Drewloid's Blog

Archive for July 2013

I was at the farmerʻs market this afternoon and my friend asked me a question. “Why is the farmerʻs market important?” (http://duvallfarmersmarket.org) This is a question of such depth that it cannot be answered in a short blog post, so I will only be skimming the surface. As we say in Hawaii, “When you look into the pond, you have no idea how deep the pond goes.” Because the farmerʻs market is an opportunity to express your identity, your values, and your integrity, it is a very deep pond.

The farmerʻs market is important because this is the place where each of us has an opportunity to take action to express our values about family and community. This is where the rubber meets the road and you give your values traction to make a real difference in the world. You get to do this in a forum that is a community event where you can bring your children and teach them the values you want them to learn and demonstrate your integrity about what you say is important.  And you get to do this in front of your kids, family, neighbors, community, and everyone.

Perhaps you are one of those people who has a spiritual practice of asking for a blessing for the food you eat when you sit down to eat it. I do this, because I ask that the food I eat nourish my body in a healthy way and contribute to my heath, energy, and ability to accomplish everything I want to achieve in my life. You donʻt achieve success by putting junk into your body.  The farmerʻs market is the place where you can buy food from the person who grew it and cares enough about what they are doing that they are willing to stand right there in front of you backing their product. You barely need to ask for a blessing for this food, the person who grew it is right there and you can find out anything you want to know about how they grew and how they think about it. The farmerʻs market is a blessing unto itself.

Everyone needs to have an income to support themselves and their families in the world. We do this by doing things that serve others in a way that we get paid money for our service. Nothing can take the place of people in serving other people. Do you deserve to get paid for the work you do? How about the people who make the effort to offer you a high quality and unique product and bring it directly into your community to purchase? Do you want to send out the message that you support the people in your community who serve you face to face, or do you prefer to keep your dealings anonymous and go through an unknown chain of intermediaries who donʻt add any actual value? How do you want to express your values about work and service to others? At the farmerʻs market you can show the world how you think about the value of work and service through direct action.

The farmerʻs market not only is the opportunity for direct action, you also get to have some pretty special benefits from participating. Tonight I get to have some fresh burgers from the Squaw Creek Cattle Company (http://squawcreekcattleco.yolasite.com). This farm produces a unique beef product. While their cattle are pasture-raised and grass-fed, these folks go above and beyond. I will digress by pointing out that grass-fed beef tastes much better than corn-fed, and is also much healthier food. This beef is already superior to most. And beyond that, Squaw Creek Cattle Company cows get an extra special treat. They do get some extra feed, the spent mash from the Boundary Bay Brewery. So not only do I get a superior product, I get to support two local businesses from my area. My money is doing extra duty working for my community.

Spending your money in your community is so important. Do you want a nice place to live? Do you want to feel safe, have good schools, have good emergency services? The way you get these things is from having a strong community. Family and community is the foundation of civilization. Do you want to make yours strong? The more you can spend your money in a way that it stays close to home, the stronger you make your community. There is a small farming community in South Dakota which had a common problem to small farming communities, which is that the community was dying because there were no jobs to enable children to stay close to home even if they wanted to.  I donʻt have the reference handy so Iʻm asking you to trust me on what happened. The high school students took on a project to discover a way to increase employment opportunities in the community.  Their suggestion was that if the people of the county would increase their spending in the county by 16% rather than driving to the next county with a larger town, there would be enough jobs for the entire population. The people of the county took this to heart and actually doubled the increase in local spending, and their community became a place where people starting moving to because there were more jobs than people.  Spending your money in your community is the single most powerful thing you can do to strengthen your community and improve your own quality of life.

The whole concept of spending money within your community is something you can do in more contexts than you might think and I encourage you to actively look for opportunities to do this. One of my hobbies is motorcycle road racing and Iʻm a member of a club in my state. Race weekends are special weekends and they happen only on the days we have scheduled. At the race weekends we have vendors who come to the track to support the racers. The club is a family and the track is a community and the more we think this way the stronger our club becomes. The vendors who show up to support me are part of the family and community. If I donʻt support them, then they wonʻt be able to come to the track to support me. Which means if I need tires or some part or whatever on a race weekend, and they are not there, then I donʻt race. Racing doesnʻt have a makeup day. So if I canʻt race on race day, then all my time and money that I spend preparing for racing goes to waste. If I donʻt support the people who come to support me in my racing community, I put my entire investment in that community at risk. Supporting your local farmerʻs market strengthens your investment in your community.

The farmerʻs market is also important because it enables you to be a total badass. Yes, I said “total badass”. Recently I came across a blog post from a fellow named Chris McCombs on “37 Ways To Be A Total Badass”. (http://chrismccombs.net/37-ways-to-be-a-badass/) Now who doesnʻt want to be a total badass? #36 is “Eat Good Healthy Stuff”. So right there, very simply, going to the farmerʻs market supports your ability to be a total badass. And donʻt stop there. How many ways can the farmerʻs market put you on the path to being a total badass? Count them yourself. I count at least 14 of them. Maybe the best reason the farmerʻs market is important is that it is one of the very easiest ways to be a total badass, a person who takes a stand with integrity for what they value.

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  • Roberta Koral: Hey Drew..Andrew ar Andy, whichever you prefer. I just found your blog. Roberta here.
  • globularity: Sharp analysis. -Davoid
  • Stephanie: What a marvelous article, thanks for writing it "friend."