Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bye Bye Bellofoodbox

My beloved bellofoodbox has been a huge part of my life for the last year or two. Just a little background - it was started by a devoted band of volunteers to help promote the quality, affordable produce (with a preference for spray free or organic) that was grown locally (within 100 miles of Bellingen) for economic, social and environmental reasons. Since it started off, the success of buying local has been pretty incredible - instead of two and a half local outlets there are now six or seven and it was decided by the committee that bellofoodbox would best be operated by the Bellingen Green Grocer.

All in all this a great decision - BGG operates with similar ethics to bellofoodbox, has agreed to keep the markups the same (to ensure that the fruit and veg is really affordable), and being an actual shop front it will allow clients to either top up the produce in their boxes or to buy other local, sustainable products like milk or to just get a yummy juice. The down side (and the only one) is that they super little band of volunteers and our team leader Leigh, are going our separate ways so far as Wednesday afternoons are concerned.

So today was our last day all together. Which corresponded with my last day in town so it was bittersweet. Having said that, there was much laughter to be had. There was the usual pick of one or two strangely shaped items of produce - this one was an emoticon apple - turned up one way it had a huge smile, up the other was a sad face (no photo of that one, there are lots of weird fruit and vegetable shots out there), there was the inventive use of a damaged apple to  create an incense holder and open particular conversation the contents of which can't be posted here. There was also a couple of birthdays to celebrate. And that doesn't even include our incredible customers that come bouncing in to collect their bounty with a happy face, an interesting story or a quick joke.

On the downside, it was our last day together. While we work incredibly well together, in all circumstances, we are a disparate little group that don't usually see each other anywhere else - except random moments when driving around town followed by wild waves out a window which the other person may or may not see.

I know I am going to Tasmania so this would have been my last day anyway. I know that the changes are really, really good for the project. But, as I said, it was a bittersweet day.

When I announced I would be travelling south it was mentioned, as a throw away comment, that I need to start my own foodbox program in Tasmania. If it could be half as good as the experience I have had with our local one, I would be made not to.

So thank you, best of luck and farewell bellofoodbox and all who have sailed with here xx

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