I was in a chain grocery store about 3 months ago…that would make it April, I guess. I wanted tomatoes. I went to the organic section first — always my first choice if it’s local and organic. No deal, they were from Mexico. That’s too many miles away, harvested too early, grown with I don’t know what kind of organic growing standards. So I went to the regular section, and those were also from Mexico. There they may have been sprayed and fertilized with things I wouldn’t want in my body, let alone my childrens’. And again, harvested too early, and shipped thousands of miles in a vehicle spewing carbon fuel byproducts.
I actually teared up, right there in the produce section.
I could practically throw a rock at the commercial greenhouses growing tomatoes right here in Richmond and yet they couldn’t get them that far in a truck. Those same greenhouses also grow cucumbers, peppers and lettuces and yet, in this store, I found nothing grown even in this province. I was instantly inspired to do something about it.
Enter California College of the Arts’ unique Leading by Design Fellows Program in San Francisco.
“The Leading by Design Fellows Program at California College of the Art (CCA) provides executives and senior professionals the insights, skills, and confidence to lead change that creates lasting, sustainable business and social value.”
I had already been looking for a Design Thinking program that focussed on innovation, and one I could attend with low residency. CCA’s program is unique in this regard. The only other school of its kind is Stanford’s d.school, which would require me to abandon my 30-year-old business to attend, which I’m not willing to do.
So here I am. My goal is to find a way to scale up local produce availability so that local food is available to more people for less money. Seems logical, but I’m certain it will be a challenge. There are all kinds of reasons why it can’t be done. I’m looking for ways that it can. I ask for your follows, your feedback (positive or negative) as I work on this. The end of October this year is my deadline to make a proposal. After that, I hope to make it work in real life.
Thanks for reading!