A story about how front yard gardens are being mowed down by cities precisely following their zoning rules make me think:
Nothing is simple.
Many things have more than one accurate point of view.
And when you begin to create change, nothing is real until you can show its impact and it’s worth to the larger community.
And that for decades, food growing has been relegated to the rural communities, so much so that when urban and suburban citizens join or rejoin the good food revolution, they will often suffer from outrage from neighboring lawn champions or from outdated zoning requirements.
And yet, something troubles even me when I see a farm with dozens of different tools rusting along the back wall or when I see immaculate gardens with nary a weed. I think of what Gary Snyder said in an interview in the 1970s (and I’m paraphrasing from memory):
farming isn’t backbreaking if it’s done right. The problem is that we bought entirely into the 19th century well-ordered industrial European agricultural model which doesn’t necessarily fit everywhere.
So we can all learn and change. Farmers can simplify and share their plans, both to gradually bring those neighbors to a deeper understanding of what natural gardening is and to reduce the backbreaking nature of their dawn to dusk life and the amount of tools that it takes to keep that farm looking unnatural.
But it takes time.
Community activist, public market consultant and writer
Working since the 1980s on social change issues while encouraging civic activity across North America. I live in the Gumbo Nation (New Orleans) and raised here some but mostly in Buckeye Nation (Cleveland). I provide support and consulting for localized food systems, especially farmers markets. Bicycling, clean water, pocketbook issues, true wealth generation, reanimating public spaces and direct action democracy are also within my focus. Have blogged for a decade, have published essays and non-fiction since 2001.
Independent Researcher and Trainer Darlene Wolnik offers:
Analysis: Research and reports on public market organizational structure and governance or logistics.
Conference or workshop preparation: Building or running educational/networking events for food organizers.
Grants: Assistance with public market project grant-writing including research of subject, draft narrative and final editing.
Reports: Researching and writing for public market organization or food system projects.
Speaking: Keynote speeches or workshop development and/or facilitation.
Technical Assistance: Phone, email, webinar or in-person technical assistance for public market startups or project work for market organizations. Phone, email, webinar or in-person technical assistance for funders or stakeholders of food system projects.
Fees upon request: a percentage of pro bono time offered with most individual market-level projects.
This blog focuses on the intersection of retail anthropology and social justice issues in order to start some ideas flowing and conversation about how we can use public markets.
It's updated Mondays and Thursdays.
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Click here to read about sailing alone and anchoring together….
Darlene Wolnik-Helping Public Markets Grow
Recent and current work:
•Independent research for case studies of governance of markets. Found at helpingpublicmarketsgrow dot com
• Independent research for market characteristics. Found at
helpingpublicmarketsgrow dot com
•Brooklyn NYC-Conducted a series of trainings for community markets for the Brooklyn District Public Health Office (BDPHO).
•Brooklyn NYC- Assisted BDPHO with developing farmers market technical assistance programs.
•Colorado-Assisting Boulder Farmers Markets with strategy sessions.
•Farmers Market Coalition-Writer/Researcher: Assisting with University of Virginia Morven Summer Institute course on farmers market evaluation.
•Farmers Market Coalition: Writer/Researcher for training and technical assistance project.
•Louisiana: Assisted LSU AgCenter and Farmers Market Coalition with first statewide market conference.
•Louisiana: Assisting students at Southeastern University in Hammond with food system research and farmers market strategy.
*Louisiana: Assisting Urban Conservancy with day-long Community Wealth Workshop featuring Michael Shuman in New Orleans LA
• Maine: Researched farmers market job descriptions for People's Regional Opportunity Program work with farmers markets.
•Mississippi: Assisting Gulf Coast markets with surveys for location and customer/vendor satisfaction.
•NOFA-VT- Designed and led evaluation workshop for VT markets.
•VT-Dept of Ag: Researching SNAP, FMNP technology and policy answers for VT farmers markets in collaboration with NOFA-VT
•Wallace Center: Researching and writing case studies of successful direct marketing Mississippi farmers and markets.
*Why Hunger: Creating online toolkit for grassroots communities in 3 regions.
*Creating articles and researching resources for WhyHunger's Food Security Learning Center
Feel free to contact me at my name at gmail dot com I might be able to help your market or business.
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