You know the saying, When you need them … We need more confidence in our long term food security and local food hubs are a great option. But there is not enough supply. Citadels build resident-owned food hubs into the residential real estate projects, along with a 240-acre regenerative agriculture farm!
The coronavirus is wreaking havoc with our lives. If we are lucky, the issues won’t become compounding. I am hoping for the best, but the reality is that we need to be prepared. What is striking is that I am no longer thinking about just the immediate concerns, but more about the long term, and especially food hubs.
A small scale example of a food hub is your local CSA or Community Supported Agriculture boxes. According to this Civil Eats article, people around the country are signing up in record numbers. Are you on a waitlist? (Citadels has a great innovation, so sign up for more info here)
There are a lot of big new words out there to describe what is happening in the world, but suffice to say, we will need to become more self-reliant. We have to be prepared for the time when the supply chains that support our front line food systems will start failing (see link to our blog article Scrambled Food Systems).
Instead of a fragile global economy that depends on so many different activities from all over the world, we need local economies that depend mostly on just the people in the local region. Those are the people you can help, and who can help you.
A prime example is our food system – that which fulfills our most basic need. Currently, most protein (meat) is processed in mammoth plants with workers packed in tightly side-by-side, and highly productive, fast line speeds. If coronavirus infects some of these employees, the plant’s output will drop dramatically. This means less food available for purchase in the grocery stores.
It is ironic that meat processing plant employees are highly specialized, doing dangerous jobs, yet are poorly paid. Big food corporations have been known to actively recruit undocumented workers so they can avoid paying higher wages and providing health insurance benefits – something most Americans would demand, especially given the risk of severe injury on the job. How do you protect yourself from this type of problem?
Local Economy = Regenerative Food
The local economy means investing in your community. Citadels is developing a pilot community that possesses its own food hub. We have identified the scale at which this project works for the residents of the community. What’s best is how it is financed. We finance food hubs like you would pay for your school district, using tax free municipal bonds. That means you have local control without spending your direct money.
An important discovery in this idea is that there is more than enough money in our current food prices to pay for this food hub, the land to produce the food, and the savings to pay for the bonds.
Local food hubs make sense if done the right way. To learn more, sign up for our email newsletter and get more of this particular ‘big picture’.
The Future of Living
- As a farmer, I am proud to produce food.
- As a regenerative agriculture farmer, I am proud to provide you with the best nutrition available.
- As a steward, I am proud to steward the health of the people in a community.
- As a master steward, I am proud to shepherd the health of not just the people but all of the environment owned by the community.
Under the industrial economy, the only way I could have financial success as a farmer was to produce lower and lower quality food. We converted soil health (tilth) into cash flow. We mined the soil, just like the energy industry mined the earth. You could have just as easily called it part of the extractive economy.
The world has changed, and it is just at the start. The questions we are asking now relate to where all this is heading. We need big picture thinking and we need to get it right fast. We need Regenerative Lifestyles that are supported by Regenerative Places.
We expect that the industrial farming model will start to crash as employees get sick. Large meat processing plants cannot work with physical distancing. Small local farms are already seeing huge demand for livestock. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/31/coronavirus-demand-for-local-farms-157538
The only thing that might have been in question was how and where it would start. A pandemic in the East certainly had good odds of being the starting point