Chances are good that you are!
Whether you know it or not, choosing to do any one of the following more than once a week means you are a local foods investor!
This means you buy products directly from the person(s) that produce them. If you buy our organic eggs each week then you’re buying direct!
Buying directly from a farmer means that you get the greatest value for your dollar AND the farmer receives the greatest return.
These purchases happen at the farmers’ market, an on-farm store, through Community Supported Agriculture or a buying club. When you purchase directly from a farmer know that you’re getting the freshest products and that the majority of your dollars stay at the farm to be recirculated through wages and purchases from other local businesses. On average we retain about 48 cents of every $1 our farm produces.
Maybe you bought our eggs at Morning Glory Natural Foods or another local foods retailer.
Perhaps you did so because you saw on our carton that the eggs come from a place nearby, a town you know. Indeed this is a perfect reason to buy our eggs. Purchasing local foods from a locally owned grocer means that your dollars stay in that community up to five times longer than if you shopped at a locally managed grocery chain.
Influence and connections are social capital. A person or entity who has ‘good social capital’ can ask favors, influence decisions, and communicate efficiently. Social capital is of primary importance in politics, business, and community organizing.
— Ethan Roland, 8 Forms of Capitalism
Another means of local investing doesn’t cost anything at all! Social capital is one of the 8 forms of capital that help explain how value can be exchanged through means other than physical currency. Every one of us hold standing in our community that we can leverage to benefit local businesses
One of the most straightforward examples of this is “word of mouth.” Even in this digital age making a referral or endorsing a product to your friends can have a sizable impact.
Every week at the farmers market we have at least one new customers who heard about our farm from a friend, or co-worker – that’s amazing!
This effect can be multiplied when you share one of our social media posts or when you “tag” our farm in one of your own posts. The same is true when you provide feedback or a testimonial, you’re contributing social capital!
Social capital and the other 7 forms of capital are used in combination with holistic management. The trust we build with you is important to us and that’s why we aim to be consistent with our market presence and quality of our products.
And the return on this investment?
In a traditional sense any investment demands a return. So how do farms provide a return on your investment? GREAT FOOD!
In addition, farms employ local people, purchase supplies locally and support other small businesses. When we buy shavings for our chickens, they come from the feed store just up the road. Our favorite nest boxes (pictured at top) come from a small business that is thriving due to the support and growth of small farms just like ours!
Farmers collaborate so much! We order seeds, minerals and other supplies together. Our eggs are included in CSA shares, in on-farm stores and in value-added products around the state – all because we want to support other farms and farmers.
All these farms keep your neighborhood looking beautiful by retaining open space and habitat for wildlife and building community through weekly events such as farmers’ markets. Creating these spaces for us to connect over food may be the best return we could anticipate.