As the famous idiom goes, "Necessity is the mother of Invention". I was reminded of this saying when I recently read an article in the Huffington Post entitled Jobless Turning to Etsy to Make Their Hobbies Lucrative. The article told the story of several late-blooming entrepreneurs who were starting small businesses on the online store Etsy, supplementing their unemployment checks with profits from selling homemade jewelry and other crafts.
The necessity of an income therefore led to the re-invention and re-insertion of artisinal trades and markets. While none of those interviewed for the article claimed to be able to live of the proceeds of their small businesses, the participants seemed optomistic about the potential revenus in the coming holiday season, as well as pleased that their products, and productivity, was being compensated.
This return to artisinal professions, and the obvious value it has to the creator and the consumer, is a heartening biproduct of the current economic reality. Etsy is a great place for artists and crafters to sell their wares, but there are also similar sites for foodies.
Foodzie and Foodoro are both sites where local producers can sell there goods. Both sites boast both local and fairly traded food. Examples include Lavender Brownie mix made by Santa Cruz's Little Sky Lavender, Single Malt Scotch bars made in Berkeley by Bon Bon Bar. Categories on both sites include condiments, sauces, seasonings, honey, coffee, tea, and even cheese and dairy. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, neither site offers
homebrews or organic booze of any type.
You'll have to find (or make) that yourself.
While local is obviously contextual in this situation -with most producers being in the US and many on the West Coast- what I like about these sites is that they give artisinal farms and food producers the opportunity to reach a market of interested buyers, increasing the incentive to make, and share your own food.
If there's one thing to be retained from unsteady econmic times is that right now, and more and more, is a perfect time to reclaim the bits of earth we have, to treat it well, and to enjoy what it gives us. Then we can reinvent artisinal culture, which I think is a proven necessity.