Twenty years ago I started printing money. Soon after, residents of Ithaca, N.Y., began exchanging colorful cash featuring children, waterfalls, trolleys and bugs. Since then, millions of dollars worth of Ithaca Hours have been traded by thousands of individuals and more than 500 businesses. They’ve purchased everything that dollars can: groceries, fuel, housing, land, healthcare and all the fun stuff.
Entries in Dispatch (27)
Not all of us have the privilege of a savings or retirement account, but for those that do, how often do you stop and ask: what’s my money up to?
That’s the question I posed to potential investors during my time as a fundraiser for the Mariposa Food Co-op expansion project. The more I asked this question, the more I began to understand that the money we save can be as powerful a tool for change as the money we spend.
I like to eat invasive plants. Sounds scary, right? Invasive species are plants or animals that have been introduced from other regions, accidentally or on purpose, and have negative impacts on local ecosystems. Whether or not you realize it, you have probably seen many invasive plants—they’re in gardens, vacant lots and even between cracks in the sidewalk.
Sometimes, I’m just astonished. I look at the credit card bill and think—how did we spend that much? The evidence is on the page—a latte, a run to the office supply store, a visit to the hardware store. It’s not exactly an extravagant lifestyle, yet cumulatively these small purchases seem to gang up and kick us in the financial groin.
Until my summer working at the Headhouse Farmers Market, I didn’t know what a real peach tasted like. The peaches from my childhood were firm, fuzzy globes—average, unmemorable pieces of fruit bought from the local box supermarket. Working at the Three Springs Fruit Farm stand changed that.