I believe the crux of this chapter was a one-page long section that talked very briefly about bioregionalism. Because the section is so short, that’s where I need the most background information. It’s a new term for me. This post is going to be a summary of information I turn up in a very short amount of time, and a few related resources for both myself and others who are interested.

Planet Drum Foundation: A non-profit, San Francisco-based organization that’s been working on bioregionalism since its founding in 1973.

Summary of what I learned looking at this page: Bioregionalism is a movement that ties progress to an understanding of and development in harmony with the terrain, climate, and historical flora, fauna, and cultures of a particular piece of land. Using this definition, I live at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, in the historic lands of the Cowlitz and Clackamas people (Historic nation information from https://native-land.ca/).

Directly from that webpage, the three main goals of bioregionalism: 1. Restore and maintain local natural systems 2. Practice sustainable ways to satisfy basic human needs such as food, water, energy, housing, and materials 3. Support the work of reinhabitation (The latter is accomplished through proactive projects, employment, and education, as well as by engaging in protests against the destruction of natural elements in a life-place.)

This information gives context for another book I’ve got on my to-read-and-work-with list: Fibershed. Grounded in the experience of life in North Central California, it talks about the how-to of living in fashion created – raw fiber and dye to finished product – in the local bioregion. The last few pages of the book include a listing of Fibershed organizations already active throughout the US, and internationally in Australia, Canada, and Northern Europe (there may be others, but that’s what a quick skim turned up).

I don’t currently have any specific resources about the slow food movement, but it’s the same idea. My primary contact point with this idea has thus far been a combination of CSA’s and local farmer’s markets in both Massachusetts and Oregon. They exist nearly everywhere in the US, and in the context of a global pandemic that’s throwing markets out of balance and disrupting the supply chain, they’re providing a model for farmers to connect their food (which is usually purchased by restaurants that aren’t doing nearly as much business right now) with people who need it (who are either stymied by empty grocery shelves or can’t afford to purchase food right now because of lost jobs, reduced hours, and/or delayed and insufficient stimulus support). Putting this within the context of a capitalist system that's demanding a "right" to work despite the near-certain cost of lives, I think it's worth calling this out as a beautiful act of resistance.

The big take-away lesson for me? This has absolutely renewed my determination to dig deeper into hyper-local production and goods distribution. And how to support a culture or repair/reuse over purchase and disposal.

P.S. - This book, whose content I believe is intimately connected to the ideas of doing nothing, resisting in place, and re-imagining a society where worth is not determined by commercial productivity, came across my path this morning, so I thought I'd share it with you: The Invention of Capitalism by Michael Perelman