The Origins of REALNEO
Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
I GRO EC for City Fresh
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 12:46.
Maurice Small is the most economically and ecologically sensible planner I know.
Joe Stanley, Sudhir Kade and I have been brainstorming with City Fresh's Maurice Small about "I GRO EC" - Independent Green Republic Of East Cleveland. City Fresh already operates a Fresh Stop at Huron Road Hospital - which Maurice reports is doing great - and is active in community farming in East Cleveland. Recently, we've been discussing City Fresh having an involvement converting Brown's Convenient store into a pilot City Fresh Market, which could offer a paradigm-shifting model for bringing local food, farming and their economies into very needy urban neighborhoods, in very innovative and important ways.
In our discussions, Maurice has pointed out "East Cleveland could feed Cleveland", as a typical city property like 1894 Roxbury may grow more than enough food to feed my large family all year, and could generate $30,000/ year, or more, for an average urban gardener. That means if you educate urban people about food and farming, and make urban land available (gee, does NEO have urban land available?!?!), people may more than feed their families healthy food, and they may earn good livings, and may have healthy, active, sociable, NORMAL lives. What is a more normal life on Earth than farming? How far Americans have leaped from normal!
This revelation was made abundantly clear when a highly demoralized homeless man approached Maurice, during one of our discussions, and they began talking about farming... Maurice is a farmer, and so is the homeless man (of Mississippi sharecropper heritage). Maurice gave the man spritual support, and supported his conclusion that there are best ways for man to live, connected to the land, which may be a calling and answer for any and all.
Maurice points out that the economics of locally grown food are positive. Considering labor, land and other operations, locally grown food is cost-competitive with importing food. Obviously, local food doen not harm the environment like does importing food. Quality of local food is more easily controlled and managed. And, as fuel, fertilizer, transportation and distribution costs rise, local food will be increasingly valuable for local growers and society. Most important, as Maurice demonstrated with a quart of local strawberries he brought to the table yesterday, local food is sooo much better than the long-haul, slave-labored, crate-ripened, carbon-wasting food-like-crap most people in America eat today. Re real.
We'll certainly keep REAL NEO posted on developments with I GRO EC and converting Brown's-field into an urban paradise.
I strongly recommend you check out City Fresh's website to learn more about their current programs, Fresh Stops and the great value they offer society. A bit more from there, below...
YES, they had local Strawberries... and they are awesome!