Ya gotta love small towns and villages. I was brought up in a village of under 300 in southern Manitoba. As a kid I remember the freedoms of riding my bike to the nearby countryside, having a chance to explore the outdoors unhindered and enjoying the ability to visit my friends without relying on a mom chauffeur.
Back then the local economies of villages were also stronger with locals participating in an agriculturally-based economy. "Resilient economy" was the default setting.
Yes the world has changed a lot since then but there are elements still in place. Villages still offer huge tracts of land within their borders (for all kinds of uses) and average house lots are larger than what you’d get in the city so gardens can be much bigger. And with fewer cars on the roads kids can more easily navigate the streets. I’ve always felt that villages are a perfect blend of country and urban living.
The greatest difference between villages then and now is how their economies have changed. Todays villagers, like their urban counterparts, find their way to big box retailers. And many residents commute to work in the city. And there is no economy to speak of.
However with trends leaning towards more localized economy I believe there will be a shift in future years. Accompanied by cheaper house prices, fewer regulations (more chickens!), easier access to gardening and less driving - more people will be seeking a village lifestyle.
This weekend on June 17th the village of Turin will host their first of two “Turin Days”. (The other one will be in September) There will be live music, the largest Adirondack chair you’ll see in a long time, a soap making workshop (if there’s still room), a $5 pancake breakfast, a garage sale or two, a grain bin converted into a roadside stand, a portable geodesic dome and if the sun shines a working solar cooker.
Finally, you can be part of it! Just pull into the Southland shop parking lot and you’ll be able to sell right off your pickup truck (or the trunk of your car), your housewares, arts ‘n crafts and what-nots. We only can't supply tables and chairs.
I’m sure many Lethbridge residents are just not aware of what is outside their city. Agriculture in it’s many forms is just minutes away. From hemp crops to hashcash to honey there is more beneath the surface than what most city folks realize. We want to celebrate that.
So this Saturday decide to take a drive to the country. Turin offers a glimpse into village living that many have either forgotten or never experienced. Come for the breakfast, stay for the fun. Pancakes on at 9!
Gilles Leclair is the founder of GeoStudios. Somewhat eccentric, fairly environmentalist, politically aware, he believes the world should have more off-grid communities... many more.