Small Business Saturday Ideas: 10 Reasons to Support Your Local Farmer!

If you are looking for Small Business Saturday ideas, have you considered supporting your local farmer? Black Friday is fast approaching and everyone is making plans.  Big box stores are stocking up on your favorite high tech gadgets and all the hot, new toys.  Flyers, advertisements, and coupons have been sent out and employees have been given extra hours to handle the holiday rush.  This coming Saturday, November 24th, is Small Business Saturday.  Small business owners don’t have flashy ads, tons of merchandise in the stockroom, or gigantic sales. They also don’t have huge crowds, insanely long lines, or rude employees!  Those are all reasons enough to get me to shop at a small business this Saturday!

Small Business Saturday Ideas: 10 Reasons to Support Your Local Farmer!

Need Small Business Saturday Ideas? Support a Farmer!

Over the years, I have discovered a number of small businesses in my area that I enjoy shopping at. If this is an idea that appeals to you and you need Small Business Saturday ideas, consider finding a farmer!   My all-time favorites to support with my dollar are the farmers and crafters who try so hard to eek out a living with products that they make or grow from scratch.  Over the summer, I enjoy hitting the farmer’s markets to buy homemade jams, bread, soaps, etc.  Sometimes I find a small business that I continue to support even after the tents of the farmer’s markets close up for the season.  For the last several years I have been buying my beef, pork, and eggs from Stokes Family Farm which is about 30 minutes from my house here in metro Atlanta.  Anthony Stokes runs one of the last working farms here in Gwinnett County.  The area right outside of Atlanta is not particularly farming friendly and he has lost quite a bit of land to development over the past year. However, Stoke’s Family Farm still raises pigs for some of the best pork sausage I have tasted!  And the biggest perk to supporting a local farmer is that I know exactly how the animals are treated, what they eat, and how they are cared for.  There is something to be said for knowing where your food comes from!

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10 Reason to Support a Farmer

Here are a few reasons you might want to consider purchasing your next meal from a local source:

  • The food you eat comes from close by and doesn’t require lots of energy and gasoline to ship the food half-way around the world.
  •  Small farmers usually use fewer chemicals on their crops.  Many small farms cannot afford to pay for organic certification but you would be surprised at how many of them use natural methods of farming!
  • Prices can be cheaper than grocery store prices.  As soon as they stick the ‘grass fed’ sticker on a package of grocery store beef, the price skyrockets!
  • By shopping at a local farm, you support real human beings and your local economy, not agribusinesses.
  • Shopping with a local farmer means that the produce you buy is actually in season. It forces you to get creative with your cooking. If cauliflower and turnips are in your share this week, you better find some great new recipes instead of sticking to your favorite (but NON-seasonal) vegetable dishes.
  • Most massive food poisoning incidents occur in large, industrialized situations, NOT small family farms.
  • The food you buy is fresher since it was probably just picked yesterday (or was just roaming the pastures last week).
  •  It helps preserve genetic diversity.  Most large agribusinesses use the same few genetic strains of plants and animals.  May small farmers grow heirloom vegetables (the ‘old’ strains from decades ago) and often raise heritage strains of animals.
  •  Small farmers are usually MUCH better stewards of our natural resources than large conglomerates.  They have a vested interest in the purity of the water and the health of the soil on their farm.  In general, small business owners are usually MUCH greener than large corporations.

Small Business Saturday Ideas: 10 Reasons to Support Your Local Farmer!

Every Dollar Makes a Difference!

By supporting your local farmer, you ensure that they will continue to thrive.  Personally, the idea of humanity being totally reliant on huge corporations for our food production scares the daylights out of me.  I hope that by supporting small farmers, we ensure that our local food supply remains healthy, even in the event of a natural disaster or large-scale catastrophe.  Including farmers on your list of Small Business Saturday ideas is good for you AND the planet!

Do I buy everything from small businesses?  No, of course not.  I’m not sure I could survive without the occasional trip to Target or my high tech toys from my favorite electronics retailers.  However, I am mindful of my shopping and try to give a portion of my income to small, local business.  If you have the opportunity to support a local farmer, I encourage you to do so!  You can check out Local Harvest for a location near you.  Remember, when you buy seasonal produce from a local farm you can create some wonderful homemade jams to give as gifts!  You could also be the person who supplies the ham for your Christmas feast….straight from your local pig farmer!

 Have any other Small Business Saturday ideas to share?

 

About Diane

Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!

Comments

  1. Great tips here. We're pretty lucky where we live. About 10 miles south of us is the city of Cannon Beach and 15 miles to the north is Astoria. They both have weekly farmers markets. We do need to take advantage of that more often than we have this year.
  2. We don't have a lot of farms near by, but you make some great points. I may have to try a little harder to find one.

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