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Global versus Local

October 14, 2012

I remember as a young girl standing with my dad by a railroad siding in my town in New Jersey, jiggling around like kids will do to keep warm. It was winter and probably below freezing, but we waited outside for a magical event: fresh oranges from Florida. Fresh was worth it.

Commercial canning of food rose during the Civil War and made life a lot easier. No longer was it necessary for every household to spend hours processing fresh vegetables to store for times of the year when fresh was no longer available.  Frozen products gained in popularity rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s to the point now that most grocery stores have several aisles of frozen foods offered.

The railroads in the improved the distribution of foods from where it could be grown to where consumers would pay for the privilege of eating it.

Progress.

Being able to walk into a grocery store here in West Virginia and buy produce from California is normal.Buying produce from South America is normal. Buying produce from China is normal.

Progress?

Not that long ago we could walk into our grocery store in our town and buy produce from the farm just 10 miles away. It is rare to do that now, especially at chain supermarkets who have established acquisition and distribution chains.

Hmmmm, maybe not progress.

When the business of providing food looks for the least expensive option to offer consumers as the prime decision making, something is lost. If the food is high quality then perhaps what is diminished is the farmer’s paycheck.  However, in many cases, the quality of the food is diminished by the early/unripe picking to handle the longer distribution time to travel the hundreds or thousands of miles to arrive in the supermarket. What is lost is the diminished nutrition on your plate, the loss of flavor on your tongue.

The Wild Ramp Market is one of many that are springing up all over the United States as people are once again demanding value for their shopping dollar.  At The Wild Ramp Market local farmers provide fresh produce in season. High tunnel and low tunnel growing begin to blur the growing seasons and we may be enjoying typical spring and summer vegetables and fruits in the winter soon.

Local. Fresh. Ripe. Flavorful. And the farmers paid a decent price for their work.

And it is hard work. 24/7/365 for the most part. They do it because they believe in knowing the food they eat is healthy and nutritious. They share that with us. Lucky us.

Come to The Wild Ramp at least weekly as new food items come in all the time. Yes, you can not buy your laundry detergent here so you will need to make another stop for household supplies and toiletries. With planning, that trip can be once a month with the Wild Ramp becoming the place to go for weekly groceries.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2012 1:20 pm

    I think it will return to local in the near future. With cost of fuel alone, shipping is becoming too expensive. Even Wal Mart is now buying as much as it can near each distribution center. Local grocery stores will soon be vying for the locally grown and cheaper produce. Take heart Wild Ramp, we see it already happening down here in Florida! In the end, local will win out.

    • October 15, 2012 11:54 am

      The comments I receive about The Wild Ramp Market shows that there is growing interest in year round markets. So many farmers’ markets are seasonal, which make sense but as our area producers are discovering, there are things they can do to have income during the “off-season” and the consumers are literally hungry for more. The demand exists and the supply side will respond I believe. This model works!

      • campfireshadows permalink
        October 15, 2012 2:19 pm

        Great!

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