year. Well, it wasn’t exactly a decision
that I wanted to make, it was more or less made for me when I had a stupid
muscle spasm. I realized that a lot of
people are unable to have a garden for one reason or another, and so I decided
that this year, in keeping with my theme of getting back to basics I
would search out the wonderful local offerings that are provided in my area.
no idea where to begin. How do you find
food grown where you live? Can’t I just
go to the grocery store and call it good?
Well, yes and no.
of products that are sourced in Maine. I
wanted to go deeper though. I wanted to
know who my farmers were. I wanted to
see their farms; I wanted to be able to ask them questions.
CSA’s (community supported agriculture), and everything in between.
relationships with your community, as well as with the farmers that provide the
food. It doesn’t hurt that it is a
positive economic experience for your community.
with the nature of the economy today.
For every dollar that you spend at a local business (farmer or otherwise),
68% stays in the community, whereas at a non-local store only 43% stays in the
on local? What about organic?
The thing about organic is, it is still a large scale operation and
certified by the USDA. Do I think
organic is wrong? Absolutely not! But, I do think that most people don’t really
understand all the information that comes attached to that “certified organic”
incredibly expensive for a small farm to get an organic certification. The red tape that is involved is lengthy, and
it is usually cost prohibitive for small farms to even bother trying. I know that a lot of the farms that we buy
from are not certified organic, but they use methods that are organic. They rotate where they plant different
vegetables, they use compost from their own farm to add nutrients back into the
ground, they don’t spray pesticides, but they are still not “certified
farmer, find out if what their farm is doing matches up with my concerns, and I
am even able to visit the farm if I want.
I’m not saying to not buy organic, but you need to know what you are
buying. A lot of people associate
organic with no chemicals, but that isn’t the case, there is an approved list
of chemicals that organic farmers can use on their plants. Also, there is an entire list of non-organic
substances that can be included in the organic label. It is all about educating yourself!
food, let us get back to local!
available in your area, the next best thing to do would be to try and start
some sort of bulk buying club with some other families or people in your
area. You can often find great options
for local food, but maybe there isn’t a way to get the local food to the
people. Of course, this takes a lot of
leg work, and can be incredibly time consuming, but if you are passionate about
local food, and are unable to start with your own back yard, a bulk buying club
is a great idea.
year, and I think it is wonderful for the communities that are lucky enough to
have one. I believe that good food helps
to build a community, and it can be the backbone of yours as well.
farms? Are you a member of a CSA or do
you attend a farmers’ market regularly?