Saturday, April 4, 2009

What If . . .

What if . . . instead of letting financially struggling people depend on inferior government handouts, more of us would step up to do what we could to help them? We need stronger communities, where we know our neighbors, we know who needs what, and we help each other out instead of losing ourselves in huge chain stores and the internet black hole.

What if . . . small independent farms have a calling to not just provide high-quality food for their customers but to be servants to the community, giving small gifts of produce or meat to a family in need? A grocery bag a week is not all that much, but can make a world of difference to someone that can barely afford to live.

Believe me, I know the feeling. When Kenny and I were in California and barely made enough to pay rent, we literally didn't know where our next meal was coming from. Once or twice he had to bring food home from the chow hall because we didn't have anything else, and it was at those times that it really meant a lot to us when our friend Jo would share dinner or leave a casserole in our fridge. Thanks, Jo.

What if . . . as farmers, we stopped worrying so much about increasing market and CSA profits and value-added products and focused instead on the incredible opportunity we have to help people? Not go broke doing it, by any means, but share just enough to make a difference to somebody. If more people did that we would have much stronger communities.

My ruminations are directed more inward than as a criticism to anyone or anything. I understand stress about money and the drive to be financially secure: when something is our livelihood we cling to it, reluctant to give it away. It strips away part of our security blanket. But, what if we get back more than we give? Why then are we so afraid to step out of our comfort zones?


A Lady Called Amy said...

It would be so nice to be able to do that... a bag of groceries a week to a neighbor in need. It's so sad that most people in a neighborhood don't get to know one another, and if you put an add on Craigslist or Freecycle, people would be bound to abuse it. It seems like it should be an outreach program or something.

Stone Bridge Farm said...

Ahh, how wonderful to give. How wonderful to live. How wonderful to love. Buy local, buy fresh, go green....bring back bartering!!!! Amen Bri! Well put!

fullfreezer said...

Beautifully said.