[Market-farming] more marketing thoughts

Elizabeth Fleming elstrfleming at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 9 21:58:08 EST 2005


This is a very interesting thread and has brought up
lots of issues.  First let me say that I am a very
novice gardener whose world changed with the discovery
of the concept of local food systems.  After spending
a few blissful months on the crew of an organic farm
here in CT, I am now coordinating our state's
farm-to-school program.  In that capacity I have
discovered that what I am essentially doing is
marketing.  I am selling the concept of bringing
locally grown food into schools to both schools and
farmers.  I believe that one of the main positive
outcomes of farm-to-school is the marketing of the
"buy local" concept to a very broad audience, one that
might not get the message in other ways.  And we all
know the power of persuasion that kids can have. 
Imagine a child begging for a trip to their local
farmers market to buy bok choy from "their"  farmer
[they've already eaten her veggies, met her in school,
maybe even visited her farm] instead of demanding
fruitieOs from super stop and shop!  Imagine the power
of a whole town getting behind their farmers like they
do behind their basketball teams [there can be few
fans more rabidly loyal than Husky fans here in CT]. 
Imagine demand for local produce being so high that
growth of sustainable, small acreage farms outstrips
that of new McMansions! 

I have always wondered why people will pay so much
money for something of very little value, like a $4
starbucks cocomochafrappalappachino, or bottled water
when it is free from the tap, and the only thing I can
come up with is that it makes them feel good, like it
makes me feel good when I eat a meal prepared from
ingredients grown by myself or by my friends.  I know
that I am a starry-eyed idealist, but I have hope and
faith that that connection to the spirituality [in the
non-religious sense] of food can be reclaimed by the
masses.  That is what I am trying to do with
farm-to-school.

One last thing...I have often proposed the farmer
stud-muffin calendar idea to my many hot farmer
friends, so if you are looking for a partner, Karen,
maybe we should get together and make it a NOFA
fundraiser!

Elizabeth

W. Hartford CT



		
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