Out of the midst of chaos, destruction and a certain flatness of spirit wrought by the earthquakes, leaps a flame that is igniting a number of us. The flame is ready to spread like wildfire all around the community.
The potential isolation of this Lyttelton Harbour community highlighted by road and tunnel closures at the hands of the earthquake, is catalyzing our understanding and experience of what communities world wide will face as the present trends of climate change and peak oil play out.
We have an insight of what isolation can mean for a community. Currently it is the earth that is doing this to us. Later, as it will be for many communities world wide, as we move along the downward slope of Hubbert’s peak oil graph, it will be the lack of cheap fuel that will isolate us.
Oil is present in everything we eat! It’s in the form of fertiliser, fuel for farm machinery and in the transportation of food to our dinner plate.
I have been looking at the idea of food security for some time – at how we might address this issue in our community and the community of the Lyttelton Harbour Basin.
Now because of our increased awareness of our vulnerability we are ready to take some action.
A form of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an answer. A CSA adapted to our particular needs that links all levels of food production from farms, to community gardens, to home gardens, to planted public spaces. Our production needs to be local and organic for our community to survive any isolation and to start to thrive.
This CSA will run as a co-operative. As the co-operative gains momentum and the number of stakeholders increases, the community business could expand into other services as well. Basically the community will be creating wealth for itself. (Remember wealth is derived from the meaning ‘well being’). Profits will be reinvested into this community. The community sector with this entrepreneurial arm will become significant for the economic vibrancy of this area. Our culture is shifting from ’I’ solutions to ‘we’ solutions; thinking more collectively.
Well, with the agreement of the Project Lyttelton Board I completed a weighty funding application to the Community Development Scheme to make such a dream possible.
Our application was successful!
Now we are at the beginning of a whole new adventure.
This Sunday (10 July) all those I have already shared the idea with and who are excited by the project are meeting to broaden and deepen the vision.
Written by Margaret Jefferies, chair of Project Lyttelton.