What we're about
We've changed our name to reflect the type of local community work we are doing. The N. 8th Project is community oriented lifestyle initiative that actively responds to the needs of the Lehigh Valley's food economy. Addressing the convoluted and complicated landscape that circumscribes corporate agribusiness, the media messages regarding this inseparable matrix, and the resultant short term and longitudinal physiological health effects, including cultural and social health, are all part of our solutions, going forward. In other words, we are addressing the need for a systemic rethinking of our food system, vis-à-vis starting a food & art co-op that covers everything from bringing local and organic food to n the four desert of downtown Allentown, to media education and digital literacy. The Initiative’s reach will accomplish several goals. Primarily, we wish to educate the public about daily nutrition, what’s good to eat, what to avoid, and the political and socio-economic cycles that affect the availability of these resources. This will be accomplished though hands on teaching at our co-op, city wide rooftop gardens, and basic everyday gardening at the micro and macro-agricultural level; from harvesting, processing, preparation, and so on. We will operationalize this at a grass roots level through organic, sustainable farm-to-table production and presentation, utilizing our co-op and eventual restaurants as the vehicles to showcase our efforts. The secondary purpose of this initiative is to introduce the concept of "media literacy". It is believed amongst media and communications scholars that a digitally and media literate populace is required for the growth of healthy governance. The end game is to mobilize a populace in the participation of forging a vital and healthy 21st Century; agriculturally, socially, culturally. To reiterate, we advocate cultivating healthier lifestyles not only for the current generation, but for generations to come. In executing our solutions, individuals in their neighborhoods, communities and urban environments will be given the opportunity to learn transferable skills to take on with them through generations. This will be accomplished with efforts in art, media, food, and farm education. Through a network of localized progressive learning centers, our Initiative will introduce children and families to a slower lifestyle of good food, good art, and critical thinking. We do not intend to be a panacea for many of the afflictions which ravage urban communities, however, we feel that given the scope of the Initiative, and the need for change inherent within the current state of global and domestic food supplies, this will incrementally change lives for the better, over time.