Last night had the honour of attending the Kincardine & District Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala as a nominee for the Miller Insurance Farm business award. It is fun to have an opportunity to dust off my ‘good’ jeans and spend the evening with some great friends and the most exciting thing was the companies that I shared this years nomination with. This years nominees included two of my favorite local food business, what a win for the growing local food community in our area!
The award was won by the Beefway. Congratulations to Rob, Mylinda and the whole crew! This award was so well deserved. The Beefway is an irreplaceable link on our local food chain. The staff there always does top quality work and are a friendly part of my work week. The retail store is full of other wonderful local products they support. The job they do can be an underappreciated part of our food system. I was so happy to see this business honoured last night!
Kim Lowry was also nominated. She is the business women behind Stone’s Throw Produce and Preserves. Kim puts her heart and creativity into everything she does. Her stand provides access to local produce for her neighbours and her sweetness does not stop with her unique preserves and her family’s maple syrup. She always has something supportive to say to those around her and is a one of the greatest advocate for other local business that I know. I count myself lucky to be able to work with her as much as I do. I hope she know it’s her, not just the butter tarts that was recognized last night!
Congratulations to Kim and the Beefway. These businesses represent our growing local food community. A community that I have come to realize is the most important component of making a shift towards a more accessible and secure local food system.
As most of you know by now D&H has two components. I farm part time and promote other local farms. The goal is to work closely with farmers and the people they feed to provide convenience and transparency, while maintaining farm profitability and reasonable food costs. Over the course of the last three years I have had the chance to spend a fair bit of time looking at the issues surrounding the development of a local food system, from both a research and hands on perspective.
There are a lot of challenges to overcome. Attempting to apply the economic model of our industrial food system to a healthier local food economy is a little like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I have learned couple things. One, there is no single magic recipe, it has taken generations for our food system to get where it is today and it will take time to shift priorities again. Secondly, continuing to apply an economic model to a system that follows social and biological rules is not going to result in stable system over the long term.
I believe that a community model is the key. Rural communities were originally built around shared resources for food production and distribution. A community can make decisions based on shared values and well as dollars.
Today is just one example that we already have a growing and supportive local food community. I have also seen that since the first day I begin with D&H. My boss can sometimes be a pain, but the people and businesses I work with have been a wonderful support.
I wanted to take the time to say big thank you to the person who took the time to nominate me. It really is quite humbling to be included in this event. There are so many inspiring businesses and individuals in our community.
Congratulation to all the nominees and thank you to the Kincardine Chamber of Commerce for putting on this wonderful event.
Congratulations to the wonderful community of farmers, customers, local food businesses and the municipalities who are coming to together to create change!