I was blog surfing last Saturday when I landed at Gold Forest Grains. They sell Mornville grown grain and beef on their blog. They also sell it through the Eat Local First website. I’d heard of Eat Local First but didn’t know anything about it. So, as one is prone to do while surfing, I clicked the link.
Turns out, it’s a virtual farmer’s market. From locally grown grains to locally roasted coffee, meat, dairy, veggies and fruit, its all just a click and a week away from delivery on your front porch.
It’s a wonder really. All you have to do to get some farm fresh eggs is click on: BUY then PRODUCT LIST then EGGS then CHICKEN then ADD TO CART. After that, you fill out the usual paperwork then you wait until the next week when a cooler arrives on the doorstep. Inside you find eggs and a half dozen other items you forgot you bought.
It’s a great deal- except for the whole money bit. Though prices aren’t out of line from Planet Organic, if budget’s your primary priority for your grocery list, it’s not a cheap alternative to braving Costco on a Saturday afternoon. That said, cheap ain’t always worth it.
There’s taste to consider – like these carrots from Peas on Earth! Transports me back to sunny evenings lolling on the quack grass lawn chomping my garden carrots to the beat of bees and swaying trees.
There’s sustainability to consider- natural fertilizers and pest control leave our water tables clear and soils nutrient rich.
There’s the farmer to consider- while a local farmer may be no nicer than a farmer using illegal migrant workers in California, the local farmer’s investments- financial, relational- are in the community. Plus, if s/he’s a jerk to his temporary foreign workers, we’re more likely to know about it, right?
There’s a whole lot of ethics, morality and philosophy built into what we eat and where we buy it. And I have no claim on the right balance between money, time, health and environment. But I think we’d all be better off if we made our food choices with the aim of finding the right balance personally and collectively.
It was with anticipation that I waited for Friday’s delivery. When the cooler arrived it sat out in -25 C for a couple hours with zero damage to the goods inside. The delivery slip read:
Salami- 100g from O Sol’ Meatos
Red Norland Potatoes- 10 lbs from Maple Grove Gardens
Fresh Mixed Mushrooms- 1lb from Mo Na Food
Carrots (jumbo size)-10 lbs from Peas on Earth Organic Garden