My Herb Garden

Worthy Distractions

Things have been quiet on the personal blog front for a while. My apologies. First, there were final papers. Four due in five days. Let’s just say I lived on coffee, three hours of sleep per night and was very grateful to get two extensions. Then, there was exams. Oh, and losing my wallet. I […]

Ontario honey

{Locality} is a Lifestyle

Today’s (last-minute pulled-together) post is kind of a continuation of what I talked about last week in my “Changing {Locality}” post: the values of “Local,” or in my case, {Locality} doesn’t necessarily have to do with the area that I’m living in. Rather, it’s about a mindset that values what is around you, wherever you are.

I realize this is a growing trend in some hip, cool communities, but I think that not enough people are aware that it’s the small businesses that make our society great. Sure, the big stores and big names are easy to find and easy to shop at, but wouldn’t you rather know you’re putting food on a local business owner’s table instead of lining the pockets of some corporate bajillionaire?

No, I’m not soap-boxing, but there is a LOT to be said for small businesses. Get ON that!

This also coincides with my recent rise to official status at the Ruralist. I have yet to publish my first post, but many of the posts have been edited by yours truly, and I am behind the scenes in other ways, too. In fact, I am proud to announce my new title: “Editor and Social Media Consultant.” Sounds spiffy, doesn’t it?

The official status was made possible by an internship, thanks to the MIT (no not that MIT) internship coordinator at Western, the “fairy jobmother” herself, Susan Weekes. But reality is, we kinda just needed a reason, a way, for me to jump on board in an official capacity. And here we are.

That being said, if you still haven’t checked out the Ruralist, again, I urge you to ask yourself what you are waiting for!

These are my favourite {Locality}-related posts to date:

Inside the Arva Flour Mill

Hive fashion

Shop Local Infographic

Ontario honey

What’s your favourite {Locality} candidate?

Ruralist Intern

It’s official: I’m a Ruralist!

Ruralist Intern

If you’re not already following Ruralist.ca, what the heck are you waiting for? I kid. But seriously, it’s a fantastic website that promises to grow up to be truly great.

I like to compare it to Etsy: Ruralist.ca will be to rural Ontario what Etsy is to all things handmade.

It begins with an online magazine, where you can see a curated selection of the best of what rural Ontario has to offer. Then, coming soon, is the List (RuraList, get it?), which integrates micro sites for the featured shops and shopping capabilities! For more on the List, check out what the Ruralists have to say about it.

Erin Roy and Erin Samuell have teamed up to make Ruralist.ca a reality. Erin Roy is the numbers and business whiz and Erin Samuell the photographic and graphics genius. I am lucky enough to know both of them, and I was invited to hear their ideas and contribute my opinion since the idea of the Ruralist was born several months ago.

I have also been editing many of the magazine posts and consulting on things like social media and web design, in an unofficial behind-the-scenes capacity. But, as of last week, I am no longer behind the scenes at Ruralist.ca. I am the summer intern!

That means that I can significantly expand my involvement in this exciting project, receive school credit for it, and dive in to help Erin and Erin as they ramp up the site in preparation for the unveiling of the List. They needed a third person and I was eager for an internship, and one day, something shifted and we realized I could come aboard in an official capacity in a way that would be beneficial to everyone involved.

And voila, here we are: I’m officially a Ruralist! Head over to Ruralist.ca to read my welcome.

Here’s a bit more about the Ruralist:

Welcome to the Ruralist

shop local infographic

From Ruralist.ca: 8 Reasons to Shop Local (an Infographic)

You already know that I get excited about local and rural shops, but here is a beautiful graphic worthy of printing and hanging on your fridge or desk or wherever you might look at it, to remind you that while box stores might be convenient, the local store is where it’s at:

shop local infographicLet’s start a revolution: pass it on!

Ruralist

{Locality} The Ruralist

Ruralist

No, I’m not done writing my papers, but I love the Locality series too much to let it drop during finals season. Besides, The Ruralist doesn’t need much introduction or explanation.

The Ruralist was envisioned by my friends Erin Roy and Erin Samuell (no, not every cool person in my area is my friend, but I’m proud to say many of them are). These two with-it and savvy local businesswomen are trend-spotters and with this website, they have become trend-setters.

They realized that there was a need for a curated collection of the best items from the best little stores across rural Ontario (and maybe someday the rest of Canada?), a sort of Etsy for unique finds and experiences you can’t get in the city. This site is for those urbanites who imagine the country as one big pile of cow dung and need the gems pointed out to them by someone in the know, someone who can view those gems through the lens of the personal touch and great design.

That Perfect Piece

It’s for those “ruralistas” like myself and my friends, family, and readers who are from rural areas but refuse to associate with the image of cow-tipping, straw-chewing, “ain’t”-saying hicks. Sure, there are hicks, and we love them for the flavour they bring to our community, but we believe we have culture, too. We have style. We love quality. We are unique and proud of it.

The Ruralist website was soft-launched a week ago, as was their Facebook page, so you can be one of the lucky readers who knew about this project when…! Subscribe to the blog and “Like” the Facebook page to see the eye candy they are posting, and start to get proud of rural Ontario. If you’re not already on the bandwagon, that is.

Ruralist promise

In a few months, the Ruralist site will have a shop aspect to it so that you can click through and see all of the shops across Ontario that have been Ruralist approved, and connect directly to their websites. Meanwhile, there is a steady stream of great photography (Erin Samuell IS one of Canada’s best, after all), lovely design, and an inspiring collection of things to do, see, taste, and so much more.

Oh, and if you search the Ruralist for “Sarah”, you’ll see my face! 🙂 You might even see more of me as time goes by.

What are you waiting for? Rural Ontario is waiting.

~~~

PS: If you (or someone you know) are a rural Ontario business-person and you think you’ve got something the Ruralist editors would love, or you’re interested in purchasing a micro-site in the upcoming Ruralist shopping section, send me a message telling me about your business and what you think the Ruralist editors would love about it. If I agree with you (;)), I’ll pass your message on to Erin and Erin.