Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Localism: 8 Steps To Encourage Sustainability In Our Communities

Do you ever get the feeling like we are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves? It almost seems as if there is another great awakening brewing...and it excites me! 

Yesterday the kids and I drove out to a local farm for a private farm tour. "Tonopah Rob" is probably one of the nicest individuals you'll ever meet. He so graciously showed me around while Josie, Jenna, and Isaiah ran the length of his 5 acres, petted the turkeys, and heckled the chickens.

He operates a pretty cool CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in my community and he loves to have people out to the farm. He shared with me his desperate need for more land due to the growth of the CSA this past year and as he plans for this coming year, he's already having to put families on the waiting list.

I am proud to support him and I am proud to call him my farmer!

A Growing Movement

You see, "Tonopah Rob" is not a lone wolf by any means. This movement is not happening just here in my community, it's happening everywhere! Look around...there are small, locally-owned shops, farmers markets, and restaurants using locally grown foods in nearly every town.

I feel like our communities are entering into some sort of sensational renaissance through a silent revolution!

8 Steps To Encourage Sustainability In Our Communities

So how can you encourage local sustainability in your own community? Attempt to follow these 8 steps and begin supporting your neighbors now:

{Step 1}
Consider what local sustainability looks like for you in your community. Every one of us live in very different communities. What works for me may not work for you. This is often due to climate, terrain, or population. Find what is functional in your current setting.

{Step 2}
Define your values and live by them without compromise. If you don't believe in it...don't buy it. This step will not only encourage sustainability but it will also save you money:) These days, there are few things that I can buy that I truly believe in.

{Step 3}
Identify and build relationships with local farmers. Begin communicating with them your food preferences, remember they are beginning to plan now for spring gardens and markets. Your opinion is their livelihood. Embrace those seasonal foods that grow well in your area. You can find farmers in your areas using these links:

{Step 4}
Frequent farmer's markets in order to learn the diversity of products that are created in your community. Awareness of the local resources available to meet your needs helps promote a vibrant, sustainable economy.

{Step 5}
Reduce box and chain store shopping. There may not be a suitable local substitution to all the items we require. However, choosing to spend the majority of our money locally will, by default, reduce our dependence on box stores and chains.

{Step 6}
Seek out like-minded people. Whether it be in your neighborhood, through your place of worship, or at your children's sporting events, start sharing with people the lifestyle changes that you are experiencing and bring them along side of you. For example, the next time I go out to visit "Tonopah Rob" I'm taking someone with me.

{Step 7}
Join a local bartering group or start one of your own. Bartering is the money of the future.

{Step 8}
Offer your expertise, lend a helping hand, and volunteer with local charities. Historically, my focus has been on helping others in 3rd world countries, you know, those people who really need my help. But what I have neglected are those people who really need help here in my own town. My town, my state, my country, and my world.

Now it's your turn! Are you sensing a societal shift? Why is this movement toward localism and sustainability so important?

Join the discussion here in the comments or on our facebook page.

Inspirational Source:


At December 20, 2011 at 8:35 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

We are fortunate to be able to grow our own produce, milk our own goats, and collect our own eggs. But we make a conscience effort to buy local our animal feed and purchase most food from a local bulk food store. As well as buying from orchards that are nearby.

At December 20, 2011 at 8:57 AM , Anonymous France@beyondthepeel said...

Super helpful post. It really is important that we put our money where are values are when it comes to food and supporting local farmers. All great suggestions and reminders.

At December 20, 2011 at 10:46 AM , Blogger Moonbeams and Eco-Dreams said...

I'm totally sensing it. I think people are tired of factory farms and e coli. They are tired of not knowing their neighbors. People are starting to think our culture has been sold a bill of goods by the flat screen on the wall that tells us what jerks we are if we don't have this or that. That may be how we got here, but the most exciting part is what we do from here - what new networks we create, what new values we will live. Now is the time to form the sustainable visions that will take us into the future.

At December 20, 2011 at 1:31 PM , Blogger jillyヅ said...

I too enjoyed this post. I am glad you said, "Every one of us live in very different communities. What works for me may not work for you. This is often due to climate, terrain, or population. Find what is functional in your current setting".
We looked into joining a local CSA and we did have many choices even in San Diego. We just could not justify the costs with what little we would get. Too see if it was better to join, I went to our commissary(miltary family)and purchased the same amount. We got more and the strawberrries(local)were twice the size.

We are moving out of San Diego soon and I do hope we will be able to find a local CSA to join.

blessings, jilly

At December 20, 2011 at 1:59 PM , Anonymous Stacy Makes Cents said...

I'm sensing that you might be a fellow believer that Wal-Mart doesn't walk on water. LOL

At December 20, 2011 at 3:03 PM , OpenID homespunhousewife said...

Supporting local farmers is so important! I love this revolution this local, sustainable, and natural revolution thats taking place. Slowly but surely, we're turning this ship around!

At December 20, 2011 at 5:46 PM , Anonymous Marcy said...

This post is really inspirational. It's so true that we vote with our pocketbooks, but I know I am guilty of taking the easy or cheap way out a lot of the time. I looked into a CSA a little bit this summer, but the one near me was full, and I didn't look much beyond that. Now is the time for me to look into what I can get into for the spring.

At December 21, 2011 at 7:33 AM , Blogger Stephanie G. said...

I love Tonopah Rob! We visited his farm last spring and he really is just the nicest guy. He gave my husband some great tips for desert gardening, and told me how to cook swiss chard. So glad he's part of my community!

At December 21, 2011 at 1:49 PM , Anonymous Vanessa said...

I'm feeling it too. Lots of things going on - I think people are open to change since the status quo has been challenged by the economy. There is a food coop starting up in my town - can't wait til it gets off the ground!


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