Wednesday, May 25, 2011
What's Good About Local?
I love our farmer's market customers. They come week after week to spend their hard earned cash, sometimes in foul weather, on our farm's bounty. They are enthusiastic and share their encouragement for the job we do. That always means so much to self employed small farmers who work hard to bring quality products to customers, friends, and families.
I hope you loyal readers, lovely customers, and local food enthusiasts take this memorandum as intended, to remind you what is so good about buying from a local farmer.
Local is the buzz word du jour in food and increasingly in retail circles. There are many attributes that are espoused and touted as the reason to "buy local". Freshness, food miles, carbon footprints, supporting local producers, ethical practices, the list goes on and on. When it comes to food, I think all of these attributes are secondary concerns that ultimately point to one central reason why you should buy food from a local farmer. It's so simple and obvious once you stop and think about it that it becomes difficult to argue anything else. It's the same thing that is the main focus of all reasons to purchase one food over another. The painfully simple focus of all food purchases, especially when choosing a local product is taste! Taste is the king attribute of any food, and should be the soul reason one would purchase a local food product over it's mass produced cousin.
A quick anecdote that sparked this rambling post: At a recent farmer's market a young customer came up with a full reusable bag of goodies and was delighted to see we were featuring our cheeses. She said she just "loved local food" and wanted to buy our cheese. When I asked if she wanted a sample she declined saying that as long as we were local she wanted it. As I've said earlier I loved her enthusiasm and always feel proud to be a local farmer, I was still hurt that it didn't matter how our food tasted. It felt as though the thing you should value most about food was second fiddle to where our farm was located. I didn't have to work at all to be located in lovely Spencer County, that was pure happen stance. However the hard work and time I put in to bring that sample of cheese to that market seemed like it wasn't important.
To that customer I say thank you, for your love of what we do, and your trust that we were making a delicious product. Next time you try a delicious piece of locally farmed produce, meat, cheese, honey, or jams enjoy it fully as that customer did. But remember this little article and think not of how close that farmer is to your house, but how darn good that product tastes!
Posted by Monkey at 2:29 PM