This week the famous Andres Duany did a Skype conference with the Futures Committee of the City of Fort Collins City Council and staff. It was fascinating to hear Andres describe how to cultivate the greatest communities. This is particularly interesting to us because his company, DPZ, is the planning firm that designed the Montava master plan.
One of the things Andres discussed was the importance of creating various community "sheds". Energyshed, watershed, foodshed. Fort Collins has an incredibly strong foundation in many of these areas such as its municipally owned power utility, strong water resource portfolio, aggressive climate action plan, and more.
The one area of emphasis that particularly resonated with me was the idea of establishing a foodshed. A foodshed is defined as a geographic region that produces the food for a particular population. While this may sound idealistic in the well established US grocery system where we can all go to Whole Foods and get whatever we want, there is something missing in this equation.
What's missing is the local aspect of food production, and the community that it creates. Have you ever thrown a party with your friends when you went to the grocery store for spinach? I didn't think so. The folks to picked up their Native Hill and Jodar Farms CSA shares at Equinox Brewing last winter know what I mean. It is a family affair.
Imagine a community built on this foundation of local food production. Imagine a community where you know exactly where your vegetables are coming from, who is growing them, how they are grown, and oh by the way the produce is far better quality that any grocery store in your town. Imagine at the same farm-stand being able to buy locally grown farm fresh eggs, beef and pork from farmers just up the road connected in a powerful community coop.
Fort Collins is a very special place. We are working to build a community that brings all the aspects of its uniqueness, passion, and community values to life in an extraordinary way.