One of our regular needs and a source of great enjoyment are the nutritious foods of the Earth. Recently, sourcing food of quality, free of toxins or pesticide, that is fresh, is not always reliably available for many. Our homes themselves may be put to use for growing, processing, preserving, and storing food.
Light Portfolio for Ideas ~
Food Storage Cave.
Below are photos from a project to build the “food storage cave” as an addition to a homestead. The team who are now Earth Weavers did this project in 2009, bringing the room to weather-tight and well insulated condition. It was later tiled with scrap pieces. The frame is made from True dimension, old growth 2x4s , every day was great working with those boards.
Recycled Greenhouse + Sunhouse + the Shaman Faktory
In Providence, I noticed large access to waste materials during construction work, and upon the offer of a whole set of used storm windows, chose to build a greenhouse at the Fertile Underground Communal Garden, using entirely salvaged materials. The only things purchased were 4 posts, and a box of screws.
Fertile Underground Grocery
Our team opened a worker-cooperative grocery store in 2011, in what was a food desert (no reliable fresh vegetable access beyond a seasonal farmers market); bringing local organic produce, a variety of fair trade goods, and more, also with an included cafe.
Our cooperative included around 15 working members, working and governing the business. We rang about $300k in sales a year, with at least a third of that being local business, lots of organic, fair trade, and quality companies. Local cooperative businesses produce magnified benefits through responsible sourcing, local hiring, and keeping a store of goods available within a walking community.
We were a prime community resource during Hurricane Sandy, one of the last stores in town to still have stocked batteries, flashlights and lighters, remaining open for a solif duration of the storm itself. We then coordinated collecting donations there and sending about ~$1400 of fresh produce in one sedan also completely stuffed with contractor bags of clothing, batteries, supplies etc, as requested in detail by a contact working with what became Occupy Sandy. The photo bottom left shows one of two churches we visited in Brooklyn to deliver these goods. The store also supported the effort to bring ~$1200 worth of food and other supplies to the NoDAPL camp at Standing Rock; I delivered firsthand, taking time to get these things directly where needed within camp. Engaged community businesses can swing heavily and swiftly in support of any cause the members choose.
Michael founded, gathered the team, built out the store and ran it for 5 years, also running a parallel buying club for most of 2015, before returning to physical outdoor work and passing the business to the other worker-owners. Business money pressures had the store close in 2017 after nearly 6 years of business.
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