A Hometown Food Guide
By Liz Brownlee
Pie is not my favorite dessert, but it offers a pretty helpful metaphor as we try to build the local food system here in Indiana.
Some farmers who sell locally worry about more and more small farmers opening businesses - they think that these competitors will slice the proverbial pie of customers into ever smaller chunks.
Nate and I feel differently: We believe that as more farmers get local food businesses going, we must grow the pie of customers so that all farms can succeed.
So, how does a farmer who doesn’t like pie grow the pie? Well, one thing we’re working on in the Columbus area is the “Hometown Food Guide.” It’s one part old-school (a one-page, black-and-white, phone-book style directory of farms that customers can print off to keep in their car or on the fridge) and part new school (a Google map that shows where these farms are located).
This isn’t necessarily a new idea — lots of beautiful food guides exist. But there’s never been one for our area, and it’s high time we do a better job of connecting farmers with customers in Bartholomew County.
Right now, we’re trying to reach out to all of the farmers in the Columbus area and encourage them to participate. If you’re a farmer who serves the Columbus/Seymour area (or if you know one there!), here’s the scoop:
To participate, farmers simply fill out a short (two-minute) survey that lets them create their listing for the guide. The deadline is March 15.
Please encourage your friends who sell food directly to customers to fill this out, too.
We want to include as many farmers as possible. Here’s the link.
The project is sponsored by the Columbus Food Co-op. We’re taking on the project because our 800-plus members want to know how to buy more local food even before our grocery opens. The guide will be available and free for the entire community later this spring. We hope this guide is a way to promote the farmers who grow our food and help more people eat more local food. If you have any questions, email Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Liz at (317) 258-5217.