I was chatting with a local farmer about the challenges of cultivating farmland on a remote island; where equipment, raw materials and labor can be scarce and expensive. Not to mention it can be hard to come by nutrient rich soil. His response was simple:
“You know the story of stone soup? A man puts a stone in a pot of water. His friend walks by and puts in a pepper. Another guy puts in an onion….That’s how we’re building our farm.”
The simplicity of this folktale analogy brought a smile to my face. Alone you have nothing. You have a stone. You have a pot. You have a pepper. But together you are capable of creating a feast, for all to benefit.
Though it hasn’t always been this way on Haida Gwaii. Economic development, especially resource development, has a complex, emotional history. The communities across the islands are starting to move away from the habits of history to an us, ours, together mentality. Similar to that of the farmer’s.
You could say, they’re ready to make a soup that works better for more people. What that soup will taste like, well that’s still unknown.