J.B. Blackford

Refine. Hone. Distill. The self is a text, too.

CollectivEvolution: A Communal Organic Story

In the midst of my usual copy editing and developmental editing gigs, I’ve signed up for some Managing Editor responsibilities on a project with my friend and client, Shannon Johnson, whom I’ve written about before in 6 Questions for a Hippie Homeschooler.

I met Shannon when we  were both teaching in Florida, but our friendship developed out of working together on the side when I edited the countless articles she wrote about our food supply, the healthcare system, vaccines and medications, and the overall benefits of transitioning to a chemical-free organic lifestyle.

To shorten a story that spans several years,  I’ll simply say that what I’ve learned while working with Shannon has helped alleviate a slew of medical problems that I dealt with for years, to the confusion of all of my conventional doctors. I believe that the things I’ve learned and implemented in my life are worthwhile, and certainly at least worth giving people the opportunity to educate themselves about.

Now, Shannon has a story to tell, and I’m going to do what I can to help her reach her audience.

CollectivEvolution is the project that has come out of years spent researching, living, and writing about the organic lifestyle. Initially, it will be a website that offers info for three different groups:

  • Organic newbies will learn about things like genetically modified foods, pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones (not to mention chemicals in cleaning products, body products, etc.). We’ll break down the info in videos, animations, infographics, and short blogs — we want people to learn, not be overwhelmed, and we’ll teach you where to start
  • Organic devotees will have a community to find like-minded people, to discover new resources, or share their own wisdom
  • Organic producers (farmers, artisans, entrepreneurs, etc.) will connect with consumers seeking their products, and have a platform to talk about their needs and challenges with support from a solid, collaborative community

After the website is up and running, we’ll also be putting out an e-zine with more lengthy articles, in-depth research, and interviews than what will be on the website, and we’ve got an app in development that will essentially be an organic database. Part of the website’s content will also be a continually developing “organic encyclopedia” of the benefits linked to various herbs, essential oils, foods, and other natural remedies.

As it stands now, we’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign with the hope that there are enough people who recognize the need for a “home base” of organics that we’ll be able to fund our goals partly through donation. Right now, we’re two freelancing ladies who are trying to balance supporting our families with a project that we believe is an important part of our path and our calling. There are obstacles that we hadn’t expected, like having the vision to create digital media, but not the funds to pay for the software, so we’re limited by free trials. Or an app partially through development that can’t go any further until we can pay the developer (or find someone who wants to donate their time! Hint hint.)

In a recent interview about food activism and GMOs, chef  Tom Colicchio said, “I think ultimately what I would like to see is, if you take all these various…parts of the food movement, if they could sort of all come together, and then from there we actually could create a voting block….I think that’s kind of where I’d like to see this head, where we can really get some power in the form of political power behind this food movement because right now it’s just a lot of different people…raising their voice but not in unison and not about a broad spectrum of food issues.”

This is CollectivEvolution. This is what we want to do: create a venue where a variety of people can discuss a spectrum of issues and share information freely about what’s going on in the U.S. when it comes to our food, our health, and our agriculture. But we can’t do it without you…without the people who want to be a part of this story and a part of this collective.

Even if you can’t donate right now, please take a minute to pass this on and spread the word about CollectivEvolution: a community of voices demanding in unison to be heard.

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