Looking at the past can sometimes cause us to discover new and exciting directions for how we can improve our future. As a society, sometimes we can get off track due to our wanderings and quests for economic efficiencies. One place where this is clearly evident is in our food systems. But sometimes what is right for the global economy, doesn't make sense in our local communities. It is important then, to take a closer look at the past when our local economies were more robust to know how we can improve and revitalize the rural areas we all care about.
A non-profit in North Central Washington has done just thought. In their new half-hour DVD "Foodways & Byways – The Story of Food in North Central Washington", IRIS (the Initiative for Rural Innovation and Stewardship) asked just that question, "What can we learn from the past that can help us build a strong local food system today?"
I was fortunate to have a small hand in this endeavor, by creating the North Central Washington map used in this production. I encourage you all to check out this project and learn more about IRIS. And for goodness sakes, watch the short trailers online and consider buying the DVD!