When you hear the words Buy Local, have you ever thought about how you can impact your local community by buying local?
When you buy local, you're keeping the money in your own back yard so to say. The local merchant you frequent will take that same money and spend it locally by putting it back into their business or even frequenting your business. The money recirculates in your community as opposed to going to a corporation in another location. True, there are many franchise owners affiliated with national and international companies that operate locally and are good business models, but I'm talking about the local farmers, coffee shoppes, etc.. It's nice to know that many locally owned restaurants feature items on their menus that use produce grown on a farm a few miles down the road. You know where your food comes from and may even know the farmer that grew it. This would be a good example of keeping money in the local economy-local farmer grows the food, local restaurant serves it, you eat dinner at that restaurant, the restaurant turns that money around to buy more local produce, meat and dairy.
A few years ago I learned about CSAs, Community Supported Agriculture. I chose Delvin Farms when I decided to participate in a CSA. They are a local organic farm that is family owned and operated. In addition to knowing your food was picked at earliest the late afternoon before you pick up that week's offering, you learn to cook with what vegetable and fruits are coming in at the time. There are varieties of vegetables included you don't typically see at the grocery store. I go to the Farmer's Market in Franklin, TN where you can also find Hatcher Family Dairy products with the best chocolate milk/guilty pleasure on the planet. You can buy natural beef from Triple L Ranch. There are beekeepers who sell honey, goat farmers who bring goat cheese, as well as artisans who make handcrafted soaps. All of these folks are local and can share stories that endear them to you. They'll even tell you the name of the goats milked to make the goat cheese!
Before I learned about all the benefits to our local economy of buying local and before learning about the health benefits of buying organic and/or natural whenever possible, (yes, I used to call those kind of folks granola eating tree huggers) I hadn't given it much thought. Now, I can't imagine not doing my part as a consumer and a granola eating tree hugger!