What's LOCAL?

We pride ourselves on being a local business. But, if you ask us - that word "local" is getting abused these days. Why - it's "hot". Buying local has become a marketing term, with very loose constraints.

So, what is LOCAL? 

LOCAL to us is 35 miles - all of our farmers market vendors come from a 35 mile radius of the market. We're proud of that!

Supermarkets have been getting into the "local" scene. Many have been touting "local produce", displaying rustic wooden signs outside of their doors to lure you to "their local". But what exactly is "local" to big business supermarkets and mega-markets?  Being "local" to these merchants could be as far away as 150 miles, and even further! One grocery chain considers "local" 750 miles away! Hmmmm - not "local" by our standards.

So why is LOCAL so important to us? There are many reasons:

  1. Farmers markets give local farms and food artisans an outlet to sell their produce, meats, cheese, and other food items directly to the public. This direct sale opportunity allows the producer to sell their product at retail pricing, as opposed to deeply reduced wholesale prices.
  2. Buying locally produced foods stimulates the local economy, creating jobs in our community.
  3. Locally grown produce - well, it just better for you! Our farmers pick produce for our markets within 24 hours of the market. That means you are getting the freshest produce - high in nutrient value. Produce that travels from state to state, or across the globe, loses nutrient value every day it sits in transport.
  4. You know where your food comes from. You get the opportunity to meet your farmer or food producer. You get to ask questions: how the animal was raised, how the produce was grown, how the food was prepared. You just can't get this at the supermarket. 
  5. Sustainability - our farmers are focused on sustainability, reducing their impact to the environment. They practice pasture based livestock husbandry, crop diversity, water conservation and other measures to protect our ecosystem.
  6. Crops and other food products have a very short commute from the farm to you, further reducing the carbon footprint of locally produced foods.
  7. Supporting local farmers markets helps to build a healthy local food system. Large scale conventional farming, while productive, creates a fragile food system. Interruption to large scale farming (drought or disease) can have a dramatic impact to the country's food availability. 
  8. A community farmers market is great for the market participants, but it also has a ripple effect for merchants in small towns and cities. Folks shop at their farmers market, and, in turn, also shop with other local merchants in the community. 

Next time you see the word "local" think twice. 

Lisa ONeill