Ellery Richardson and Chris Babcock, Incorporators of the Nashville Food Co-op Grocery Store are working hard to make local food distribution more feasible and accessible in Nashville. How? By establishing a Food Co-op Grocery Store and Food Hub. At our Live Sustainably Series, hosted by Jackalope, Chris and Ellery explained how a food co-op is an essential element to any sustainable food distribution system. Currently, farmer's markets and CSAs are our main form of getting local, fresh produce from small farmers in the middle Tennessee region. As Ellery put it, "Nashville needs a food system where we can shop to buy healthy, local food and our cleaning supplies, too." By providing all the typical services of a grocery store, shopping local becomes all the more convenient - with the additional plus of investing in your community and supporting local farmers (did you know that when you spend your money at local businesses, it is 3x more likely to remain in your community?). In addition to an actual grocery store, they hope for the Food Co-op to also serve as a community food hub and education center. Here, schools, restaurants, and community centers can buy local on a more consistent basis and hold both workshops and classes.
Ellery and Chris are working with a Board and their friends at the nationally-recognzied food co-op in Knoxville, Three Rivers Market, to make Nashville's food co-op as functional, successful, and community-oriented as possible. Middle Tennessee has lost 3,000 family farms and over 6,000 acres to developers in the recent past; this land is not very easily turned back into fertile, productive farmland. With an excellent growing season and many local folks eager to make a living off the land, the Nashville Food Co-op Grocery Store and food hub could be the missing link for enhancing Nashville's food (and health) system.
This talk was part of our Live Sustainably Series, hosted by Jackalope, where we feature local entrepreneurs and community members developing and performing sustainable work. Our next talk will be on June 28th from 5-6 pm with Andy Sahn from Earthen Home Natural Building. He will be talking about DIY Natural Paints and his experience with natural building.