February 24, 2011

Growing Local group holds conference

Growing Local group holds conference

By ALLAN TINKER
The developing and redeveloping farmers market groups have seen a tremendous amount of interest in both North Dakota and in other states. The concept is firmly rooted in the local structures, as many are familiar with home gardens, sharing produce, and the small markets that developed when others no longer grew their own gardens but desired fresh produce.
The benefits are listed as many for communities: they plug economic leaks and promote a re-circulation of local dollars. Those who produce and sell locally, generally spend their money locally.
Those who bring in produce and sell it locally, most of those dollars end up far from local economies, often several hundred or thousand miles away, according to one conference speaker.
The idea of how many hands touch foods was illustrated by the concept of a bagel being handed about the “normal” amount of times: 33. After the bagel got to the end of its handed about route, the question was “Now, who wants to take a bite?” No takers.
Local markets showcase the sights, smells, and sounds of a community. These often draw in tourists or outside communities and bring in new dollars to add to the local markets.
Consumers who patronize local farmers markets tend to also shop at other available businesses in that locale. It is the wise business who takes advantage of these “farmers markets” with supporting products of their own, such as canning supplies or a cooking utensil that is suited for what is sold.
 


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