Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How local is local

I'm not sure if I should be posting this to the farm blog or the philosophy blog. Ultimately the farm should be a real-time, physical expression of the philosophy. We have a long way to go. Hopefully most of you read both. If you don't please click on the link (it's to the right) and join our philosophical discussion.

We ran up against a question of philosophy today. It was shoved in my face by economics, but the real issue is more than money. We have been selling most of our eggs in a town about 15 miles away. Most of the customers work at one of the nursing facilities where Connie works. When we first started having extra eggs Connie would take them to work with her and people would buy them. This group got really excited and now buys most of the eggs we have each week. It got to be to many for Connie to deal with during work (something about needing to do her job, not sell eggs), so I started taking the eggs out there once a week. I had to bring the kids into town for gym class anyway, so it was only a few extra miles to drive. Well, this week gas went well over $3 per gallon, the customer base cut back how many they wanted, and I had no other reason to go to town. Suddenly it wasn' t economically sensible to drive that far to sell eggs. Connie will take in eggs this week, but we are going to have to drop the group when she changes jobs. That's business. The question that has been bothering me today is whether a town 15 miles away is local. It probably is. I could walk there in a day. (I don't think I would do it carrying 15 dozen eggs. At least not for the price people would be willing to pay.) Maybe when I can generate my own energy to transport them from here to there it will be worth it. For now we will put a sign out by the road an see what happens. I guess we are still more local than the guy up the road from us who hauls produce to Columbus (140 miles round trip) twice a week.
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