An Eye Toward Food Security
As COVID-19 continues to distort our once-familiar realities, many people—residents of Earthaven included—are asking questions about systemic uncertainty. Food security is, quite naturally, at the top of many folks’ lists.
Check out some of the initiatives taking place in and around Earthaven with an eye toward food security. Some of these projects were already in existence and others are in direct response to COVID-19.
On July 5th, a group of residents and neighbors gathered for a Food Interdependence Discussion Series. The series featured four sessions for discussion, as well as identifying actions. The sessions were created based on interests expressed on a community email list.
The mission of the Stock the Pantry Initiative is to establish and maintain a supply of nonperishable food for a community-owned, six-month emergency food stock. The project plans to include about 50 different items such as various grains, beans, nuts, seeds, flours, and dried fruits.
The Canned Bean Collective, which started before the pandemic, grew out of the project generator’s desire to reduce waste and to foster more thrift. The idea is to have the convenience of opening a jar of home-canned beans instead of trying to remember to soak dry beans a day ahead.
Tricia and her family, who live on land adjacent to Earthaven, created space for this work on their homestead because, “it feels very tribal and ancestral to work with others to put up food together and is a great way to have social connection and accomplish tasks.” A team of nine people meet in different configurations twice monthly for two to three hours. In July and August alone, they have put up over 120 quarts of beans.
Veggie Ladies is two years old and was created by a farmer to meet increased labor demands, while also promoting connection among women. She leads a weekly four-hour work party of six women. The women put in a small amount of money for seeds and supply ongoing labor in exchange for a portion of the harvests.
In a similar cooperative model, Bread and Butter Farm has a joint venture to build up corn production for high quality winter animal fodder. Community member Bruce puts up the seed, and supplies labor in planting and weeding, while the farm lends a portion of their field for the growing. The farm will use half the green corn for silage, and Bruce will use the rest for his own purposes.