I have written many times about growing our own local food and the importance of food security in our community. One of the most important gatherings of local producers is our own Farmers’ Market. In fact I spent part of last Saturday at a special indoor market which was held in the Almonte community centre. Lots of sweets, great eats, live music, vegetables, pottery, wine and the popular knife sharpening were some of the featured attractions.
As a former practitioner of the arcane art of economics my support of local food brings me face-to-face with economic theory. I once take a grad course in International Trade Theory offered by a visiting British professor who filled endless blackboards with equations proving the benefits of trade. However I now find myself railing against imports of cheap garlic from China (hard to believe but some calculations show a lower carbon footprint from imported garlic than our own local garlic). The reality is that the dry economic theory fails to include social consequences and certainly did not take account of world domination by 85 super-rich guys and the corporations that they control.
So perhaps I share some common ground with Brexit voters and with Trump supporters. I have a lot of empathy for those who have lost their well-paid factory jobs. Globalization has meant that many have been left behind – many good paying jobs have moved to lower-income countries. Why this opposition to such world-wide trends would coalesce around such a reprehensible person with such odious views is one for the heavy duty political pundits to analyse.
For me the plus side of globalization was the end of tribalism and the end of conflict between different tribes. The reality seems to be more and more wealth concentrated in a small number of hands, more and more power in the boardrooms of huge corporations that have no moral compass, more selfish and materialistic behaviour of individuals and collapse of much of the ‘glue’ that holds our communities together.
One answer for me where I may be able to make a small difference is in encouraging local food as one way to help build a stronger local community.
Build a Mountain
Also happening this past weekend was Build a Mountain. It really moved me to see the enthusiastic response from our community as Build a Mountain arrived at Patrice’s Independent in Almonte on Saturday. All donations of food and cash go directly to our local Food Bank. This is a huge event for local Food Banks as shelves and bank accounts have become depleted over the summer.
A reminder to circle the date of Saturday February 11, 2017 on your gardening calendar! Local entrepreneur Johvi Leeck of Beyond the Garden Gate has announced that Seedy Saturday will return for a second year to Almonte’s Civitan Club.
The inaugural year of 2016 was a tremendous success and Johvi plans to build on that success. And of course all of our local gardening groups will be well represented – the Neighbourhood Tomato, Almonte District Horticultural Society and the Lanark County Master Gardeners are all enthusiastic supporters of Seedy Saturday.