Kitchen Table Green Economics: Sharing What We Have Learned – 2014

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The Kitchen Table Green Economics group has been meeting throughout the summer of 2014 to explore ideas about the green economy and how the local economy of Antigonish could be “greened”. We’re not “experts”, just citizens who are concerned about the community and want to explore how the local economy could be more resilient and sustainable.

Our formal sessions have ended, and we are buzzing with ideas about ways forward. We welcome opportunities to widen the conversations with others in the community, and to link up with other communities interested in similar ideas.

In a public meeting under the auspices of Sustainable Antigonish on August 27th, we shared some of what we learned this summer, and had a brief chance to talk about ideas for action. Over the next few months we’ll be working in three main areas:

•Responding to the Nova Scotia government’s consultation on its draft Greener Economy Strategy. We encourage everyone to read the draft and respond with your ideas about how the provincial government can support the greening of local economies like ours. You can read the draft strategy. We especially want to ensure that transportation issues and sectors important to rural economies (like agriculture, fisheries and forestry) are addressed in the strategy. We know from talking to people involved in these sectors that there are many opportunities for more sustainable development, and also barriers, some of which government could help dismantle.

•Getting the town growing. Inspired by the TED talk about Incredible Edible Todmorden, we think that growing more vegetables in visible, public spaces around Antigonish can help us all shift our thinking about food and community. It gives us a sense of abundance and of how much food we could grow locally. It gives people a chance to try new vegetables that they can then buy from the Farmer’s Market or other market gardens. More people could learn about growing food as part of the project. And it could lead to more local food production. There is much that could be done to get the town growing, and we hope many more people will want to be part of the planning and doing. Check out our new Facebook page.

•Building the market for local food producers by encouraging institutional food buyers to buy local. The Antigonish Food Security Coalition’s Food Assessment Final Report pointed out how important this extension of the local food market could be to grow a more sustainable local food economy. Much work needs to be done to research the needs of institutional food buyers, liaise with food producers, address requirements for storage and distribution systems. We think it’s possible, but will need more people to get involved.

We’re planning a series of green economy articles in Highland Heart, so look out for those. And we hope to run another KTGE course over the winter.

So if you’d like to be kept informed about all the follow-up activities to the Kitchen Table Green Economics, use our WordPress or stay connected with the Facebook and other links of our allies here in the town and country such as Sustainable Antigonish.