I buy as much of my produce at the farmers’ market…actually at two or three farmers’ markets in my area…as I possibly can. I’m not doing it to be kind, although it is a good thing to buy from local producers. I buy local to insure that local farmers can earn something for their work, so they don’t give up farming. I need them!
For several years, I placed a monthly order with the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. It was an Oklahoma treasure–grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and eggs, cheese and yogurt from grass-fed cows, freshly made peanut butter, locally grown and ground corn meal and flour. And that is an abbreviated list. I placed my last order near the end of 2018, laying in a store of staples that last month. I miss the cooperative.
Most of the cooperative’s producers are still working, still showing up at farmers’ markets. Most of them are too far from my home for me to enroll in their CSAs. But they are out there. If you are near them, give them your business. And I will give my business to the farmers within driving distance of my home.
As the climate continues to change, and as agri-businesses corner markets, and as our president gets into trade wars and alienates neighbors who grow a lot of the produce we eat, it will be up to us to feed ourselves and our families. Am I being gloomy? I feel gloomy. But my neighbors and I plant our small gardens. I have a new asparagus bed, and the old one just produced its first stalk of the season. Potatoes and onions are raising their green heads out of the dirt.
We raise chickens and goats and pigs and turkeys. And some of us are experimenting with winter gardening. We can’t control the weather, the geo-political climate, or the price of land, but we keep trying.
Where did all this come from? Thanks, Rick Reiley, for passing on the piece from Two Sparrows Farm. I don’t know if I agree with everything the author says, but there is plenty of food for thought here. And, yes, we need that kind of food, too.