As you have noticed, there hasn’t been much activity here recently. One reason is that, like most of you, it’s the busy time of year with harvesting, canning, freezing, and mushroom hunting (more on that later!). Also the effects of the economic downturn have affected my workload – let’s just say there’s been a lot more time for the aforementioned harvesting, canning and foraging this fall. Also the price of gas has made trips Downriver even fewer and farther between. We’d been driving down for SCEANow campaigning and meetings weekly, but we’re now trying to limit our trips to two per month.
I still have a few local restaurants that I’d like to mention on here, but needless to say, dining out hasn’t been part of the budget recently. However, for the sakes of all our budgets, now it’s more important than ever to eat local foods and patronize our local small businesses. We’re watching every penny, but a big part of each spending decision is still where we spend our money.
I recently spent several weeks shopping for a garden hoe to replace one that broke. I found many made in China, some in Mexico, and some assembled in the US (or Mexico or China) and with quite the range in price and quality. I finally had to compromise somewhat and found a good quality hoe with somewhat unclear origins (Mexican assembly?) and purchased at an independent hardware retailer. It should be a lot simpler to buy a hoe, I tell ya!
So anyway, I’ll be shifting topics a bit to the economics of eating locally and organically. I’ll let you know where I make compromises and where I won’t and how it’s very affordable actually. Also I want to talk about maintaining and using a food pantry – not Y2K hoarding or 50 pound sacks of grain and dry milk, but useful and usable food storage. We’ll see how my first winter with the conversion of pumphouse to root cellar goes, for example. There’ll still be mentions of our local farmers and businesses since they continue to play a part in all this, of course.
I believe that our most important asset in this time of global economic chaos is a strong local community. We need to be friends with our neighbors, conduct the majority of our trade within our towns, and support American manufacturers. Things are changing quickly and we need to keep our feet under us and make sure that we all have the resources to weather this winter’s storms, both literal and figurative.