We are a network of neighbors and friends dedicated to local food, good eating, and building community. We are based in the Whipple Hill area, which is the junction of Winchester, Arlington, and Lexington but have members from a wide area. We rely on farms we know and our own gardens to get food on the table year round, using food traditions that unlock nutrition and taste unknown in the industrial system. If this sounds like you, please join our group!
Our cooperative structure efficiently bridges the gap between the seasonality of local harvests and the eating of a whole diet based on them year round. At the same time we advance our own knowledge as food artisans, experience the joy of creating and sharing, contribute to regenerating the local economy, and participate fully in the relationships upon which the local food system is based.
Our products derive from such sources and methods as dairy cultures--buttermilk, creme fraiche, yogurt, butter, cheese, kefir and whey; lacto-fermentation--sauerkraut, kimchi, sour pickles, sodas, beet kvass, and more; scoby or yeast culture--kombucha tea, vinegar, hard cider, ginger beer, water kefir, sourdough bread; and other preservation methods such as freezing, dehydration, covering with olive oil, and canning.
Clearly, one person cannot keep all that up alone, which is why we need you! Here's a quote from an article that could well be the group credo (http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/500-lacto-fermented-soft-drinks.html): "We envision a society where every household has a speciality, be it soda or sauerkraut, soap or stock, bread or soy sauce, that they make in quantities sufficient for five or ten households--precisely the quantity that maximizes efficiency without compromising quality."
We meet in small groups to learn from and support each other in specific food preparation tasks that will extend the season of a quantity of local farm produce or otherwise transform a raw ingredient into a product ready for the kitchen or table. Members can provide support in many different ways besides helping in the kitchen, including obtaining the raw ingredients fresh and economically, providing the venue, or assuming childcare responsibilities.
Trade may be the focus of an event, in which members bring items to share, swap or trade. As more of us learn the skills we share, and as we increase our reliance on the local food system year round, then with a little creative organizing it should be possible to coordinate a trade event at any time of the year that meets the needs of all participants.
Finally, by pooling our resources we can support local farms, leverage our ability to buy in bulk and save, and pave the way to create new jobs and enhance our own livelihoods within the local food system.