Blog: Kari M. Smith

The return to local farming in urbanized areas is a page back in the history books, but lessons can't all be taught in the classroom. Green Diva Farms owner Kari Smith, who daylights as a historic review technician for the city of Detroit, talks about the barter system and how her farm stands up against flooding and hoop house vandalism.

Using Dollars to Support Community Instead of Corporation

The smallest purchase makes a difference. When shopping, it can be easy to forget this aspect, but literally every dollar can be used in support of community instead of corporation. This country was built on small business and opportunity. Trading products and services was part of what made this country a hub for independent business and individuality. Shopping at one store can be very tempting; not thinking about where food is coming from can also be the easy way out. While the working class poor are struggling working for limited means, the price can also be an issue.  

I understand these issues very well. There are ways of saving money, eating healthy and saving time while supporting local economy. Farmers markets, especially those in a smaller community, tend to have easy parking, lower prices and support small local farmers/craftspeople. Why though? Why buy from local growers and what difference does it make? They are your neighbors, children of your neighbors, part of your community. They are struggling and care about the product they are growing. Their life and soul are put into the products they are growing. If you are looking for organically grown or no-spray crops, the local farmers will be honest about the food production. The price of organic produce is lower than at large specialty retail stores and you can be assured that they are not just "deemed" organic but are required by law to be honestly grown. Everyone who is struggling in this economy knows that every dollar counts, every hour worked, every product sold. This is true with small farmers as well, except they are not paid by the hour, they are paid when they sell.

Personally I would rather put my money in the pocket of local producers than corporate or out-of-state/nation entities. This is because I love my community, and I support it. I buy products that are grown in Michigan, beans, soap, bread, dairy, cleaning supplies, because I realize that by doing this I am supporting those in my community and not those across the world. The locavore movement is central to the revitalization of Michigan. If we come together in this economy there are many who will stay in Michigan and local healthy products will continue to be available. If not, there is no telling if we can depend on having that option.

So support local, no matter what business it may be. Some ideas are McClure's Pickles, Brinery Fermented Foods, Eden Foods, Avalon Bread and many local farms like SolaRefuge, Bridgewater Barns, and Green Diva. Thank you for taking the time to create change.