Tag Archives: local

Local foods, local economy, local community

Local food is more than healthier, it’s even more than tasty. It’s also local economy and local community.

In the U.K., small local shops are being replaced by big-box supermarkets. A widespread argument for this conversion is that consumers get more choice. Peter Wilby wrote in the Guardian 3 May 2011 about why that’s not good enough:

Even the “good for consumers” defence of the big stores requires scrutiny. Supermarkets may offer mangoes and kiwi fruit as a blessed relief to generations who recall the surly greengrocer grunting “no demand for it” when asked for anything out of the ordinary. But the option to buy locally grown produce is increasingly closed off; many varieties of English fruit disappeared long ago. Supermarkets stock food not for its taste, but for its longevity and appearance. Conventional economists count numbers, assuming that a huge increase in toilet roll colours represents an unqualified gain to the consumer. They neglect more subtle dimensions of choice.

The central issue, however, is whether “what the consumer wants” should close down the argument. What people want as consumers may not be what they want as householders, community members, producers, employees or entrepreneurs. The loss of small shops drains a locality’s economic and social capital. Money spent in independent retail outlets tends to stay in the community, providing work for local lawyers and accountants, plumbers and decorators, window cleaners and builders.

He then cites U.S. research that shows local stores promote the local economy. Are we just consumers? Maybe we do other things than just buy stuff? Especially, do we do other things together? Continue reading

Local businesses help the local economy

Here’s a long list of studies that show that:
Independent businesses have been found to generate between 60% and 300% more local economic activity that chain retail stores do.
Somebody remind me why VLCIA’s main efforts are on bringing in big chains?

Or why people are so fascinated with Olive Garden, for that matter?

Well, I suppose if you want lower wages, big box retailers are good for that.

Hm, so the ultimate big box would be a private prison: a literally captive audience paid for by captive tax dollars and hirable at the lowest possible wages.


Valdosta Downtown Farm Days —Mara Register

Mara Register came to the Lowndes County Commission regular meeting to talk about Downtown Valdosta Farm Days, following up from the Farm Days organizational meeting Monday.

I think her main points were:

  1. Provide additional information about healthy eating with food from local farmers, thus helping solve the epidemic of childhood obesity in Georgia.
  2. Economic development opportunity for small farmers.
  3. Promote downtown district.
When? The Saturday after First Friday and the Saturday after Art After Dark.

Where? The parking spaces around the historic courthouse.

No livestock. Local produce. Here’s video of the first part of what she said.

Regular Meeting, Lowndes County Commission, Lowndes County, Georgia, 12 April 2011
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

Logistics, such as no cooking, because Continue reading

When the biomass plant is cancelled —John S. Quarterman

What will happen to the spirit of activism when the biomass plant is cancelled?

I applaud the activism of the many and varied biomass opponents! Let me repeat my prediction: the biomass plant will never be built. That’s no reason to stop doing what you’re doing. You know opposition is having an effect when VLCIA repeatedly denies it.

You might be surprised how many other people think this plant will never be built. Ashley Paulk told me Continue reading

Just say no to biomass –VDT to VLCIA

VDT reported on Biomass plant misses deadlines, but what do they really think? The title is my paraphrase of Sunday’s editorial title, It’s all up to the Industrial Authority:
In two months, less than 60 days away, Wiregrass Power LLC is supposed to break ground on the biomass facility in Lowndes County. By now, they are supposed to have contracts with power companies to sell the electricity to and with suppliers to purchase the wood waste. They have neither, nor does the company have an agreement with the city of Valdosta to purchase the wastewater from the sewage treatment plant.
Well, the City of Valdosta could refuse to sell the wastewater. And maybe the Lowndes County Commission could exercise its fiduciary responsibility. But, sure, the Industrial Authority could just say no.
And yet the folks at the Industrial Authority appear to be rather nonchalant about the fact that this company has yet again broken its agreement. They have the power to renogiate the terms of the agreement and they also have the power to cancel it, but neither is happening. Instead, they are giving the company all the leeway they need to continue dragging this project along that the community doesn’t want.
Folks? Like Col. Ricketts? But remember, he and Lame-Duck Lofton are only Continue reading

Organic food market booming

What continued to grow right through the recession? Local and organic foods, especially sold through farmers’ markets and traditional supermarkets.

Carol Hazard wrote in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 21, 2011, Organic, natural food catching on:

U.S. sales of organic foods and beverages grew from $1 billion in 1990 to $24.8 billion in 2009, according to the Organic Trade Association.

The sector saw double-digit growth — often more than 20 percent — every year over the past decade except 2009, at the tail-end of the recession. Even then, organic sales rose 5.9 percent from the previous year while total food sales increased only 1.6 percent.

The article didn’t link to the study, but here it is: Industry Statistics and Projected Growth.

Further from the Times-Dispatch article:

National grocers are pumping up their organic and natural food selections. Even Wal-Mart and its Sam’s Club warehouse division are paying attention.
Continue reading

Valdosta Locally Grown

Local food for local jobs! According to their facebook page,
Valdosta Locally Grown is an online farmers market being formed to bring consumers together with small farms, gardeners, and food producers located around Valdosta , Georgia, all carrying the common thread of dedication to community, environment, health and education. We hope to be operating by the early spring harvest season.
They are working on a website. Their primary instigator is Tom Kuettner, whom you can see here at the Hahira Farmers Market: Continue reading