My worlds are colliding in a most unusual way, devastating and uplifting all at once. Possibly you’ve heard about the fire at Pete’s Greens. I have friends who’ve worked for Pete. I know people who’ve bought CSA shares. I know people who aren’t getting the rest of their winter share because it was destroyed in the fire.
The fire destroyed everything, Neil and I drove past the farm after skiing that weekend and nothing remains where the barn used to be. The local food community here is pulling together, making donations and holding an auction. Pete’s Greens is one of the biggest CSAs in our area and they are a leader of the local food movement here in VT where we take our local food and working landscape seriously.
At the same time the knitting community has taken an interest! Juniper Moon Farm is holding a fundraiser for the fiber community. Knitters and fiber enthusiasts who’ve never met Pete, driven past the farm, or had an amazing deep dish pizza made with veggies from the CSA are donating money and prizes to help. Knitters show the world, again and again, that we care. And when we join together we can make things happen.
All I can think is that THIS is what people mean when they say local food will save communities. It builds bridges and brings people together when elsewhere in the US communities are drifting apart. I doubt this sort of community support happens when a barn burns down on a giant commodities farm in the mid-west. I’m not saying it shouldn’t happen, but that (I’m guessing) it doesn’t. CSAs, farmer’s markets, farm-to-plate initiatives – the whole local and sustainable movement makes us realize that food doesn’t come in packages but from farmers. When we support our farmers we not only get better food, but we support ourselves through our local communities. You see the same thing in knitting communities. We have fiber CSAs, sock yarn clubs, pattern collections – all coming from fiber farms, small companies, and indie dyers and designers which allow knitters and spinners to support real people while enjoying our shared hobbies.
I’m proud to be a member of both communities.