Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Staying local, supporting neighbors in an uncertain world

More than 200,000 of my neighbors are out of work, the state of Indiana says. It's a headline that's easy to shake your head at if you're not directly impacted.

But you can do something. What is you could make a difference and help ensure one person's job? Or keep dollars in your local economy? Would you do it?

Touching lives one person, one job at a time is one great benefit of supporting local agriculture and local vendors. Obviously there are taste, environmental and wellness benefits involved too. Food is shipped shorter distances and hasn't lost the nutritional value from sitting on store shelves.

In the end, helping out the little guy is a big part of supporting local food producers. It's a reason why I started going to farmers markets many years ago. I knew who was bringing me my Kansas corn - it was the guy outside of town. I met the people whose lives directly touched mine in a way we think so little about.

Truthfully, it's easy to shop locally. You've likely done it. If you've taken your child to the pumpkin patch or an orchard, you support local growers. If you go to a Christmas tree farm or a farmers market, you support local growers. I encourage you to find one opportunity to do it again, even if it's researching online and making a note of when next year's markets open.

We don't know what this economy may bring. Some say things will get worse. But what if we can make a difference, look someone in the eye and, together, make a mutual decision to have a healthier life, a healthier land and a more sustainable economy, just by shopping from the farmer around the corner.

Related posts for Indiana readers:

The name of this CSA, one of the oldest in Indianapolis, was deleted from this post on January 28, 2009. I have been falsely accused of libel by this CSA and will no longer promote them by using the name of the organization.

1 comment:

Green Bean said...

Hear, hear! I am one of those who believes there are tough times ahead. Even if it is just adapting to climate change. By buying local, we are investing in our communities - giving livelihood to those who live in our neighborhoods and whose children go to school with our children.