Every solstice and equinox are helpful milestones for the Latitude Movement- they are big days as they signal shifts in light and seasons along latitude lines, particularly the further North or South one gets from the equator.
For me, I think, ‘oh shit it’s the solstice!’ Where have we gotten with this project? I suppose it is like the big end of quarter report to review and contend with.
In fact, many little things have happened in the past month that are worth celebrating from a latitudinal perspective.
Here are a couple:
- The first Creative Latitude Project- a latitude farm meal in Garrison NY at Longhaul farm
- The honing in on a real strategy for how to advance the project.
I have been doing a lot of work on thinking about how to move this project forward. And much of this work is talking with people, and myself, bouncing ideas around, wherever ideas have a moment to be voiced.
So the big idea that has come lately is the aspect of the Latitude Movement that embraces the strategies and best practices of local movements. That this movement feels very much like a local one.
A model for me is Community Supported Agriculture- CSA. It’s a simple model that has flourished throughout local communities in the US and around the world. It’s a cooperative farm model, a win-win between farmers and community, but I don’t want to get too much into the specifics of CSA. What I do want to get into is that CSA has spread in a truly local way. A few CSA’s started in local communities in the Northeastern US, then others said ‘hey that’s awesome, let’s do it too,’ and so a kind of model replication and adaptation occurred.
What I am getting to here is that CSA expanded and spread not by being owned, but by local farmers creating a model on their farms which was then copied and pasted and adapted to other local communities by other farmers. There was no CSA organization owning the concept and controlling the spread of it.
And with the Latitude Movement, the aha! is that what I am trying to do is create a global connection amongst international local folks sharing a latitude line, or more succinctly, a global community that feels local, like really local. And that requires modeling after local movements. Local movements are backyard focused (we hear the maligned aspect of this- NIMBY- Not in My Back Yard- but there’s a positive side too: IN my back yard!), so the latitude movement should also take this approach.
Just focus on one line. Come back to the line. Create a local-global community on one line and do it well. Other latitudes will get interested and copy the model and hopefully embrace the spirit of it- just like CSA, there’s something about it that changes from farm to farm, but a core spirit that endures.
The Latitude Movement can then concentrate on two things- One, creating a real community on one minute of latitude and putting a lot of energy into that and Two, sharing what others are doing on other lines, and getting together to share best practices from time to time (think CSA conference). After the conference, we go back to our latitude line.
This is refreshing to me, because the work then becomes clear. Dude, focus on the line, and do it. Make it happen. Really flesh it out and make it flavorful, embrace the possibilities. In so far as tools are needed, find those tools. But don’t overlook the phone, the tool of choice on Lat 43.10.