Monday, June 13, 2011

Changing soapboxes

Buy local.
We hear it all the time. I agree with it. The transportation cost on those bananas is way more than the cost of the fruit. The pesticides used on vegetables grown south of the border were banned in the US decades ago. Buying local keeps dollars in local communities.
"Take care of yourself, your family and your home first," I say, then if you have the resources, go save the world.
I believe in and practice the 3/50 project with purchases at Yoder's, Wilsons and the Arkansas Craft Gallery, as well as our local farmer's market and from local crafts people and family farms.
And, I keep most of my online shopping in the US.

But, recently through the etsy, artfire and online artisan community, I've been connecting with individuals who are not in the US, but who are real people, making really beautiful things. This morning I was reading a wonderful blog written by a woman in Israel who is raising her seven children and still finds time to knit incredible socks, shawls and other things. I had my morning laugh reading about her three year old discovering velocity enhancement by pouring cooking oil on the kitchen floor and skating on it in her footie pjs. I found a woman in Ireland who raises sheep and makes felted flowers that look real. We've shared stories about our life with woolies. Our lives are so very similar, on opposite sides of the ocean.

Real people, with real lives, making a real living.

So, this morning, I switched soap boxes. Back when I was an award-winning writer (Rocky Mountain Farmer's Union, among others), I alway said, "Know your producer." Get to know the people who grow your food, knit your socks, make your dishes, fix your car. Having that personal connection with the people who create the things that nourish you goes a long way to improving not only your quality of life, but the life of the producer and by extension the world. And now, through the miracle of the internet, I can know producers around the globe.

So, for blueberries - buy local.
But for felted flowers, knit socks, or other handmade items branch out and make connections with creators in other countries. Share stories and - get to know your producer.

1 comment:

wanderson330 said...

Awesome soapbox. Very good point. We all can make a difference from all side of the world .