Editor's Note: Whether you call them healthy living networks, prepper groups, farmers markets or community co-ops, all organizations that coordinate resources to be better prepared and self-sufficient share the same goals. Think outside your comfort zone and take Tracy Schmidt's advice to heart. Even working with one or two neighbors can make a big difference. You might even have fun in the process.
Why Start a Healthy Living Network?
“Many hands make light work” is a quote that truly applies to food preservation. In the not too distant past, it was common for multi-generation families to work together to put up food. They would share the divide the spoils at the end of the day.
Today, many families are smaller and are often more spread out, making this kind of collaboration with family harder to accomplish.
The World War II feeling of community responsibility through maintaining a Victory Garden and preserving food has waned. However, there is a branching movement today that stems from some of the same circumstances: healthy living networks.
Healthy Living Networks Growing in Popularity
The economic decline of the past several years has caused more of the middle class to critically examine food budgets. Gardening and food preservation are cost-effective solutions for people facing the ever-tightening apron strings of today’s economy.
Some people are more health conscious today and are looking to be better able to control what they ingest to fuel their bodies.
Still others don’t want to be so far removed from the natural world they become dependent on grocery stores to get food. They want to preserve the skills that kept our ancestors alive. The skills that are not borne from computers and electricity, but rather understanding the natural world around us.
Knowing why you want to preserve food will help you find other folks who share your interest. Coordinating with them is called a healthy living network, sometimes also known as prepper groups or community co-ops.
Be a Good Member of a Healthy Living Network
However, in order to be a good member of any group you have to be well educated so you don’t get yourself in trouble. Find someone who cans, freezes and dries food. Ask if you can watch them in the kitchen. There are many tasks you could help them out with, from washing and chopping food to making sure jars are clean and kept hot. The lessons learned from these simple things can be priceless.
Good Places to Find People to Start a Healthy Living Network
There are other people like you out in the world. If you want to start a group look for other members at local churches, libraries and fitness centers who might share your interest and be willing to work along beside you.
Look for gardening groups, as many people who preserve food also like grow it. Find them, inspire them, help educate them and you will be able to reap the benefits of starting a great group with a strong foundation.