Thursday, May 29, 2008

What are you doing to support local businesses?

A guest blog from my younger sister today. Farmers' Markets have started to open in Massachusetts. I went to the market in Davis Square yesterday and picked up some delicious organic rhubarb! MD

What are you doing to support local businesses?
BY Meghan Taptick

Vermont has a motto of Buy Local, Buy Vermont, meaning that the money you are spending on local businesses is going right back into Vermont. Last year, my husband and I gave up eating at chain restaurants. It was great because the food we were served at the local restaurants was local and homemade, the costs of the meals were less expensive and we became friends with a lot of the people who worked at the restaurants. Recently, I was thinking about what else I could do to become more of a local consumer. I decided that my goal for next year (I work at a school so my year begins in September) is to stop shopping at big chains and grocery stores and buy from local businesses.

As mentioned in a previous post, I am participating in Community Supported Agriculture so my produce through late fall/early winter will come from a local farm. We are flexitarians and don’t eat a lot of meat, so the majority of our meals will consist of our CSA produce.

We are incredibly fortunate that our local Farmers' Market lasts all year. Year round I have available root vegetables, jams, cheeses, sauces, meats, eggs, pies, and a variety of breads all locally made and all better tasting than anything you can get at the store. A lot of my Christmas and wedding gifts for friends come from the Farmers' Markets as well as there are always craftspeople selling their homemade products and who doesn’t love a “Made In Vermont” gift?

The Co-Op can provide the rest of our products and needs. We can buy our organic Bovine Growth Hormone-free milk, spices, peanut butter, cleaning products (Seventh Generation is made in Vermont), bathroom products (organic soaps without packaging), and cereals there.

We can’t forget about beer. Long Trail and Otter Creek Breweries are right nearby and there is nothing like going to Otter Creek and picking up a freshly poured growler (which is reusable) of the season’s special brew. Plus, it is always fun to try a few samples while you are there.

In terms of non-food or essential needs, we will rent our movies from a local video store, not Blockbuster, buy our plants from local plant farms, not Home Depot and buy our medicines from local pharmacies, not CVS. And if there is something I can’t figure out where to get, I can use websites like to help me find the product and think outside the box.

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