Consumerism demands separation. Participation requires community. At Commons, we celebrate nourishment's transference into communion as we work together and become the terrior of Central Virginia.
What is nourishment and what is its relationship with community?
Instead of trucking foods thousands of miles from singularized systems of large-scale productions, we are nurturing a network of hyper local farmers so that, when you participate in the community via the purchasing of provisions, you are supporting your neighbor by nourishing yourself.
What does regenerative mean? What does actually regenerative look like in the landscape?
All producers in the collective undergo annual Ecological Outcome Verification™ (EOV™) monitoring. EOV is a globally-accepted and richly scientific protocol for verifying the regenerative status of the land and its management.
Human-Scale Family Farms
Farming in the human-scale implies boundaries and connection to place. It allows for patience and eradicates the production mindset. Not that it does not produce; rather, it understands products are the outcomes of relationship and not the derivatives of control.
Commons Provisions and its network of local, verified regenerative, and human-scale farms, called the Common Wealth Network, emerged when a group of moover, groovers, and true-bluers got together and left their "hats" at the door. That is the hard thing about modern farming, you know: we all have hats and all of our hats are branded with individual identities.
But Mother Earth's vision is collaborative and in that collaboration there is communion, nourishment, and health. It could even be said that her collaboration is health itself. Commons and its Common Wealth Network's mission is to do more than simply mimic or emulate her vision, but to become that communion itself via nurturing the emergent and collective consiciousness of all.
In 2020, the Common Wealth Network was formed out of this collective brainstorming between a multitude of organizations, farmers, legislators, chefs, and more, with the mission to co-create a new food system. By 2021, nearly 10 farms were in the network and by early 2022, nearly 40 farms had joined the mission. By mid 2022, Commons and its Network has raised nearly $590,000 for its farmers, facilitated the donation of 115 cattle to new or underserved farmers, verified nearly 6,000 acres of local farmlands as regenerative at no cost to the farmers, and fed many hundreds of families in the process.
How it works:
Commons Provisions aggregates the foods of the Common Wealth Network so that you, the "consumer," can buy local foods and support local farmers without the local farmers having to work even harder to facilitate the local connection.
We buy the whole animal at near retail value from our verified regenerative and hyper-local farmers and manage the processing, inventory, warehousing, marketing, financing, and delivery of all provisions so that our farmers can do what they do best: regenerate. We honor each farm's identity by refusing to rebrand their products as our own so that they, too, thrive within this community. Despite industry standards, we do all of this while giving our farmers 84% of every dollar you spend in our marketplace (compared to 14% at the local grocery store and 25% at other online food retailers).
But this is not THE solution. This is a step toward reawakening our collective wisdom inherent in truly regenerative systems and humanity's ability to co-create abundance with Mother Earth. Real solutions can only emerge via a diverse network of collaborate minds and we have great work to do yet. We are not perfect, the collective is perfect.