It has been a whole year since I had the opening party. And it’s been a big year of downloading vision into reality. It’s the usual story – I might not have taken it on if I really knew what I was in for! But I have a lot of love for this project and that always helps.
It’s been a while since I came to understand the ways in which the structures that hold our lives in place don’t serve us so well, and sometimes I wonder whether we are going to make the choices that nourish us for the future. So many of our daily decisions are based on what works for me right now, what can I afford, what can I be bothered with, how much of a sacrifice am I able to make for a better world?
And what is the vision for a better world? The vision we have inherited is of progress, with technology always improving, and an ever-expanding economy to pay off our debts. But it’s starting to come into mainstream consciousness that our ideas of progress have too many externalities that haven’t been accounted for, and it’s time for a reset. What will that involve?
I remember coming across the idea of zero waste a few years ago, and thinking it was too hard, and anyway, not really my responsibility as the end consumer. If we allow all this plastic as a society, why is it up to us at the end of the line to make choices that make our own lives a little less easy? But as time has gone on I have had to integrate the understanding of the full life cycle of everything I buy into my worldview, and as I have done that it has become harder to choose the plastic-wrapped option (although I still do). There is empowerment in making choices that are aligned with our ideals.
My vision for Greenspace is to be a centre for everyday life, a test kitchen for ideas and sauerkraut (see below), a space that can hold the nourishment we need to step away from the forces that have infiltrated now too far, where a great big corporation is the main food provider for a community where we have so much more capacity to provide for ourselves. When we spend our money locally, it circulates and enriches a community, and local businesses also tend to take more responsibility overall for their rubbish.
I never really set out to be a business person, but the business model is the dominant one for now. I am intrigued by how Greenspace could take on a more co-operative model, but to start it up just seemed most straightforward to take on the sole risk and responsibility. I underestimated that first year in business, but through various strokes of luck and good timing with money and places to live and general good health and family and friends and community support I am still here! So I want to thank you all for being there along the way so far. Every moment of encouragement has been a spark of energy for my mission.
I love my role as shopkeeper – I get to putter about, yak over the counter (some might say too much), and there is always some peaceful task to move on to. It’s a nice day. And the concept of Greenspace is that our everyday lives can be beautiful, and based in community, and that in our small actions of choice over what we buy we can actually change the world.
Oh yes, and fresh produce is in.