Years back, I got up my courage and shared a dream with everyone I knew. It was a dream to start a co-operative farm.
Honestly, it was just an excuse to stay connected to the rural community I grew up in, build and repair things I saw a purpose in, while being around interesting people who would share great meals.
While it didn't happen, it really started me thinking of what it takes to make a vision come together, especially something like farming. In my mind, farming really works when farms connect to the people that rely upon them. There's a saying 'time and money come secondary to connection'. I had to think about that one a lot to get it, but now that I see it, I would want to be the farm people connect to...
Growing up, I saw this all too close. The farm I worked on in my formative years used to easily be able to sell freezer orders of beef. Eventually lifestyles changed enough that the direct marketing needed to change.
I don't feel it would matter how the culture was created. It could be a farm barbeque, a cook-off, or partnering with someone more focused on the retail end, since more people were coming to rely on grocery stores.
Being interested in psychology, I started watching what people were drawn towards. Kids get drawn in by colour and action. A large percentage of men like technology and trucks. Two new and completely unrealized connections for healthy food, and the innovations it could use if we're going to create the strongest communities possible.
These thoughts were enough for me to feel inspired to make a move. Growing up around old cars, I conveniently had this '52 chev truck on hand. It had a really friendly demeanor, which made my goal easy. From the initial concept, I joined two grill bars to make the bottom of a mouth. Then I made some teeth out of aluminum siding, a wireform tongue that I covered with a blanket coated in polyester resin.
I never did perfect a carrot to dangle out of the mouth, but you can get an idea of the effect of the outcome below. It's reminding me of a concept from Seth Godin, basically doing something remarkable means doing anything that will be remarked upon. For me, I would tell people if I saw a truck like this, and I'd be sure to notice what was being marketed with it.
In the final picture, you can also see the box on the back, which captured elements of a traditional barn, which helps capture the romantic dreams we all experience on some level when we think of reconnecting with the land.
Unfortunately, I never did get to try it out and refine the concept. I dismantled it before it was sold off back in Ontario. Once I have a proper shop set up, or the right partnership, I'm going to continue forward with the concept.
I know how much I buy into things because of subconscious emotions playing out. If I can feed that part in others, while doing something to improve their physical health, I know I'll be doing my part to leave the world a little better than I found it.
Hopefully, that next generation won't get so focused on making it about the cars and trucks that enabled connection, so much as looking at the timeless elements. That's the meals we share, the awkwardness we move through to have our needs met as we mature, and how we become responsible for watching over all children as we become healthy adults.