Monday, April 28, 2008

Creating Your Community

I am a great optimist. To grow food, you just have to be. Even though I can remember the disappointments - read failures - of last year, I have blind faith that every seed put in the ground this Spring will grow into perfect, beautiful vegetables; that every cow breed early this year will give birth to stunning prize winning heifers in the Fall.

I want to move from just eating locally to living life and doing business locally with a vision to what I want my community to look like. Whole Foods has some great products, but it is a large company, centered in Texas. The idea is every dollar spent is a vote for the businesses you believe in.

This brings me to my friend Stephen. He owns the Vashon Wine Shop a few blocks from my farm. You drive by his store when you come to dinner. All the wine for Sunday dinners comes from his shop. He provides a great service to Cookhouse and I want my community to have small businesses owned by real people working in their stores.

The odd thing is, great people, people that believe in local food, drive to Costco to buy wine. Drive to HomeDepot to buy hardware. All to save a few dollars. Every time the dollar-vote goes to the Big Boxes, the small local store gets a little bit less viable. I was at HomeDepot just this week, but I need to stop.

So, from my soap box here, I recommend stopping by Stephen's Vashon Wine Shop if you are on the Island. He has great wines, not as many as Costco, but certainly what you are looking for. If you live are in Seattle, stop by the small stores near you. Again, I am a great optimist who can see great communities not just maintained but communities that can thrive.

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