I find it AMAZING that it was almost 4 years ago I wrote an email to a magazine editor to ask about freelance writing opportunities. She sent me a vast amount of information, and my vision locked on to one specific topic in particular, a column” called “City of Angels” featuring articles about what’s going on in communities around us. I didn’t know why, but I couldn’t waste a moment, I felt compelled to go check out the online magazine and read the column immediately! Somehow what I stumbled across was a back-issue article called, “There IS such thing as a FREE lunch!” I felt the synchronicity touch down when I read the title, and my feelings were excitedly confirmed when I finished the article ~ the community produce-trading project/idea I had dreamed about and had recently built a garden for is not only alive, but well … it’s kickin’ up its fertile soil in LA County!! I clicked on a email link and proceeded to inquire about a possible group in Long Beach.
So much for the freelance writing ~ huh? ~ I am starting a neighborhood produce co-op!
I decided to take her blog-written advice and start sending out emails to family and friends who I thought might be interested in a group of our own. By the time I had received a reply to my initial inquiry, I had a handful of names on my list and noted the items they grow. When I read the response, “Shannon, There are people in your area interested, but no one has actually started a group…” I said, “YES! Okay, I’m soooo on it! I am meant to start this group!
The following week, I named the co-op Garden Angels after all of the people who had shown up in the right place at the right time to help me build, grow, and share my beginners garden – I had referred to them many times as “my garden angels.” Without these angels of the past, as well as the angels of the present and future, none of this would be possible, so I knew soul-deep that I had to make this about them!
I continued to receive member requests to the tune of about 2 per day, and by the time our very first Produce Exchange in March of 2011 sprouted up, we had 25 members and 15 actual participants! Wow, huh?! I was blown away by the support and good energy that had surrounded this group and its kind-hearted exchanges of bountiful treasures culminated by hard work, care and loving energy of the spirits behind it.
So here we are… 4 years and 44 exchanges later! A feeling of anticipation, joy and excitement still find their divine-right places inside of me every month on exchange day. And I am absolutely thrilled to facilitate growth in this upcoming New Year of exchanges. The original vision 4 years ago was not limited to a gloriously fun-filled, healthy-minded community contribution endeavor; it included socialization, networking, education and outreach. We are a group not only of trade, but positive energy and love… which, my friends, is the point of it all.
Peace & Love, Shannon