Let Them Eat Fresh, Local, Organic Raspberries and Blackberries They Picked In Their Neighborhood For Free

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 12:08.
07/08/2008 - 18:00
07/08/2008 - 19:00
Etc/GMT-4

When our neighbor Dr. Pat Blochowiak told us to stop by her garden and pick some raspberries, blackberries and snow peas, I didn't realize the depths of her bounty... or how great blackberries may be. As my kids picked through nature, they chomped down probably $50 worth of the best food in town, when you may find food so good. As I looked at the bowls of berries collected in short time, I felt blessed by my community and nature. Over a fresh berries and whipped organic cream desert, our family celebrated Summer and life in the best way. All that is the certain promise of East Cleveland, with community farming. Help plan that reality with Maurice Small and others as we meet again, today, for what has become an every-other-Tuesday City Fresh I GRO EC brainstorming session, in East Cleveland. This week, we'll meet at the Hough/Star Bakeries complex, and also visit Brown's Market, which we plan to convert into a pilot City Fresh Market.

Over the past six weeks of this open collaborative brainstorming process, a clear, shared plan has developed to greatly enhance the sustainability, value and impact of the Star/Hough Bakeries complex, and surrounding Star Neighborhood. The Star Complex will be completely renovated and expanded as an intergenerational community learning and living campus, to feature the East Cleveland Neighborhood Center, Marcus Garvey Academy, and the innovative PACE vocational school for "third strike" students, ages 16-22, to help them complete their high school degrees and learn vocations, with concentrations in urban renovation/renewal and urban farming/agriculture, being developed in collaboration with City Fresh and other experts in these fields.

The very hot Studio Techne's Marc Ciccarelli is now providing architectural support, and Kent State University Urban Design Collaborative's David Reed has long, long been providing planning support.

All the schools in the complex are sponsored by Ashe Culture Center, lead by Nana Kwa Kra Kwamina, II, Tufobene of Atokwna, who is David Whitaker, Esquire, Pd.D., of Cleveland, who is also a tribal chief of Atokwna, Ghana, now a "sister village" to the Star Village.

PACE is developed through leadership from the NAACP.

Star Neighborhood Development catalyzed these alignments with the Williams family, of Hot Sauce Williams BBQ, with the support of George Forbes, Scott Schooler, and Forbes, Fields and Associates, and we all plan to remain active in further development of the Star Neighborhood.

What is especially unique about this community redevelopment model is that PACE students will have traditional classroom and computer learning at the Star School, completing whatever credits they may lack to graduate with high school degrees, and up to 200 students will be educated in the community to be urban farmers, and receive farming certifications, and up to 200 students will be educated in the community in renovation trades, and receive related certifications, and be capable of earning good livings farming and renovating and in a wide range of related careers.

In both cases, the vocational programs will be nearly entirely hands-on and in the field, literally. The first building the students will renovate will be their own school - the historic, 100,000 sq.. ft under roof, multi-acre Hough Bakeries Complex, redeveloping that antiquated office, baking and distribution facility into a state-of-the-art learning and social community anchor. Renovation students will carve and build into the complex spaces for their neighborhood center, and their pre-school, and their charter school, and their computer lab,

Throughout the school year, farming students will farm their own 0.1 acre portion of a 20 acre virtual campus of urban farmland in the immediate vicinity of the Star Complex, to be reclaimed from the Cleveland and East Cleveland landbanks... all properties that are far from desirable for any traditional redevelopments. There are more than enough such properties already cleared of structures, weed-covered and a burden and blight to those communities.

For the school, students and community, those 20 acres will produce more than $2,000,000 per year in fresh, high quality, locally grown food, which will be managed and commercialized by City Fresh, generating wealth for that organization. The wealth creation will provide tax benefits for the cities of East Cleveland and Cleveland, and much of it will remain in the community. From the school, $ millions worth of healthy, locally grown food will be added to the local marketplace, and people in the communities where the food is grown will have free access to much of that, and so should eat much better... be healthier... and spend less on food.

This school's 20 acres of farmland will significantly transform the landscape and economies of the surrounding neighborhoods, for the better.

In some cases, there may be entire blocks of farms surrounded by perimeters of quality existing housing, like with the Roxford and Van Buren Farms shown in a recent REALNEO header... just one block from East Cleveland City Hall, and in the East Cleveland Landbank.

The renovation trades students will renovate blighted buildings in these same neighborhoods, in concert with the urban farming. We are already inventorying all landbank properties and planning where the farming and renovation properties should be located - that process will be thoroughly documented, public, and reported here.

As always, we welcome you to join us in next steps - next chance is today!

Location

Star Complex (Former Hough Bakeries)
1519 Lakeview Road
Cleveland, OH
United States
AttachmentSize
Berries650.jpg222.95 KB

Potential

fruit sharing

norm,

your experience sharing the bounty of fruit from your neighbor provided a good read with a great picture!  you might consider joining cleveland fruit share to find more fruit harvesting opportunities in and around cleveland.
http://clevefruitshare.ning.com/

pEACE<

john

Thanks, John... I signed-up

Maurice has the idea fruit trees and bushes and other food should be grown all over our public spaces, as is done very successfully many places around the world. The Cleveland Fruit Share site gives a hint of the potential in that... amazing variety of fruit listed as ripe for harvest around downtown. Would be nice to get this into GIS.

I joined!

Disrupt IT

green triangle

My colleague at Earth Day Coalition, Nick Swetye, is the co-founder of the Green Triangle project here in Cleveland, with a goal of creating edible forests all across greater Cleveland.  Check it out and perhaps some sort of collaboration could be worked-out that would be beneficial to both Green Triangle and Maurice's vision.

Next brainstorming session Tuesday July 15 at 6 at Star

Another great connection - thanks John. That is certainly a great fit.

I'm posting any updates on the Star Village plan on realneo so everyone can access them and comment - the next in-person brainstorming session will be next Tuesday at 6 PM at the Star/Hough Bakeries complex at 1519 Lakeview Road, on the Cleveland/East Cleveland border... Maurice and his crew will be there so if you or anyone you know interested in such things may join us that is a great opportunity for people to connect directly! Spread the word... I'll post the invitation on realneo today and try to email everyone I can think of... you know more people in this territory than do I.

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Urban farming takes root in Detroit

 

By Matthew Wells
BBC News, Detroit

 

Could growing fresh vegetables help save crumbling inner cities around the world and tackle hunger?


Reginald Moore and Rod Shepard hoe the ground
Putting in the spade-work at one of the charity's gardens

That is the ambitious aim of a charity called Urban Farming, which has its headquarters in Detroit, the capital of the US's wilting car industry.

The idea is very simple: turn wasteland into free vegetable gardens and feed the poor people who live nearby.

Motown has lost more than a million residents since its heyday in the 1950s and it is common to see downtown residential streets with just a few houses left standing.

Taja Sevelle saw the hundreds of hectares of vacant land in the city and came up with the idea of creating an organic self-help movement that would be "affordable (and) practical".

Beginning three years ago, armed with $5,000 (£2,500) and a pamphlet, the singer and entrepreneur managed to win a wide cross-section of support around the city. Now her charity is expanding across the US.

Ms Sevelle is also keen to discuss her ideas with the new Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

With a handful of full-time staff, Urban Farming co-ordinates the cultivation of what amounts to 500 family-sized gardens across Detroit.

No greed

Visiting one of the largest allotments, on a site that had been derelict since Detroit's infamous 1967 riots, locals spoke about an astonishing transformation.


Derelict building overgrown with weeds and vegetation in Detroit
Derelict streets highlight Detroit's tough past and present

"There is something that every hand in this area can do," said Rose Stallard, who is keen to enlist as many volunteers as possible to help tend the garden and its precious crops.

As she organises a band of eager helpers to pull greens from the rich top-soil, Ms Stallard says food is more expensive than ever and neighbourhood shops are scarce.

"That's one cucumber you didn't have to pay 69 cents for," she adds, with a smile.

There are no fences but one local said greed had not been a problem.

"People are only taking what they need, because they know it's for everybody," he said.

Collective wisdom

Many of the regular gardeners come from rehabilitation programmes linked to the county jail.

Offenders say they have earned self-respect, as well as local thanks, for literally doing the spade-work.

"It's good for me to know that I'm helping somebody, instead of hurting somebody," said Reginald Moore.


Taja and Rose discuss crops
Taja Sevelle and Rose Stallard are keen to expand their work

"All this is positive. Next year, you'll see this all over," added Rod Shepard.

Providing free food on the doorstep brings people together and spreads collective wisdom, according to local city hall manager Gail Carr.

"Fresh fruits and vegetables are something that we all need. And we really, really need to educate our children in that area.

"If we don't, we're going to have a lost generation to many diseases such as diabetes," she said.

The local sheriff's liaison officer, Beth Roberts, said that crime figures had improved wherever Urban Farming took root.

Growing crops also marked a return to slower but better times, she said.

"We used to do this in our backyards. This used to be a culture, a way of life, so we're restoring that through urban farming."

Future plans

As the charity expands, it remains to be seen if enough local people will do the groundwork to keep the gardens blooming.

 


Showing off prize greens from a Detroit urban farm
Time to benefit from all the hard work

But the idea of permanent social change, away from the old industrial core, is something that Detroit sorely needs, according to the editorial page editor of the Detroit News, Nolan Finley.

"Today's reality is that we have a lot of vacant space, and not much economic opportunity," he said.

"You could have urban farming - you could have livestock in some of these stretches of empty land.

"You could reforest it into tree farms so you're not maintaining a sidewalk, a power line, for a street that has two houses on it."

The conversion from Motown to Growtown may seem far-fetched, but given Detroit's economic woes, marketable ideas are in big demand.

From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7495717.stm

I was just reading about Urban Farming in Detroit, and Cuba

Urban Farming, in Detroit, has farms in lots of other cities, as well. Looks like a good program. There is no shortage of examples of best practices with urban farming around the world, so we don't need a 3rd Frontier grant, Jump Start and years of R&D to get rolling... just like in Detroit... and Havana, where, as of 1999 "the government estimates that 117,000 people work in urban agriculture and that the gardens account for about half the vegetables grown in Cuba."... and about which last month the International Herald Tribune concuded "Cuba's urban farming program a stunning success".

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Shoppers buy slices of farms

By Susan Saulny
Thursday, July 10, 2008

CAMPTON TOWNSHIP, Illinois: In an environmentally conscious tweak on the typical way of getting food to the table, growing numbers of people are skipping out on grocery stores and even farmers markets and instead going right to the source by buying shares of farms.

On one of the farms, here about 35 miles west of Chicago, Steve Trisko was weeding beets the other day and cutting back a shade tree so baby tomatoes could get sunlight. Trisko is a retired computer consultant who owns shares in the four-acre Erehwon Farm.

"We decided that it's in our interest to have a small farm succeed, and have them be able to have a sustainable farm producing good food," Trisko said.

Part of a loose but growing network mostly mobilized on the Internet, Erehwon is participating in what is known as community-supported agriculture. About 150 people have bought shares in Erehwon  in essence, hiring personal farmers and turning the old notion of sharecropping on its head.

The concept was imported from Europe and Asia in the 1980s as an alternative marketing and financing arrangement to help combat the often prohibitive costs of small-scale farming. But until recently, it was slow to take root. There were fewer than 100 such farms in the early 1990s, but in the last several years the numbers have grown to close to 1,500, according to academic experts who have followed the trend.

"I think people are becoming more local-minded, and this fits right into that," said Nichole Nazelrod, program coordinator at the Fulton Center for Sustainable Living at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, a national clearinghouse for community-supported farms. "People are seeing ways to come together and work together to make this successful."

The shareholders of Erehwon Farm have open access to the land and a guaranteed percentage of the season's harvest of fruit and vegetables for packages that range from about $300 to $900. Arrangements of fresh-cut blossoms twice a month can be included for an extra $120  or for the deluxe package, $220 will "feed the soul" with weekly bouquets of lilies and sunflowers and other local blooms.

Shareholders are not required to work the fields, but they can if they want, and many do.

Trisko said his family knows that without his volunteer labor and agreement to share in the financial risk of raising crops, the small organic farm might not survive.

"It's very hard for them to make ends meet," he said, "so I decided to go out and help. We harvest, water, pull weeds, whatever they need doing."

Under the sponsored system, farmers are paid an agreed-upon fee in advance of the growing season, making their survival less dependent on the vicissitudes of the market and the cooperation of the elements. The arrangement involves real farms and real farmers and is distinct from community gardens and other forms of urban farming, where vacant or public land is typically put to agricultural use by residents.

The average share price is $500 to $800 a season across the country, Nazelrod said, though community-supported agriculture seems most popular on the coasts and around the Great Lakes region. The states with the most farms, she said, include New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and California.

"The CSA provides a base that's certain, and we get the money when we need to spend the money," said Beth Propst, who farms the fields at Erehwon, using the abbreviation for community-supported agriculture. "Having the money upfront and guaranteed, that gets us through at least the beginning of the season."

The operations are as diverse as they are numerous.

Erehwon — the word "nowhere" spelled backward  started with two shareholders, reached its goal of 140 last year, and now has raised its target to about 200 members. Another farm in the Chicago area where the community sponsors the crops, Angelic Organics, makes weekly deliveries to more than 1,400 families in Illinois and Wisconsin.

At least 24 vegetable farmers serve an estimated 6,500 members throughout the five boroughs of New York City, said Paula Lukats of Just Food, which connects farmers with residents there. In 2005, there were 37 CSA groups in the city; today, there are 61.

The Golden Earthworm Organic Farm, on 80 acres on the North Fork of Long Island, grew from 10 members in 2000 to about 1,300 this year, according to Matthew Kurek, one of the owners. About half of the members live in Queens, he said, and the farm delivers their weekly shares to six different sites there, mainly churches and community centers, 26 weeks a year. The farm grows arugula, strawberries and sugar snap peas in the spring; watermelon, eggplant and tomatoes in the summer; and broccoli, potatoes and carrots in the fall.

At the Cattleana Ranch in Omro, Wisconsin, Thomas and Susan Wrchota offer grass-fed meat and organic produce through a community-supported arrangement. They have 55 members, and a seven-month meat membership costs $715.

Wrchota developed a taste for grass-fed beef while working for the Peace Corps in Costa Rica in the 1970s. When he returned home, he said, he was at a loss for that particular flavor and eventually decided to raise animals himself, starting with just one cow.

"We don't do millions in revenue, but we make a living, which is rare," he said. "Our goal is to provide a full portfolio of products for folks who want sustainable products. Up until about five years ago, we had to do a tremendous amount of guerrilla marketing. The consumer who is interested now, they're doing their homework. They know the health and taste benefits."

Teresa Crisco is one such consumer in Little Rock, Arkansas She is a member of the community-supported agriculture program at the Heifer Ranch, an international humanitarian relief organization that is experimenting with how to make such arrangements more popular and profitable for farmers around the world.

"You feel like you're doing more than one thing: you're helping the project and you're helping yourself," said Crisco, a document specialist at a mortgage company who heard about the program from a friend. "The whole premise is really neat."

Here in Illinois, Erehwon sold out of shares last year and had to turn people away.

Tim Fuller, Propst's longtime companion and business partner in running the farm, said: "People are coming to us. We do very little marketing except for explaining what we do. It's amazing."

With a wry smile, Fuller said he considers himself both personal farmer and personal trainer, because shareholders under his direction are going to break a sweat.

"There's always pressure on," he said. "This is a complicated business, growing so many crops. We do everything by hand for more than 100 different crops."

The farm expects to gross between $80,000 and $90,000 this year.

Some shareholders said they found the arrangement a bargain compared to grocery shopping, while others considered it a worthwhile indulgence. Most agreed that the urge to buy and spend locally  to avoid the costs and environmental degradation that come with shipping and storage  was behind the decision to join. Shareholders can pick up their goods at the farm or at a store across the street.

"From a 'going green' standpoint, it's an appropriate thing to do," said Gerard Brill, a musician who bought a share of Erehwon. "Like everything organic, it's not a bargain, but what price do you put on being healthy? Considering all things, it's actually a very good deal."

The downside for people who are used to grocery shopping comes when they want fresh blueberries in January or, as was the case at Erehwon last week, the tomato plants needed more time in the ground because of a cold spring.

"We eat with the seasons, and there's no guarantee that Mother Nature will cooperate," Propst said. "That's all part of the deal."

From: http://www.iht.com/bin/printfriendly.php?id=14378814

Wilson College offers many best practices for NEO

Great article, Bill. I was interested to see reference to the Fulton Center for Sustainable Living at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, a national clearinghouse for community-supported farms. This is actually a clearing house of Best Practice to be embraced by all of our area colleges and universities.... for example, Ursuline has plenty of land to make sustainable, and Case even has farmland out East ... they should work together to provide our community with something like all this...

Richard Alsina Fulton Center for Sustainable Living

The Richard Alsina Fulton Center for Sustainable Living (FCSL) is the Wilson College home for hands-on environmental education.  We provide opportunities for students and community members to interact and experience first-hand today’s environmental issues and solutions.

Those who wish to explore sustainability in food production, energy, transportation, land stewardship, and community awareness will find vast opportunities for practical learning at the FCSL. Volunteers are always needed and appreciated!

Within this Center is this astounding achievement...

The Robyn Van En Center provides a national resource center about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for people across the nation and around the world.  The Robyn Van En Center also offers outreach and works to gain publicity about CSA farms in order to benefit community farmers and consumers everywhere. 

Since the introduction of the CSA concept in 1985 by Robyn Van En, the movement has spread throughout North America and has gradually come to include some 1,200 CSA farms.  Here at Robyn Van En Center, we strive to bring farmers and communities together and to provide resources for those in search information pertaining to the CSA movement.  Although modern technology can be a great tool, it is ultimately grass roots action and networking that will grow the CSA movement and help CSA farms thrive!

The Robyn Van En Center is based at Wilson College in Chambersburg,  Pennsylvania.  The college also hosts a 125 member CSA program at the Fulton Center for Sustainable Living.  We are farmers, students, eaters, and advocates for small, local, and sustainable agriculture.  Please take a moment to peruse our webpages, and use the services offered.  If you would like more information, feel free to contact us at csacenter [at] yahoo [dot] com. Tou can help!

I searched their database of community supported farms in our area and the nearest to me is Ashbrook Farm in Chagrin Falls... here is the full list for Ohio:

Farm Name City State Zip
1920 Organics Salem OH 44460
Ashbrook Farm Chagrin Falls OH 44023
Basket of Life Farm Columbia Station OH 44028
Bluebird Hills Farm Springfield OH 45503
Boulder Belt CSA New Paris OH 45347
Breychaks Farm Columbia Station OH 44028
CSA at Crown Point Bath OH 44210
Dragonfly Farm Randolph OH 44265
Garden Patch Produce Alexandria OH 43001
Grailville Organic Gardens Loveland OH 45140
Gravel Knolls Farm West Chester OH 45069
Hamper Homestead Farm Jefferson OH 44047
Hickory Hollow Wellsville OH 43968
Hidden Ridge Family Farm West Union OH 45693
Honey Run Apiries.com Delpos OH 45833
Jumping Spider CSA Ashley OH 43003
Just This Farm Galloway OH 43119
Katona's Country Garden Marshallville OH 44645
Meadow Rise Farm Bellville OH 44813
Mud Run Farm Navarre OH 44662

Check out all the other things this cool college is doing about their environment, and ours...

FOR STUDENTS      

FOR THE COMMUNITY

RecyclemaniaCommunity Supported Agriculture

Environmental Club

Fulton Farm

FCSL Events

Growing Greener

Helpful Links

Making Biodiesel Fuel

Online Solar Data Monitor

Richard Alsina Fulton Conferences on Sustainability

Robyn Van En Center

Sustainable Campus Initiatives

Sustainable Energy Projects

Disrupt IT

Juvenile Delinquents Don't Hang Out in Diners, They Restore Them

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 07.15.08

restoring hickeys diner photo

We love restoration and preservation; we also love a good diner. There is nothing like a classic American diner, except nobody goes to them anymore, McDonalds is so much more convenient. "These were places where Americans dawdled, debated and dated, kibitzing over sliders (sausage patties), sinkers (donuts), and Adam and Eve on a raft (poached eggs on toast)."

But at the Rhode Island Training School, four classic diners are being rebuilt from the ground up by teen offenders. Pam Belluck writes in the New York Times: "The whole poetry behind it is that these are kids who have been pretty much cast away emotionally and criminally, getting a chance to restore beloved eateries that have been cast off from society, too," said Daniel Zilka, the acting director of the American Diner Museum, who rescues decrepit diners and helps run the project.

hickeys before photo

"We're actually preparing them for all kinds of skills: there's ceramic tile in these diners, sheet metal work, plumbing, electrical. You always meet people who want these kids to be locked away, and I respect their ill-informed opinion. But I look at the training school as kind of like Home Depot of the correctional system. We give them the tools, and when they're ready to use it, they'll use it."

Other offenders are learning to cook, and will have jobs in the diner when it re-opens; just be sure to leave a good tip. ::IHT see also the New Hope Diner Project website.

From: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/07/juvenile-delinquents-fix-diners.php

Global Guerrillas

Tuesday, 02 September 2008

RESILIENT COMMUNITY: Mini-Farms

Here's a little post on one of the ways a modern suburban/urban residential environment can be converted from a black hole of productivity/wealth into the opposite through the entrepreneurial reclamation of unused/misused space (vacant lots, yards, etc.).

_____________

Our collective food supply is one of the most centralized, and vulnerable, systems on our (now mostly urban) planet. Not only is the production accomplished by a tiny minority of the population (less than 3% in the US) and reliant on a small number of generic crops (particularly corn), the resources necessary to produce it -- from arable land to energy to water -- are in short supply. This implies that the following factors will cause a shift from centralized to decentralized local farming:

  • Hard disruptions. Shortage. For example, global demand drains domestic markets of available supplies (we've seen this recently). Pandemic, pestilence, severe energy shock, etc.
  • Soft disruptions. Affordability. Availability. Transportation becomes increasingly expensive. Prices gyrate upwards. Minor disruptions from tainted supplies to terrorism to brown outs.
  • Income generation. A need to generate extra income due to depleted opportunity and income (the income of the average person in the US hasn't seen any growth since 1974 and globalization may put the remainder at risk).

 

Rent a Farmer
The a return to local agriculture within suburban and urban environments won't be a redux of amateur gardening nor will it be done on local traditional farms (mostly, long since paved over). Instead it will feature high tech, intense, and energy efficient efforts on clusters of small plots. In short, it will buffer families from the risk of soft and hard disruptions as well as provide an opportunity for income generation. In fact, we are already seeing signs of resilience entrepreneurs in this space. One example is SPIN (small plot intensive) farming, a company that has optimized/packaged techniques for suburban/urban farmers. Elements include:

  • The aggregation of plots near demand. SPIN farmers cut deals with the owners of suburban yards and/or unused spaces to put together viable acreage for farming. Local landowners are paid in kind (produce).
  • Intensive utilization of plots. Optimization of plots to generate the highest possible yields depending climate, sun, and rainfall. Low energy methods are preferable since they maximize profitability. There is also an ability to leverage local utilities for water and electricity without any infrastructure expense.
  • High value products. A focus on products that cost the most and are the most valuable to local buyers (restaurants and farmers markets). Freshness premiums and fuel cost ratios are important variables.

 

NOTE: Does a SPIN-like approach work?
Early indications are that it works. An interesting study done by Urban Partners for the city of Philadelphia indicates that a fully ramped up effort can generate upwards of $120,000 a year in sales and $60,000 in net income.

How it Will Accelerate
Factors that will accelerate local farming include (in addition to the acceleration of effort due to negative pressure, like those listed above):

  • Open source tinkering networks. Everything from the optimization of crop layouts to low cost DIY farming equipment.
  • Clustering. Shared equipment, insight, etc. While some of this can be achieved via online connections, local physical connections improve productivity.
  • Community support and demand. Relaxation of zoning/community regulations against yard conversions, support for a farmer's market, etc.

 

grassroots efforts not growing grass but food

I am so encouraged to see folks embracing where they live, and doing self sustaining life activities. We are so used to thinking about a job to supply all our needs. The agricultural era, industrial revolution, now the computer age, we have treated them like evolutionary steps toward a Jetsons like future that's not happening. I am so glad to see some have taken lessons learned over time and are applying them to present needs. The mega farm with huge machines, the dependence on imported food, the cost of trucking from coast to coast are all failing us. Locally grown and consumed is something that could save every neighborhood. To see it in action is changing the way I think. I am wondering what folks in my town of Lorain Ohio are doing, we sorely need this kind of direction.

Lorain surely needs leadership on this...

Another free, open source calling for you?!?! Check with LCC... they are pretty progressive. 

Disrupt IT

reclaiming cities by an open source living

Being visionary is one thing, being practical is another. I will have to look closer to see what going on here in Lorain, what people are planning and doing. As always people are looking at different things so don't pull together to accomplish a needed result. At least here on REALNEO you can see people making it happen where they live. And if you can talk about it, something stirs within.

It's neither a city life nor a country life, sort of a hybrid life. To coin a phrase from your words Norm, an "open source living". A living based on what we can do for ourselves. This is taking responsibility for our own living and filling idleness with purpose. Perhaps our big institutions have out stripped their capacity to care for common folk by being global. This includes industry, banks, hospitals, and farms. Smaller is both more manageable and accessible to us.