I suppose it’s time for me to chime in. Hi! I’m Chris Pollard. I’m a founding member of the Cloverbelt Local Food Co-Op in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. (Dryden, technically.) We’ve been operating since 2013, but on the OFS (Open Food Source) platform.
About two years ago, @tschumilas was discussing OFN with our President, and I took to Github to pull the code and set up a local test server to play with. It took me a while, being a PHP dev, and only having the most basic understanding of Ruby to work with. I’m sure somewhere back there I may have asked some n00b questions on the forums about dependency issues. lol At the time, we weren’t sure how OFN would fit with our model, which was based around OFS and the Nebraska Food Co-Op model. Okay, it still is.
This spring, thanks to @tschumilas coaxing funding out of our government, I’m now a community activator for OFN-Canada. Part of this will be trying to bring new users to the OFN platform, as well as exploring how we can make it work for CLFC, as we’re running up against limits in OFS that I don’t believe will make it viable in the long term.
As for my background, I’ve always lived right around the area I’m in now - except for a couple of years of college about 400km to the east. Growing up, we always had gardens, and usually some type of animals. Dad remained a bit of an old-school homesteader to his dying days. How, how I hated digging up those acres of potatoes by hand every year as a teenager!! But he knew how to grow food, and never used chemical fertilizers or pesticides … which I didn’t think much of back then. It was just how it was done! We usually had a coop full of chickens, ducks, a few geese, bronze turkeys, a handful of cows, some goats, pigs (which were never my favourite, until they were bacon), rabbits, even the off ‘exotic’ like pheasants and guinea fowl. We treated our animals like pets, even though we knew they were going to be food. There were only a few animals that became strictly pets, and we sold instead of butchered. One was a hulking red angus cow, “Red,” who was a gentle soul. If she was lying down in the field, you could climb on her back, lay down, and once in a while she’d swing her head around and lick you in the face. She was great. Another was our old gobbler … who followed us around like a dog, chest puffed out, trying to impress … well, I have no idea. We grew up harvesting every type of wild berry I’ve ever known to grow here, wild chanterelle mushrooms (which I still love to find), hunting, fishing, etc. I wish I’d have been as interested in learning how to do all the jams/jellies/pickling/canning my parents did when I was a kid as I was after they were both gone. The things you don’t appreciate until they’re gone, right?
I have a broadcasting diploma, went into radio, and have been at my hometown radio station for 22 years now. Spent a bit over a year on air, then moved to the office where I’m the Creative Director. That’s fancy title for … I write commercials for a living. And do audio production. And one day I convinced the manager to let me build a website. What was I thinking! I’ve always been into computers, programming (even back in the day of the Commodore PET, with those cassette tape storage drives!), and technology.
My wife and I are about to celebrate 19 years of marriage (on the 10th), after meeting in an IRC chat room back in '98. Yeah, no Tinder swiping there … just old school text-only chatting! She’s from NW Indiana, just outside of @Paul’s stomping grounds in Chicago. We go down there a few times a year to visit the family. Our daughter is in high school, making the honor roll at an IB boarding school in Maryland. It’s an incredible experience for her, that my wife really wanted, since she was a boarding school student herself. She wants to see the world one day … and an international diploma certainly helps open that door.
I was pulled into our local Co-Op in the planning stages, because they were looking for someone who knew how to put together a website and my name came up from my years with the radio station site. I like to get behind projects that need help and align with my values, so I said sure! What was I thinking!! lol Kidding aside, it’s been a bit of a crazy ride with a really passionate group. I see that same spirit here in the OFN forums, and look forward to getting to know everyone … and hopefully make some useful contributions!
Thanks for listening to me ramble. I’m going to shut up now. LOL Cheers!