredients too.

So there is this community that is slowly waking up, growing and focussing on the local area and the father is convinced that that is the way people should be doing this; local. That by no means turning a blind eye or away from the rest of the world by the way!
He also sees that there are some keyfactors missing; vegetables! many folks around here have loads and loads of fruit, mainly apples and berries, but you seldom see a vegetablebed. It is just too much work or too difficult for many to grow edible crop from seed.

Now picture this;
You have a man, willing and driven to work, but with a constant problem regarding authority at work and hence unemployed. That same man loves being outdoors, loves plants and growing them, but only in an ecological way.
There is this community that is developping toward a local market for honest food, but lacks a good source of available alternatives in regard to enable people to start growing their own vegetables.
There is this elderly couple that has the knowledge, the means, but no longer the youth and energy to deliver. It would be a terrible waste to let their lifework go to waste as there seems no one there to continue it.
And finally there is the added topping of a society that is profoundly changing, both local and nationwide, when it comes to food, dismissing the large industry approach and looking for honest, and preferably local, alternatives.

Now I don't know about you, but I do see a pattern here. I do see a picture developping..... And I do not believe in coincidences, especially not if there are that many.


It is time to set things in motion!

2 comments:

  1. I was sorry to read that you lost your job.
    But I have allways belived that things happens for a reason, but you have to figure out the reason on your own. I think this sounds very promissing Ron, and it makes me glad.
    We have had much the same weather here as you have had, and I can't say I've seen much of the Christmass Spirit. But this is what it's all about, I think the Christmass Spirit will come now:-)

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  2. Tack Odd!
    I can only hope for the future and maybe try and shape it a little.

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