Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How to Make Your Community One of the Most Fertile Places in the World

In yesterday's post we said fertility from a home perspective is the ability to sustain life, to prosper, to achieve and to be a place of refuge. We can all work towards these goals in our families, but it is only when we make them part of the communities we live in that our communities become a "fertile place".
Compost Bed. Photo cred: Reed Petersen

Here is a list of 10 things that make our communities a fertile place...

You knew I had to start with this one didn't you.
  1. A strong farmers market, is not just a destination event where you meet friends and pick-up a few goodies for the week. It needs to be part of the fabric of the community. It needs to drive a sense of place and rootedness both for the customers and the farmers. A strong farmers market is an incubator for a hunderd small agricultural business. It drives innovation, it teaches face-to-face marketing, it provides seed funds, it is a safe place to try things, and it is a test of the maturity of the community.
  2. Strong families...see yesterday's post.
  3. Strong schools that prepare students for both college and vocational career tracks. 
  4. Small business both in agriculture, manufacturing, and services drive a strong economy. Small farms provide a lot more "edges" to effect their communities. For example, our small business provided summer employment for 7 students this year.
  5. A spirit of investment in the community and saving for the future vs. the spirit of consumption. Do farmers always have to have a new tractor, or can they invest the difference in the cost in the next generation of farmers.
  6. Strong participation in churches and places of worship.
  7. A spirit of giving to those less fortunate. 
  8. A spirit of innovation and appropriate risk taking. Becoming builders with a vision for the future.
  9. Eat local and organic, vote with your fork.
  10. Hug your wife/husband and children. 100 years from now the relationship we cultivate and the soil we build are the only things that matter.
Being a fertile community is not about things, it is about relationships. It is about the soil of the soul and leaving a legacy for future generations. 

It isn't about Rochester, Minnesota. It is about where you live, it is about your roots, your sense of place, your farmers market, your schools, your businesses and your family. 

It is about you!

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