The Eat Local Revolution Will Be Chronicled

January 24, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Rob Gardner

Post.  Post more.  The person who told me to post more last week did not realize I’ve promised many other times to post more.  We were talking about the failure for an eat local system to really take off in Illinois.  I gave my usual spiel about needing more demand.  We need to demonstrate demand.  With demand would come a thriving local food system.  And it is not just demand for local food.  We need, really, crucially, we need demand for the food that is local to our region.  How.  How do we produce demand, I was asked.  And as I’m so often saying to my kids, it was not a rhetorical question.  How do we make people demand the local food available.  Post, I was told.  Tell them how I was doing it, how the whole Local Family did it.  Yes, I realized, I had to get back to posting more often.  Demand could come via posts.

Like every failed project, one needs excuses.  I blame irregular Local Family posting on computers or not having a computer downstairs to post while drinking my morning coffee.  Or I blame Molly, who may be the eat local dog, but who needed walks when I could have been posting.  There was work.  Cases due.  Marketing.  And if I thought about just a few more minutes, I could rattle off a few more excuses.  We had to go to Florida.  There was Las Vegas.  Kid’s off of school.  Kids at school.  You don”t really need excuses, but it makes me feel better to offer some. 

Did I mention structural failures in the way the Local Beet web site works.  That we have been talking about a re-design and such for about a year?  What’s my excuses for that.  OK,. those we’ll skip.  I’ll say this.  The current format of the Local Family space is not very “bloggy.”  What I mean is that blog meant web log,  web-log.  Log.  Blogs were logs.  Logs of actions or activities.  Impressions, a blogger might have logged his impression of events (even “live blogging” something).  Bloggers tracked, tracked the news or scuttlebutt about something.  They engaged in dialogue with others who shared their actions, activities or interests.  You could not rely on a blogger’s post.  Rather, you followed the blogger as he or she built a narrative.  They told a story in bits and links.  Old school.  Think Instapundit or Atrios.  The Local Family space needs to be more bloggy.  Instead of the sporadic, semi-weekly, wannabe columnist, posts, there should be more frequent, what’s happening posts. 

I want to get back to building a narrative.  Show you how the Local Family eats local.  How we track down our food.  Then, how we turn that food into eat local meals.  For instance, last week we cooked up a big pot of local beans.  Beans purchased probably two years ago (at least).  See, you cannot just shop and eat.  Eating local is not usually a linear progression.  It can be random or at least haphazard.  To see how it is done, cannot often be explained in a few paragraphs, in one succinct, wannabe columnist, post.  One of the ideas in the has not happened re-design is to make this space more bloggy.  To make it easier to have more but smaller posts.  But I’m not going to wait for technology to fix the situation.  Even though the structure of the site is not very bloggy now, I’m going to post more like it’s a blog.  It means that this space will, should, turn more frequently.  It means that what you see on the home page may not make full sense.  That you may have to go to the bottom of the page and click on “previous entry in this category” to see what I’m talking about.

The benefit, I hope, I believe, will be a better idea of what it is like to eat local in the Chicago area.  The benefit then, will be for more to do the same.  And they will share how they are doing it.  And as we show others, we will build demand.  We are going to create an eat local system for the Chicago area by chronicling it.