If you are under 40 and don't know of the TV show Arrested Development, sorry, we can't be friends. For those that make the cut, know that I feel like the eldest Bluth in the episode, "switch hitter." I'm using a particular scene from that episode as inspiration for this post. In this scene, G.O.B. is working for Sitwell and fires off 6 months of (Michael's) ideas in a single meeting. What I have here is a list I've cultivated over the course of time and if I were a smart blogger, I would string all of these ideas out into fifteen blog posts. But no, you're going to get my list of projects and ideas that I would realize should my biggest obstacles disappear - time, space, and self consciousness.
Food Related Things I would do For My Community
- I read about a grad student who staged a Food Book Fair in Brooklyn last year. I want to organize one in Indianapolis. Kind of like Food Con, but with more books, panels, and speakers.
- Another idea I read about awhile back described an interesting distribution model. I would create a supply chain that would maintain small refrigerators with produce in convenience stores and gas stations in an area food desert. The produce would be locally and regionally sourced as much as possible. My user experience tendencies kick in with this project as I think that, with emphasis placed on presentation and display, consumers would be drawn to these fruits and vegetables in neighborhoods filled with Frito Lays and Nestle products.
- I love the idea of a pocket shop for urban farmers. I would start a little shop that focused on gardening, chickens, hydroponics, etc. I would sell supplies and educational material and foster a support network for people looking to get hyper local with their food.
- There's only one Indiana school participating in this farm to school program and I think that's kind of ridiculous. I'd like to change that.
Personal Food Projects
Again, if time and money were not obstacles, I would focus on a few personal projects like:
- I would have a greenhouse built where I could practice growing food year round.
- I would restart my failed hops experiment. My vision with this project has always been to grow hops and sell them to an Indiana brewery. As part of the agreement, I would want the name and marketing for the brew named after my hometown, Dunkirk, IN. Think "Speedcat IPA."
- I would build an aquaponics system near or in my newly constructed greenhouse.
These ideas are probably the most likely to be achieved, so long as I can muster the courage to share my amateur writings with the world. My wife has been the only one to read any of my work and even then, it's only been a small sample as I haven't had time to edit and refine my drafts to a point where I feel comfortable enough to share them even with her. She's suggested that I release some stories in a serial format here on my blog. Then, at the conclusion of a story, I would collect the sections/chapters, have them bound, and try to sell a few. I think it's a novel idea and is likely something I will explore in the coming year.
I would also like to serve as a producer / editor for some super hero comics with strong gender images for both boys and girls. It's possible, I know it. I strive to find this sort of material for my daughter, but always wince when I find some fault in the art or story of most work I come across.
Long Term Projects
I suppose a lot of the above mentioned projects could be considered long term as they would either take a few years to achieve or would be projects without end. Specifically, I would:
- Run Walmart out of every small town that I could. We don't need cheap Chinese imports and I feel we need to foster small rural business development. This country needs a spirited campaign to disuade people of all socioeconomic stripes to just say no to Walmart.
- Create organic and boutique farm jobs where I grew up (again, Dunkirk, IN and the surrounding areas in Jay county). I would create, nurture, and maintain a supply chain to Indy or maybe Muncie or Anderson, given the geographic location.
- I would assemble an exploratory campaign to run for office.
Ambitious much? Idealistic much? you bet. But why not, right? These obstacles, like everyone else's are just in my head. Zack de la Rocha creeps, "What better place than here? What better time than now? All hell can't stop us now." Come on self, let's get this started.
Obviously to accomplish even half of the projects listed here, I would have to bend space and time. If any of you know how to do this and can teach me, that would be appreciated. That aside, I'm open to suggestions and advice from anyone on any of these projects. I wouldn't expect to realize success with any of these projects while in isolation. I need guidance, expertise, and help. Find me at jonwillford <at> gmail <dot> com or on twitter @HoosierJonFord. Until then, I will look for opportunities to accomplish some of these ambitious goals and smash my obstacles into oblivions. I will also continue to be content with my current kick ass lot in life and bring home the bacon for my unbelievably wonderful family. Now, it's time to go watch some more Arrested Development.