My association with Free Geek introduced me to this crazy-brilliant idea for problem solving that works in meny areas of life, which is this: sometimes, if you point two problems at each other, they solve each other! Free Geek does this by taking (1)the problem of all that toxic technology waste flowing into our landfills, and (2) the problem of the inequitable distribution of resources that keeps segments of our community poor and without the means to pull themselves out of poverty. Point the two at each other and BAMM! You have all these low-income folks getting skills, training, job experience and their very own personal computer while diverting all that toxic tech outta the waste stream. Cool, but it doesn't stop there, the approach works on meny kinds of problems, both global and personal.
Case in point: I had two problems (well, really I have far more than two, but lets not digress) which were a) although I love to cook, I have almost no time to do so, so I find myself falling back on packaged and convenience foods ~and thats not good. Problem b) my circle of friends here in town is currently smaller than I would like, as several friends have moved outta state, outta country, or otherwise left my life in recent years. So, I don't have as many friends in town as I would like, and I don't have time to find more Seemingly unrelated problems, but heres the thing, often the less related the problems are, the better this system works. So, I pointed the two at each other, and heres what happened
OH MY GODDESS, PEOPLE, this idea is too cool, I just HAD to share it with you. Heres how it works.
Each participant makes up one big (6 quart) batch of soup ~a slow cooker can make quick work of this. The soup gets divided into 6 single quart containers and popped in the freezer until the day of the swap.
On the day of the swap, folks gather, have a little wine, chit-chat, before the "telling of the soup", where we hear what is special about each of the varieties in our bounty. Then we take turns selecting our soups, going around the circle and each selecting one variety until each person has selected 6 soups (you bring six, you go home with 6). So, for the little bit of time it took you to make one batch of soup (often less than an hour) you get your freezer stocked with six hand selected, home-made soups ~PLUS you get an evening with a circle of friends that grows exponentially each month, because everyone loves home cooked food and good company, and everyone benefits from time saving strategies, so everyone wants in and everyone wins!! It is JUST TOO FREAKIN COOL! Kids, try this at home!
I actually didnt think I had enough "foodie" friends in town who would be up for this, so I posted the idea to a couple of local listserves I am on, and within a few hours a dozen people had contacted me regarding their interest in joining! So I am meeting new folks who share my interest in cycling, permaculture and food; all while saving time, money and filling my freezer with good wholsome food, you just cant beat that!