Food is about you and me, and local food builds the connections between us.
Community gardens, urban farms, potted tomatoes, farmers markets, farm stands, smiles, composting, worms, bees, homemade jam, digging in the soil - these are all parts of local food.
Whether you're totally new to the idea of local food or have been working in it for years, it's your participation in it that makes a difference, and creates healthy, open food systems where everyone has choice and freedom in how to nourish themselves. Local food is about justice, democracy, health, and - let's not forget - food tastes good, too.
You can participate in the system of food by growing, distributing, cooking, eating, or composting. By connecting these actions together, locally, we can make healthy cities, communities, and families. Creating this connected, local food system that works for everyone definitely needs everyone's participation. That's where our project comes in . . .
the OPEN FOOD project
Our project promotes participation in local and urban food systems. We think everyone has a part to play, and the OPEN FOOD booklet series shows how to get involved. The booklets are small, easy to carry and easy to share, and are meant as a way to start conversations and spark ideas. Each booklet in the series introduces a different slice of local food, opening eyes to the importance and possibility of becoming a part of your food system.
We are producing 6 to 8 booklets, each about 14 pages long and focused on a different topic. We'll roll out a new one every three to four months, choosing important, timely topics as we go. Each booklet introduces lots of ideas, shares recent data, and uses clear graphics and images to communicate the message. These booklets give you the tools to get engaged, informed, and to take the next steps. We talk about why local and urban food is so important, why different parts of it matter to your community, and then we point you in the direction of more information so you can dig in as deep as you want to go.
You're making a difference
- You're helping us promote healthy food systems.
- You're making a difference in public health and the obesity epidemic.
- You're helping reduce crime in vulnerable neighborhoods.
- You're helping start new farmers markets and school gardens and city policies to link new farmers with vacant urban land. The benefits go on and on, of course - food is especially good at that!
Listed over to the side are rewards: heartfelt thanks for joining us in the project. A 100% recycled cotton grocery bag with a custom Community Food Lab design, a kit of simple garden tools and seeds, a Community Food Lab sticker, and the chance to collaborate with us on choosing a topic for a next booklet that supports your organization. And copies of our first booklet!
Sharing it far and wide!
Our goal is to promote ideas about local and urban and sustainable food as far and wide as we can. If our campaign is successful, we'll send copies of our booklets to our supporters, most importantly to you! We'll also send a copy of the first booklet (Farms and Gardens Build Urban Value) to all the planning directors in NC's Triangle region - you've got to start at home, right?
What about moving the local food dialogue forward in your community? If there are people or organizations that you'd like to receive one of these first booklets, you can choose the $15 sharing reward where we send a copy anywhere you like, or choose the $65 grocery bag reward. (three copies in there to share anywhere!)
Once the campaign is complete and our first booklet is produced, we'll set up a webpage so we can keep promoting the OPEN FOOD series. Our plan is to make a downloadable pdf available to anyone, and printed booklets will be available at a low price that covers our costs. As each new booklet in the series comes out, we'll market it and get the word out.
How we'll spend what we raise
Our funding goal goes directly towards production and marketing of the first three booklets in the OPEN FOOD series. For each of these booklets we'll need to invest in research, design, and marketing. We'll keep our web presence fresh and accessible, and keep looking for new ways to share what we're doing.
This campaign will cover the start of the series, as a first run. Our strategy beyond that uses the success of the first booklets to raise funds either internally or through outside support to keep the series moving along. If we go beyond our funding goal, (and we have some stretch goals in mind) the first priority will be extending the number of booklets we can bank on.
The people behind the project:
Community Food Lab is a Raleigh NC based design start-up, focused on creating healthy local food systems. We are designers, collaborators, and systems thinkers working at the street scale, the city scale, and the regional scale to bring the many benefits of local food to communities. Check out our website to find out more.
Risks and challenges
Our first booklet is in graphic development now, and as the campaign progresses and the booklet shapes up we'll post progress updates.
There are always surprises and potential delays with getting a project out the door, but we've got the bases covered. We have a printer lined up, so as soon as we have our booklet design finished we'll be ready to send it off. We have years of experience in architecture and design, so production deadlines are familiar territory. And in our back pocket, there are a few Kickstarter veterans in our cooperative workspace to mentor us through the fulfillment and delivery process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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