Community Supported Agriculture: Be Green to Create Some Green

Reading Kimberly Weisul’s article titled Why More Are Buying Into ‘Buy Local’  from the March 1, 2010 issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek reminded me that it’s that time of year when we send checks into our local community supported agriculture partners. My local yokel is Grateful Farm which has been in operation and organic since 1983 (way before organic was mainstream). Of the many things I look forward to in late winter, signing up for Grateful Farms greenbucks program is near the top of my feel-good list. Grateful Farm, like many CSA operations, offers slight discounts (more produce for your money) to those of us that are early to renew and, in turn they receive the start up capital required to launch a successful season.

Weisul makes a strong argument in her article that the benefits of buying local are good for the local economy. Although this may seem self evident, the benefits appear to be even greater than I originally thought based on Weisul’s story. Weisul presents several graphs by Stanford Kay that illustrate the number of jobs created and dollars generated within the local economy when buyers shift from chains to local stores and sources (like Grateful Farm). Of $100 spent, the amount that remains in the local economy is more than three times greater at a locally owned store compared to a national or global chain. Buying local may prove to be green environmentally while also generating some green economically. So keep buying local and send a check to your local farm today.

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