[Superstruct] Urban Food Producers’ Coop

deck garden

If you haven’t signed up yet, I strongly encourage you to go to the Superstruct site and create a profile. It’s only been up for a day, but already there’s tons of activity. Then, I hope you’ll go to the Urban Food Producers’ Coop page and join that as well.

One of the things I’ve been trying to figure out is how we give people in urban areas (that being the concentration of world populations) access to healthy, local, sustainable foods. To everyone, not just fanatics like me who can spend the extra time. I think one of the central steps has to involve connecting urban food producers together, and creating a lightweight, flexible distribution system. Even if the producer is just someone with extra tomatoes from their backyard, or surplus eggs from their chickens in midsummer, or an overgrown apple tree. I hope that this can draw in larger producers near urban areas as well. We still have a number of small farms within city limits and just outside.

Also, can we do more than just subsist? How about food community that really thrives? I love the local food specialties I’ve encountered while traveling abroad, but in the US travel food is often about trying to avoid the overprocessed, unvarying junk found from one chain restaurant after another.

I’d like to see this build upon existing resources like local grocery stores, farmers markets, and CSAs; also, a balance between just-in-time connective technologies and face-to-face community-building like market days. I know we have the interest and ability in Portland to make it happen. But what about other areas? What’s needed to nurture these structures elsewhere?

A related topic I want to get people thinking about is subsistence foods for our specific climates and land resources. I think knowing what we can grow and produce to live on where we are is an important (and largely forgotten) piece of knowledge. I’d love to see input from people outside the PNW, and especially outside the US. What foods would work for your community?

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