Lewis Humphreys

Community Provocateur, Tech Launch Arizona, University of Arizona

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Grow jobs and food, start a local jobs movement.

Why not take the concept of the local foods movement and all of the changes in behavior and awareness that has created and apply it to creating jobs? How would you create a local jobs movement in your town?

Watch this: http://youtu.be/bac4jfJ2jNM?hd=1

At the end of our TEDxTucson event, absolutely everyone in the theatre stood and stated “I am a green entrepreneur!” It was an inspiring moment. Many people approached me afterwards and asked what they could do next, which illustrates how powerful the whole concept of TEDx can be. Our theme was sustainability and “Innovating Our Green Economy”. So as we turned our attention to 2011 and what to do next, I was looking for a way to create a project to capture the enthusiasm and interest TEDxTucson had generated and make a real difference in our community.

“The Local Jobs Movement” is a project to grow the local food movement in Tucson and create entrepreneurial opportunities for people interested in urban agriculture. Our first TEDxTucsonSalon event on April 19 was all about local food issues, and the talks presented will increase awareness of some of the amazing work local innovators are doing to change our community’s access to healthy locally produced food. Our intention is to inspire people to help us grow the local food movement and increase interest in supporting urban agriculture projects. This in turn will increase opportunities for entrepreneurship.

We need more locally produced food and we need more locally created jobs. What would you do if you could create your own job and help grow your local food movement?

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    May 16 2011: You could say I'm living the problem. As a small scale farmer/orchardist I sell only wholesale, (no farmers markets). Each year I have to cover the same issues, why so expensive? I have to explain the false economy of that questions. My produce is fresher, you (chef) have no waste, better taste, better storage. Now as The Economy worsens chefs in this area are cutting back. Maybe the gas prices have not caught up to the larger producers trucking goods over three states. Since we do not have true cost accounting factory farms produce "baby"greens for $4 a pound. Those greens arrive in stores as half composted greens. But they are cheep. My 1/2 pound bag at $5 seems unreasonable. Bottom line is $ not taste or local food.
    I know farming is a hard job, one, that most would be unable to perform. I think farmers have been given a bad stereo type - dumb farmer. Everyone taking to the garden thinking they can grow their own food buy spraying miracle grow, further perpetuates the stero type.
    This issue "our food" is only getting worse. I noticed today while reading "The Vegetable Garden" that there used to be many more varieties of turnips. Now you have to search for more than just one. So it is not just the forgotten skills, its a loss of land for cultivation, loss of genetic seed diversity. Most important it is a loss of what to do with raw product, how to cook. First I think you have to change the way people eat.
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    May 12 2011: Richard and Elizabeth, I completely agree with what you're saying. We're working on an idea that came out of TEDxTucson event to create a social enterprise dedicated to urban agriculture. Thanks for your comments!
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    May 1 2011: In my town(Hudson n.y.) there are a lot of poor families, many of them single parent households.There are also a fair amount of farms and farm-able land.I would love to see a program that would enable people who wanted to learn to farm, doing so along side their children, with help on hand for additional childcare. In this way the children could see by example how to farm and it's importance families could be together and the cost of childcare could be minimized..I would like to see co-operative farms be setup by those folks wanting to go farther.Also, high-school students should have the option of a hands on practicum.