By Jane Addison
This is part of an ongoing series in which we will feature ways Post Growth is in action already. The intention of this series is to inspire ideas about how to engage intentionally in our communities. Please visit our Post Growth in Action web page for more.
I recently joined the co-operative group, Food for Alice. For $30 Australian each week and a small membership fee, I can get a large box of delicious fruit and vegetables sourced as locally, and as in-season, as possible. There’s also the opportunity for group members to swap, share or sell produce from their backyard — for example, sometimes people additionally sell a carton of organic, free range eggs for just a few dollars.
Food for Alice is run using a social contract model. In exchange for great food, members also volunteer for a few hours every few months, collecting the fruit and vegetables from local markets and school gardens, and then sorting them on behalf of the group. The group also has a Facebook page where people post gardening tips, and ‘for sale’ notices for items like local bushfood and medicial plants, and livestock manure.
People join for different reasons. Some want organic food, whilst others want to support local, independent businesses and community groups. I’m mostly involved for the food miles it reduces — Food for Alice fruit and vegetables only need to be transported a short distance from farm or garden to kitchen. And given that I live in the middle of the desert about 1,000km away from Australia’s major food producing areas, food miles can quickly add up.
Lots of towns and cities have similiar groups — check it out where you live today!
If you know a local post growth initiative in your area that you would like to cast the spotlight on, please contact us.
Originally published in March 2012. Find out more about the Post Growth Institute on our website.