Posted: Mar 21, 2006 7:56 pm
Yeah, there's a nice batch of small, local business here in PDX that do try to serve only locally produced things - which, while not always visible to the clientele, goes a long way to sustaining the local farmers and ranchers.
When it comes to Farmer's Markets, we have about five here that operate fairly regularly, but they aren't as marketed or attended like the type of Farmer's Markets I'm used to. I've lived in other countries and the Farmer's Markets were generally a major hub of social and economic activity, especially in cities that were heavily multicultural. Not only would you be doing your produce shopping, you would be getting meats, clothing, vehicles, etc.. The ones I've been to in the U.S. in larger cities have mainly smacked of granola/yuppie/organic orientation - you know, mostly visited by people with a lifetime subscription to AdBusters or Utne Reader. I still like buying a leather belt from some seedy guy that gutted a cow a mile away.
And I do like the co-opt/adoption/subscription thing with farms, except that I think it's causing small farms to entirely change their focus from going after markets to relying upon public subscriptions to take their product. All their eggs are in one basket now, yours. Unfortunately, I've seen a lot of small farms go under here when their business model is based soley upon subscription. Like I said, death sentence.