Monday, June 30, 2014

Local Bounty and Local Spending

Living in the Willamette Valley and teaching at a rural school have provided me access to a number of delicious goods. Why pay Safeway $4 for a dozen eggs trucked up from California, labelled and branded "organic," when I can spend $2.50 to get eggs (some laid that morning!) from a student.

But summer is the best. A student of mine has a very small organic blueberry plot. Last year I bought $100 worth. I forget how many pounds that was, but it lasted me literally until a week ago. Today I just picked up 15 pounds more. 

Driving in the countryside this time of year is like some modern Eden. Fields of wheat, perfectly arrayed vines, hops growing tall. During summer I almost cut grocery stores out entirely. There is local everything. And it is all cheaper than the imported stuff.

I'm a huge supporter of voting with my dollars. In fact, there are few things we do in our lives that cause a bigger impact than where we spend our money. Leaving all the politics aside, my choice is to put my money into the pockets of my students and local farmers over some big agri-business. I don't want Oregon to be like Nebraska or Iowa with endless fields of corn or soy.

What we pay for, we endorse.

If I want people around here to grow a variety of crops for local consumption, there needs to be some local consumers. 

If I want to save small farmers, I'd better buy from them. 

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