I anticipate my Post of the Week shout-out will typically go to a fellow blogger, as it did in last Saturday’s inaugural post. But this week I just had to give the nod to a big news source, because this NPR post Home Sweet Home: The New American Localism, rang so many bells for me. The article covers a number of related trends that have us more locally focused: people are moving less, focused on eating and shopping local, giving to causes close to home, to name a few. And it pointed out something I missed in my earlier read of the Pew study that came out earlier this month: nearly 3/4 of Americans say they closely follow local news most of the time.
The term “New American Localism” is new to me, but the ideas it embodies are quite familiar. I set out 10 years ago to create Social Capital Inc. (SCI), with a keen desire to build community in a 21st century context. For a few years, I kept my work with SCI separate from some of my other pursuits, like cooking. But in recent years, I’ve come to see the synergy among these efforts–hey, nothing builds community like food, right?
This summer I participated in a consumer supported agriculture (CSA) for the first time, and my hometown of Woburn launched a new farmer’s market. The abundance of good, seasonal vegetables got a number of us connecting around creative ways to use this local bounty, Tweeting recipe ideas and questions with a #eatlocalWob tag. I wrote about this early in the season, and I know we’ve just begun to scratch the surface of the potential for local food and community building.
This may be the first time I’ve heard of the term New American Localism; I hope I’ll be seeing it more in the days ahead! Thanks to SCI AmeriCorps alum Joel Wool for the heads up about the article!