Here’s something I found incredibly useful as a way to improve a community’s resilience: an Egg Map.
Take a look at this map of egg producers, from the innovators at Incredible Edible Todmorden UK.
Every point on the map is a home, farm or business that has a chicken coop. Many of them got started with chicken keeping through the Todmorden “Every Egg Matters” campaign.
Given how productive chickens can be, it’s not that hard to overproduce. So, a good portion of these locations produce MORE eggs than they need.
Further, the campaign increased the awareness of people in the town to the benefits of fresh, locally produced eggs — from the radically better taste, particularly if eaten within 48 hours of being laid, to the claim (mostly unproven, although I suspect it is highly dependent on the type of chicken and what you feed them) that they are much better for you than the factory fresh eggs bought in a store.
Most of the locations on the map include details about how many eggs they have available for sale and contact info (phone/text) for how to reach them.
As you can see, this map provides:
- A method by which you can keep a community effort/campaign alive. The map documents it, charts its progress, and keeps it alive after the campaign slows/ends.
- A way to connect the community — you can now connect with neighbors to buy food and/or get advice on how to run your own coop.
- Provides an extra source of income for coop owners. Income that can eliminate the costs associated with the coop and come in handy in a pinch. Further, by replacing egg imports, it keeps wealth inside the community, where it can do the most good.
Making maps like this may be something you want to do for your community.
If you want to use Google maps, here’s some simple instructions for building your own map (including a video).
If Google or the Internet becomes unavailable for short periods of time, you may want to opt for open source map tools that you can run on a PC connected to a wireless community network.