Posted by Jessica Duncan on

“You might rightly observe that we no longer live in small, insular societies, where generosity and mutual esteem structure our relations. But we could. It is within our power to create such webs of interdependence, quite outside the market economy. Intentional communities of mutual self-reliance and reciprocity are the wave of the future, and their currency is sharing. The move toward a local food economy is not just about freshness and food miles and carbon footprints and soil organic matter. It is all of those things, but it’s also about the deeply human desire for connection, to be in reciprocity with the gifts that are given you.” – Robin Wall Kimmerer

No doubt about it – we’ve just wrapped up another very challenging year. Congratulations to all of us who have made it through relatively unscathed!  I don’t know about you, but the thing that made it most tolerable for me and kept me going was my community (you!).  While the rest of the world seemed to be falling apart, I found hope, love and optimism in my circle of friends, customers and acquaintances, for which I am immensely grateful.

I’ve recently read Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer where she writes at length about reciprocity. Of course, I love her analysis of what a local food economy looks like. Yes, it is great for the environment and the local economy, but, perhaps more than anything, it is one of the greatest connectors – human to human, human to environment. Having spent the past 11 years of my life devoted to building community through Singing Bowl Granola, I can’t help but reflect on what an absolute joy it has been.

Since starting Singing Bowl Granola in 2011, I have been committed to using this enterprise as a means to support the environment and my greater community.  I am proud of the work WE have done.  I say ‘we’ because we are all responsible. Whether you have opted for zero waste packaging through the SBG Bucket Club, delivered boxes of porridge to local schools, added a box of granola for the Rainbow Kitchen to your online order, or just grabbed a box or two of SBG from your local grocery store, you have contributed to our efforts to make this world a kinder place.  I cannot emphasize enough how none of our environmental or community efforts would be possible without your participation.

I tend to be a bit of a numbers nerd and have spent the last week counting up our 2021 achievements. The numbers are in, showing that, together, as a community, we have made a very positive local impact.
  • Through the SBG Bucket Club and stores choosing to participate in our zero waste packaging, we have NOT used 6,800 boxes, cellophane liners and labels which would have needed to be disposed of. 
  • In 2021, the SBG Porridge Project provided 8,744 servings of organic instant porridge to students who would otherwise start their school day hungry.  Endless gratitude goes to our friends at Blue Heron Advisory Group who cover my expenses for this project, and the wonderful volunteers who help deliver the porridge to the schools.
  • Thanks to all of you who have added the Give a Gift option to your online orders, we have been able to donate the bulk equivalent of 138 boxes of granola to The Rainbow Kitchen this past year. 
  • As part of our ongoing commitment towards reconciliation, we raised $380.00 through the SBG Bucket Club for the Tsawout First Nations fundraiser to replace their Big House that burned down in 2009.
  • In November we raised $270.00 for the Tiny House Warriors who are facing huge legal costs incurred while defending their unceded territories from the TMX Pipeline.
  • In late 2020, I launched Treat Yourself Treats with local chef Heather Pace. When we were hatching the business, we both knew that we want to help other women in our community and we committed to donating 12% of the profits to Victoria Women’s Transition House and Bridges for Women. Last year we were able to donate $805 to VWTH from our first 6 months of sales, and a whopping $1,500 to Bridge for Women from our second 6 months in business. If you love good organic, fair-trade chocolate, and want to help us support these two important organizations, please check out our website or look for our treats in your local store.
This is what reciprocity looks like. This is what happens when you choose to support your local food economy. It is our connectedness as a community that ensures we are all cared for. In other words, your support means the world to me and allows me to be generous with those who need it, and I am so deeply grateful.

Wishing you a peaceful and healthy new year,

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