Even in college, those many years ago now, there was a community of makers, farmers, doers. Those communities have been in place for centuries in one way or another. There was a community of people working with their hands that I was drawn to. It feels like a lifetime ago when I was in college, but lots of the non classroom ideas have continued throughout my life so far. It’s funny what things “stick” and what doesn’t in the long term.
Presently I belong to a community working with their hands- whether it is fiber arts, gardening or food related. Two co-ops have enabled me to continue nourishing my family with wholesome foods that have been grown or crafted , most often, by local hands. The more local co-op is lovingly called Boondocks- since we live in the… well, boondocks!
My field of study in college was early childhood education and sociology. I guess I have used those skills in a variety of ways since then , even though it wasn’t the traditional way of doing so. I longed to be a weaver while still in college, fiber was calling to me then, but I have waited through my child bearing and child raising years to come back around to it. That was probably the right decision. I am not a weaver now but a lover of wool and how it feels in my hands. Rug hooking spoke my language.
I shopped at the local food co-op in college and found a farmer who sold raw milk. I can still see the cream on top of the bottle- I would go directly to his farm to purchase, bringing my empty bottle as a return. Little did I know that this would set me up for a lifetime of thinking about food and community.
I became a strict vegetarian then and read Diet for a Small Planet, etc. back in the late 70’s. It has all come back around to that way of thinking with such a focus on local foods- I guess I was ahead of my time. I am no longer a strict vegetarian, I eat sustainable seafood and organic chicken from time to time, but prefer the grain based vegetable diet.
What community building are you involved in? It’s not hard and definitely rewarding- give it a try- you will be glad that you did.