You might know Steve Mann from his work with Food Not Lawns -- and his tireless campaign to turn manicured landscapes into vegetable beds. What you might not know is that he's been working to slowly bring together a food cooperative in Kansas City.
The Squash Blossom Food Cooperative came into existence earlier this month when 20 volunteers ratified the articles of incorporation.
"Our two-year vision is now a reality by creating a cooperative business that provides healthy food for our families and communities," says Mann, the Squash Blossom Community Organizer.
The grassroots organization began as a loose collection of concerned eaters drawn together through their shared commitment to creating a sustainable, local food system. Over time the members -- more than 100 joined over the past two years -- began organizing potluck dinners and pooling orders to submit to regional producers.
The food-buying club tried to serve the dual purpose of encouraging local growers to offer produce in the winter months, and provide members with local, organic options. The co-op is the next step towards pairing consumers with farmers.
The Squash Blossom Cooperative is hoping to operate food stores, which are considered an essential part of bringing fresh produce into neighborhoods across the metro. The group is open to anyone who wants to join and will begin operating in 2010. Though it's still in development, keep an eye on this Web site -- it will likely have more on what's happening in January.
[Image via Flickr: Thebittenword]