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What Is Your Food Worth?

October 7, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I’ve asked questions, listened to conversations near and far, looked on food pages particularly comment sections. I hear people want more control over their food. I hear they want to know it’s organic, that there’s not secretly pesticides or herbicides sprayed on it. I hear costs are a factor. I hear organic is just so expensive. I hear “if I only had a place to garden” and how lucky I am that there’s room to do so. I hear people want to learn and want to share with their kids how food is grown.

So I crunched some numbers, tinkered with options. Made it as easy as possible, with control in the customer’s hands and at the same time available if needed.  And it’s unbelievably frustrating then to come up with a model different from others and the first person I sent it to independently seemed to think it a bad thing.

There’s already a community garden in Jasper, I was informed. Why yes there is. It’s 4×8 and includes limited water. Great deal for someone who is on a budget and wants minimum, from a non-profit organization connected with governmental ties, as some might view. (From a “prepper” that’s surprising.) Ours is 5×10, has a portable greenhouse top for extended season growing, includes a reasonable amount of organic, hybrid or heirloom seeds and/or starts, adds on herbs, eggs and more. With consideration of value of organics, fertilizers and compost, tools, etc all included…and a chance to help others out with each raised bed done.

We should provide all that and more (including time) for $20 in order to compete? No thanks!  If food is reduced to the bottom dollar, only, then perhaps all farmers should quit. How radical is that? Bottom dollar – here’s some seeds, have fun! Can’t get cheaper than that!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust need somewhere to put them, and the risk that they grow or don’t, produce or don’t, dodging storms or not, equipment, tools, greenhouse, help when you go on vacation and can’t water. Other parts of the country are riding a boom – $10+ for beef, selling out of everything a farm produces, quality premiums for buying direct.

Many folks are on a budget. Many say “if you were only HERE”. The thing is I could pick up and move there and it wouldn’t be any different…that’s how I got *here*. “You need to move south!” “Friends” often aren’t. People lie, deliberately or not, well intentioned or not.

But the common fact is everyone still eats. There are choices from grocery store to farmer’s market to boutique grocer and those selling to all of them face the same expenses, risks, costs as we do. The dollar amount can vary. Many have not, still, realized how precious food choices are. Truly. When folks want it now it’s not going to happen.

I’ve seen the prices at farmer’s markets in many locations. I know that things here are competitive. Now to find people who believe it’s of value to feed their family – and mine. What’s your food worth? What are food choices worth?

Value them. Embrace them. Defend them. They’re priceless.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2014 5:44 AM

    Good stuff to think about. Thank you.

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