Here's a local success story, dance-a-jig, cartwheels and high-fives! It's a story about Middle School kids learning life-long skills. No couch potatoes these:
Each week I get delicious organic produce from my CSA (community-supported agriculture) A Montessori school with 13 kids! They support the school doing 2.5 hours of farm work each school day, milking goats, making cheese, tending greenhouse, gardens and orchard.
They have 5,000 square feet of greenhouse, which keeps production going year round, in "four-season gardening." (Thank you, Elliot Coleman, whose winter produce I used to eat in Maine.)
These last weeks the school kids have been helping birth seventy goat kids (which look dainty and adorable, till old enough to acrobatically escape and do munch-a-thon! I imagine the farm is well-equipped with solar-charged electric fencing as disincentive.)
The students supply health food stores, food co-op's, summer farmers markets and CSA in four cities! It's a self-supporting enterprise of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young people aflame with self-confidence.
The "public" schools, many of which now function as dumbing-down and indoctrination holding cells, have axed the learning of skills other than cyber. Shop classes & industrial arts, music & fine arts, HomeEc, all bye-bye. Kids emerge, those who graduate, bored witless, and may be semi-literate or illiterate to boot.
Interesting social experiment with vital young minds, from many broken families--kids no longer expected to do chores, parents too busy as manic-commute wage slaves, to pass along grandmother and grandfather skills, assuming they themselves were ever empowered by mentors growing up.
The Montessori kids are mentored by elders and young folks who come work as interns with particular skill sets: horticulture, animal husbandry, sustainable living, solar power, infrastructure maintainence. The kids learn how things work, and how to keep them running.
We are living, aghast, in the midst of Grand Theft Wall Street/District of Corruption, and meanwhile new paradigm economy is growing from the ground up in local solutions.
Details: All through the winter I've enjoyed deeply-flavored kale, chard, spinach, lettuce, beets, potatoes, garlic, onions and fresh goats milk, chevre, eggs, half share at $15/week. Winter family share at $20/week. At Thanksgiving, they had fresh organic turkeys at reasonable extra price.
I've just signed up for spring/summer CSA which is $23/week half share; family share at $33/week. I paid half season up front which gives the farm capital for seed purchase, etc. Weekly fee is more during normal growing season because they'll have gobs of early heirloom tomatoes in this high elevation land, and orchard and small fruits as well.
These prices are less than farmers market and way less than health food stores. The CSA is keenly aware of the troubled economy and accepts food stamps, so those struggling financially can still eat, and well.
In winter I got five items each week, my choice, of staggeringly generous magnitude. I rarely bought food elsewhere, and certainly not produce trucked in from California. I saved money, lots, and bought local, which gave me hope for the future!
Heck of a success story, here and now, both financial and transformational. More may be happening than we realize, if our sense of the world comes from nightly news-mouths.
We have creative mischief afoot on the local scene!
This storyteller has published a book,
Whale Rider of the Tide
and Amazon Five Star reviews