The legend of local

As a farmer and rancher, I find the local movement to be a very interesting one. Perhaps it’s my location, or perhaps it’s the fact that I’m raising four kids…or maybe it’s just that my life, at this moment, doesn’t let me focus on being particular about where my food comes from – just that it’s there, and on time. (Or maybe that’s a demand my boys make.)

Does that mean I don’t care about quality? Or sustainability? Or affordability? Or any of those other -ity magical words that are thrown around today? Not in the least. It just means that I’m confident in the food that our country produces, and the food that is on the shelves in my grocery stores. It means that if I don’t have time to run to four different farmer’s markets to try to pick up whatever it is I feel like putting on my table, then I know I can get it somewhere else.

laughter, children

These four. They make my life. And they don’t really care where their food comes from – as long as it’s on the table.

Doesn’t make my meal better or worse – it just makes it different.

Maybe it’s time we stop criticizing those that shop out of convenience and ease. Maybe it’s time we quit worrying about what’s on our neighbor’s table and start being grateful for what we put on our own.

I’m a mom. I’m a farmer. I have tight schedules and limited time. Sometimes the best I can do is one trip to the grocery store, which means I grab whatever is available. Sometimes the tomatoes I’m growing die, which means I won’t be canning salsa. Sometimes my freezer runs out of the beef that we’ve raised, which means I stop at the meat counter and buy what’s on sale. And sometimes I find what I’m looking for at a farmer’s market, and I’m grateful to support someone raising food…just like me.

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I’m not going to win any “green thumb” awards this year.

I’ll buy my food from sources I know when I can…and I’ll go to the grocery store and buy food for my family without a second thought as well.

Sometimes we need to remember that food is food. It’s a privilege that many of us take for granted. And buying food from one place or another does not make you better than anyone else – it just makes you less hungry.

And that’s something that too many of us take for granted.


18 thoughts on “The legend of local

  1. That was pointless. U r doing your part. I own a farmers market and a community festival with a farmers market in it plus I’m a vendor at two 100+ vendor market. My goal is to make my home region more self sufficient. It’s working. It is important to stress to.people that local is better. There are too many reason to list, and u know it.
    Ridiculous article

    • Thank you, Daniel. Can anyone imagine how awesome our food system in this country could be, if farmers markets flourished to a point where all Americans were able to source most of their food from there instead of Kroger or WalMart? How amazing it would be for our economy for all those billions of dollars to go to our friends and neighbors, and directly support our communities. Maybe it’s a bit of a hippie-dippie ideal, but I think many parts of this country are on the right track. The more people who are encouraged to garden and can and freeze their own produce, and the more options people have for farmer’s markets and similar venues to buy and sell food to each other, the better off we’ll all be in the long run .

    • Pointless? Hmmm…perhaps. I think it’s more important to stress to people that feeding their families is important. The “where it comes from” is up to them. We need less judgment. Throughout ALL of agriculture. Local or not.

  2. Actually, what’s on my table is way better than yours. Shop local, eat organic, grass fed and pastured. There’s a guaranteed difference.
    This post is bogus, along with the big beef company that shoots their are cows full of hormones and steroids.

    • Actually, when it comes to measure of hunger…I’m not sure there is a difference. I agree that shopping local when you can is a good thing. But there seem to be a lot of people having problems with not judging those that can’t. Why is that?

      • Why worry what others think. Do what is best for your family and let them worry about theirs. No one knows what’s for your family but you.

  3. Lots to be grateful for. I will one day live off the grid and I am sure with my best efforts I will too, find myself in the grocery store buying things I may not have been able to store on my own!
    Supporting others is also a good way to go!

    • The best is to be grateful. Period. I love my garden. And I am sad this year that the weather didn’t cooperate. But I’m grateful I have a store nearby that can supply what we need. We don’t have a local farmers market. But I do buy from those that have produce available.

  4. While I agree with everything that you stated, the tone of this article came off like a propaganda piece out of the old Soviet Union. I too seldom have time to hit the farmer’s markets and do most of the shopping for my family’s food needs in major retail grocery stores. I just fail to see the need for anyone to write an article justifying the choices that the majority of Americans make each and every day. My parents have canned more home grown items in the last twenty years than anyone I have ever met or heard of, but they still shop the retail grocery stores every week for many things they want to eat in a daily basis. Why write an article saying how wonderful retail grocery stores are? Do your friends and relatives look down their noses as you for buying salsa at Kroger or Wal-Mart instead of making salsa from your garden? Perhaps the Retail Grocers Association of America paid you for a propaganda puff piece to sway people (who have so much time on their hands that they only shop farmers markets?) back to shopping retail grocery chains. This is a real head scratcher.

    • I have four boys that expect to eat several times a day. Lol. I’d love for a grocery store to pay me for what I write! But to correct you, this isn’t an article. It’s a blog. Which makes it just my thoughts, ponderings and opinion. Which is what this is. I’m not saying retail stores are anything…just grateful I have the option close by.

  5. People have to shop where it’s most convenient and at a time that is best for them farmers markets are only open certain days and hours and people can’t always get to farmers markets when they need something.I grow vegetables but I also have to buy a lot of things at the stores.It’s just the way it is or we would have to do without.Thank You to the transportation industry for delivering all the goods we need that most people dont even think about nowdays.Also without farmers we would have very little.I am grateful for everything we have and everything that’s available to us.You are right that kids don’t care where their food comes from they are just hungry and need to eat.We do our best to feed our families well and should but we all depend on what’s available to us.Thank You farmers and the transportation industry and all the people who make it happen for us.

  6. I shop farmer’s markets and local as much as I can. But I also acknowledge that I can do this because I am an empty-nester with the time and the money to do so. I could never done it when I raised a family. To this day when I am feeding a large group it is off to the grocery store I go searching for meat on sale.

  7. Pingback: 5 Food Myths to Stop Believing Right Now – Buzzard's Beat

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