Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » Organic Economics


I have been considering planting a garden for a couple of years. One of my co-workers always has fresh produce that tastes de-lic-ious! Those homemade pickles would never stay on the shelf if he were to sell them.

Sometimes economic development is something like planting a garden. Call it organic econ. I could say that I shouldn’t lay the ground work of dirt, till the soil, start a compost until I already have ripe tomatoes, huge cabbage, and melons the size of basketballs.

The best starting place for a community to organize an economic development vision is to perform a SWOT so that the city or town knows what are its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are. The community must know who or what it has to offer so that it can differentiate itself from communities that do not have the similar characteristics. Something similar is done with a garden. I have to consider what resources I have at my disposal and researching affordability for what I need. I have sandy soil, .5 acres, and gophers. I need to decide when and where to plant. Drainage becomes a factor as well as whether or not my dog is going to ruin my hard work.

So many factors go into my success. Some include things out of my control like weather, family emergencies, work load, and health. If everything goes according to plan, I may have some produce to put on my family’s plate and gift it to my neighbors. But I must have the order correct in order to get there.

Often times we hear why on earth would somebody want to come to Victoria? I will argue we have plenty of things to do if you are willing to get out and plenty of things to get involved with if you want to be part of something. Victoria does lack some of the big city attractions though. We don’t have a Sea World, Schlitterbahn, or AstroWorld. We don’t have 6th Street, Bourbon Street, or Beale Street. We lack a microbrewery, Riverwalk, and international airport. These are all the ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and jalapenos of the garden. Before any of these grow, there must be fertile ground. What creates this fertile ground?

Many things contribute to the fertility of Victorian economics. There are primary drivers: education, university, health care facilities, transportation, infrastructure, and community. These types of things are like the soil. The next goal is to find the plants to grow for your region, something that will thrive and produce. In the case of economic development, primary industries are the best known drivers. After, and only after, a well prepared and planted garden will the grower find its fruit.

If you want to see Victoria grow with what you can only find in our suburbs, then supporting Victoria’s economic growth is the first step to having that freshly sliced and salted tomato on your plate at dinner time. We all have different ideas on what we want to see here in Victoria, we all want Victoria to grow and thrive, we all want the efforts to be legitimate. What I see somewhat lacking is unity. Is it possible to support the mission without supporting the means? I don’t have in mind illegal or immoral means, rather those differences that reasonable minds can differ.