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The long overdue update - what I've been working on

Every site redesign / rebuild starts off with the best intentions. In my case, having a shiny new home for my portfolio and blog would of course mean I'd miraculously start blogging daily, but alas that hasn't been the case. Real life happened and as a result, updating my site fell by the way-side.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy though.

In all the madness of the past 2+ years, my priorities have shifted from working online to preparing offline. Things like taking the farm from a hobby to a reliable source of food, establishing systems that either feed, heat or heal, all the while thinking of the farms place in our wider community, my role in all of it and ways I can help foster more collaboration and resilience within our community.

My train of thought made the natural progression from evaluating the farm and it’s potential resources, which then branched out to my neighbours. It went some like this:

"Hmmm, I wonder if my neighbours would be up for getting a shared milking cow. We could rotate it between our various plots, share the responsibilities and more importantly the bounty. Hmm, Andrea has chickens. What would it take to extend her production that there is enough to go around? Oh and then the other neighbour further down has rabbits, same question applies. Hmmmm...."

The more I thought about it, the more I realised this applied to the greater Garden Route, where we have an abundance of local producers, but nothing connecting them. Each of us trying to cover all of our basic needs, ultimately spreading ourselves too thinly.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to evaluate each individual farm / homestead and focus on growing or producing what is best suited to our unique environments, microclimate, wildlife, interest, etc. By taking this approach we can each work towards becoming masters of our selected crafts, while having an abundance to sell, share and trade. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Then one day while at our local seed-swap, I got to talking with an old friend Rebecca, who has been organising the seed-swaps for the past two years and we found a lot of overlap with our thinking. More thinking led to more chats and it wasn’t long after that we decided to team up to formulate an action plan to mobilise the community.

Our brain-storming efforts resulted in the following list of potential projects / focus areas:

It’s been just shy of a year since first started working on the project and we have made progress on all of the above goals. There is much to cover, but I’ll do my best to summarise as best I can.

What’s next?

Our focus now will be on-boarding existing vendors who haven’t added products, while recruiting more. I’ll also use this time to continue to refine the sites overall mobile experience and performance, while starting the early development on v2, which will be take full advantage of the jamstack, finally decoupling from WordPress - and that my friends is when the real fun begins.

Until next time, keep it smokey ;)

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