My last post where I mentioned I had a big announcement was a little preemptive. I assumed, which always makes an ass out of me, but oh well. The announcement was going to be about a social endeavor I want to start based on the workings of a gift economy. I had entered a contest called Start Something That Matters, sponsored by GOODIS and TOMS Shoes, where you could win $50,000 to start your social endeavor. I got all sorts of excited and made a video about the pay-what-you-can soup business I want to start and entered. And waited. And the day the contest was supposed to start (last Friday), I got an email telling me I hadn’t made it to the voting round.
So that was a little disappointing. I went and checked out the entries that got in, and there are definitely good causes and people that looked like they had spent a little more time with their idea. Most already had websites and had started doing business. I have definitely not! I only conceived of the idea in February, have taken a few small steps (like getting ServSafe certified and researching costs). So, I guess they were really looking for more established endeavors.
My plan was to next try to do a crowd-funding site (Go Fund Me) to try to get the endeavor started, and I have the page all set up….but I’m not sure it’s the time anymore. My husband and I are looking for land in New England, and he’s currently looking for a new job, so we’re not really sure where we’re going to end up. As you’ll see in the video below, the business kind of needs to be started where I’m planning to live long-term. It involves making connections with local farmers and vendors, local restaurants and local places to volunteer. It involves getting permits for a food truck in the towns/cities where I want to operate in. And it may involve a store front at some point. So…I think I need to cool it on saving the world through soup until I’ve figured out where I’ll be living when I finally can say I’m not renting anymore!
In the meantime, I’ve signed up for a permaculture course in August. This will be a full-immersion, 9-day course on a working permaculture farm in Vermont. I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. For those of you not familiar with permaculture, it is the concept of looking at the patterns of nature and designing systems that work the same way but that contain different content and serve different purposes, namely, human survival. For instance, the lushest, most productive, verdant places on Earth are forests. They team with life. How can we look at the pattern of how a forest system is set up and use it to help us? By subbing edible plants and crop bearing trees into the pattern of a forest. Plant pear trees or nut trees as your canopy crop, dwarf apple trees as your midcanopy, red currents as your shrubs, herbaceous plants like mint and basil as your next layer, strawberries and raspberries as your ground cover, edible root plants as your root layer, and vining kiwis as your vertical climbers.
Permaculture also is about designing your life and your space to reduce waste and increase ease of living, all while working with the patterns of nature. How does nature sustain itself? There is no such thing as waste, all materials are reused, and by following eons-tested patterns, everything in nature is provided for with little toil. The biggest point about the permaculture forests are that they take almost no maintenance. They are make up of perennials. The system will perpetuate itself after a few years. In addition, by planting lots of variety, you ensure you always have production even if one or even a few crops fails due to an early frost, or drought, or a disease. I personally believe these sorts of forest should go up in every city and town around the world. And the food should all be free. One group is already doing this in Seattle. Another group called Help Yourself! is doing it in Northamptom, MA. (I so want to live there now). They have a Kickstarter vid too.
So, my husband and I are looking for land to live on and to start one of these permaculture forest/gardens. And I signed up for the permaculture course and have started watching and reading all the required materials and it all just makes so much sense. Because it’s nature, logic, time-tested patterns. I am very much looking forward to learning more and more and using what I learn to try to help people. As you’ll see in my soup business video below, I do mention that I want to eventually have a permaculture garden/forest where I get most of the produce for the soups. So maybe it’s the permaculture learning first, buy some land, get garden/forest going, and then do O Soupy….yes, O Soupy is the business name. And below is the video I used to enter the contest. Pass it around if you know anyone who may be interested in the idea. Or, if you know anyone rich that wants to give their money to a worthy cause, send ’em my way! 🙂
For some reason I can’t get the video to embed, so just click on the link below to watch! Or click here.