This blog is about learning to love my hometown and growing to be an active member of the community I plan to call my home for a long time, perhaps a lifetime. Often, the posts tend to be about local food because:
- I love food and cooking.
- There are tons of great local farms here—It is Pennsylvania, after all.
- You can learn a lot about a town through tasting it.
One great thing about this area—the trails!
There are many other things I love about this town—Access to hiking trails, cultural and arts events, inspiring people …
There are also things I don’t like about this town—Poor public transportation, intolerance, suburban sprawl …
And, there are great things that I discover about this town every day. Most recently, what I’ve learned about this area is not that another great ethnic restaurant opened or that a new rail-trail is completed, but that there are passionate people doing awesome things here. Of course, I knew several inspiring people here already (take my friend Emily, for example, who has grown her family’s café, Jumbars, by epic proportions and earned a spot on the Eastern PA Business Journal Top 20 Under 40 list), but I didn’t realize the whole wealth of people who exude passion literally in my neighborhood. I didn’t get that feeling of community or that sense that I belong in this area—thus, my strong desire to move west.
Since the start of this month, I met and/or shared conversation with a person who knows a ton about edible gardening, a person who stands for the environment as a leader with Appalachian Mountain Club, a person who spends time on the train to the city working on discussion forums to help the community and blogs about modern home economics, a person who teaches people what the heck to do with tofu, a person who organized a humanist organization in this area (I didn’t even know there was one here!), a person who passionately shares her knowledge of the vegan lifestyle, and a person who inspires little girls not to be afraid of bugs and uses words like “vermaculture” when talking to 5 year olds. There are some seriously awesome people in my neighborhood.
How did I come to meet all of these people? Through the initial discussions of the Bethlehem Grocery Co-Op. YES—Each of these cool folks are also interested in FOOD! Food and community. Like me! They don’t stare at me like I am the three-eyed fish from the Simpsons because I make chips from scratch or drink raw milk or think that the community should be educated about composting. Sure, I knew a couple of these people already, but I really don’t think I would even know that my neighbors are doing so much if I hadn’t gone to that first co-op meeting. All I can say is, if these are the kinds of strong minds and passionate souls that are coming together to make a co-op happen, there’s no way that it will not rock the freaking socks off of this valley.
So, spread the word that the cool kids are at the co-op meetings. Head over to the co-op blog to download some flyers to get the word out. You’ll probably end up meeting some ridiculously awesome people.
Post this on your blog, site or Facebook to get the word out!