Week of June 21, 2015
Preserving local food options and farmland should not be this hard! The United States has been blessed with some amazing Natural resources like good Farmland, Forest lands, grazing lands, minerals, water and waterways. And since the day this country was founded we pushed west. Forward Ho! Surprisingly?!?!?!, we reached the Pacific Ocean and no longer can push west. So what are we going to do now to wisely use the finite natural resources we have been blessed with to provide a quality of life for generations of future citizens?
Farmers are like any other member of our communities. We have kids, grand kids, we have to go to the dentist and doctor, save for weddings and retirement. We also have to manage a large community resource called farmland. And in the last 20 years that management has included an ever increasing regulatory burden, otherwise known as additional expenses to run our farms. And the closer your farm is to the city it gets more complicated, and if you happen to farm next to a river and a city, WOW!
Given the County Council’s appetite to not use Zoning or TDR as mechanisms to shift the Development pressure away from our farms at the moment, we need a different strategy.
I think fair pricing, not price gouging is a part of the solution, but supply and demand drive prices. Having more farms selling to more local folks will keep food prices affordable and have the biggest impact on saving farmland today.
To accomplish this, each of us will have to be intentional. I believe small-to-medium farmers are the key to feeding our local communities. Literally, bringing a box of good to more people is the solution. I have intentionally positioned Klesick farms to play a larger part in feeding our local communities. We have moved to a new packing facility, we have expanded our delivery days and are working with more local growers to get more local food to our customers.
The solution is to have more of you! Yes more of you: customers who are intentional about supporting local farms. It is that simple: the more local customers, the more local farms. So preserving local food options looks like eating locally from local farms! We need more intentional eaters!
Look for information on Facebook and in your inboxes this week as we roll out a new summer campaign to preserve local food options and farmland.
Together we can make a difference!