January 23, 2007
The glitz and glimmer of the holidays have finally faded and we are turning our attention to the promising year ahead. Specifically, and in our January newsletter, we are turning our attention to a topic that is somewhat surprisingly very much in the mainstream media at the moment - organics. Last month, we considered the value of supporting local, non-corporate, 'main street' businesses as an alternative to mall shopping in the face of holiday consumption and gift giving. This month, as we kick off a new year, we continue to think about the importance and value of buying local vs. corporate consumerism, but this time with regards to the meaning and importance of the term "organic" and the organic food movement. Here's to a beautiful New Year of cultivating community, fostering sustainability, and living a more "organic" life!
Winter at the LocalHarvest Catalog:
Seeds: You know how highly picking out produce from a local farm or market ranks on our list of life's great pleasures. But raising a garden....well, that's right up there too! Our catalog offers a huge selection of vegetable, herb, flower, fruit and tree seeds, produced by America's family farmers. Late January is the perfect time to start planning for spring!
CSAs: If growing your own isn't in your plans for this year, make sure you get the freshest and best tasting produce all season by signing up for a CSA. You'll get a box of the best of what's local delivered to you, every week. And by ordering your seasonal subscription through LocalHarvest, you'll get the ease of using your credit card and the good feeling of knowing your supporting both this site and one of your local farms. What could be better?
Fibers: Nothing takes the bluster out of winter like a new handicraft project! LocalHarvest is fortunate to have connections with many producers of fine fibers, the perfect thing for knitting, crocheting, or spinning these cold evenings away. Visit our selection.
Valentine's Day: Thinking ahead to Valentine's Day? That's step one, Romeo. Now all you need is a great idea -- something different, something interesting. You'll find lots of sweet treats in our Chocolate & Desserts, Honey, and Fruit departments. Or maybe your sweetie would like some seeds, or a handmade craft, or a bouquet of organic flowers. Enjoy!
New Year, New "Organic"
For many people the New Year is a rejuvenating time for taking on new challenges, committing ourselves to life-affirming resolutions or recommitting ourselves to goals that we have previously set for ourselves but may have let slide with the chaos of the holidays. Buying local and buying organic are two goals that are increasingly on many peoples lists, and with the increasing availability of organic foods, the second of these goals is becoming easier for people around the country to commit to.
With "Organic" becoming so pervasive, it is important that we look at what is happening to the meaning of the term, and to consider what the current marketing trends are doing to the "organic food" movement and what the effects of this are on small farms.
Mega chain stores such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Wegmans, Safeway, to name a few, are now selling organic food items often at lower prices than can be found in our local mom-and-pop co-ops, farmers' markets, or natural food stores. A lot of these new organic food items to hit the supermarkets are now being produced by major food processors such as Kellogg and Kraft, who are still pumping out Rice Krispies and macaroni and cheese, but now with "organic" options. (Read on...)
As always, thanks for your interest in and support of LocalHarvest.org! See you next month, and until then, take good care and eat well!