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Food for Thought..

Saturday was the monthly winter farmers market in Deerfield Township. It was nice to get out and catch up with our fellow farmer friends and our regular customers.

It was very exciting to hear that the Deerfield Township government has decided to construct a pavilion to house the market as part of their development plan.

It made me proud that a local government would recognize that what we do is worth investment into the local community. It seems that whether it is our government, our politics, our news or our purchasing, things have become national or even global at the expense of the local priorities that make our communities great places to be.

Just this week here on the farm we were discussing how local business supports local business. A significant number of our suppliers are local family run businesses and thanks to the internet, we are also able to purchase from small businesses all over the country when services are not available here locally.

We counted 11 major suppliers for us that are locally based businesses. Our beef, pig and poultry processors are USDA certified modern operations but are family owned. We have a relationship with them that benefits the products we sell to you each week.

Just last week, we unloaded two skids of potting soil alongside that company’s owner. He told us about the challenges of making the mix during the extreme cold and how we needed to work with it to achieve the best results. When you choose to buy local you are receiving benefits from folks all along the chain of production.

Whenever I sit and talk with young folks, I always come away with some new things to think about. This week, while talking about folks who just seem to complain about stuff but don’t do anything, I heard the term “Slacktavist”. It made me chuckle at first to hear the term, but I understand the frustration behind it. There is a lot of passion for many different issues in our world and I suppose our social media provides a platform for a lot of “Slacktavism” to influence our days.

I am a firm believer in local, not just buying local but supporting local and participating in local. Our communities, our neighborhoods, and our families all benefits when we participate on this level. I read this week how our seed supplier was starting a project to make sure that folks without the resources would be able to get seeds for their gardens to help them grow their own food. One of the local farms in the area is sponsoring young farmers to come gain experience, in preparation for starting their own operations one day. No slacktavism there, just real people seeing a real problem and doing their best to make a change.

We can discuss quality, carbon footprint, and the many other benefits of purchasing local products from small businesses in your community, but I think the biggest impact centers around your participation and how that participation can benefit our “local” world, just food for thought….every pun intended.

-Robert

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