I received the following e-mail over the weekend. Not only did I take heart in the fact that at least one person is reading (and enjoying) my rantings, it also inspired me to investigate the local possibilities once again.
Just wanted to let you know that I am really enjoying your blog..... each and every entry! You give so many useful tips on how to create a better life for our families and I share your tips often with the girls at work.
One of the new things we are doing that has made me very happy......is having our milk delivered to our home each and every week. We have an adorable milk box (see pic below) and instead or getting mass produced milk at the store, we now have a local farmer deliver our DELICIOUS milk to our front porch. His dairy farm has been in business for over 50 years. We live in the suburbs so I never dreamed I could get my milk delivered like my Grandmother did!! He even delivers our FRESH milk in those great glass bottles (pic below).
The milk is organic and his cows are not dosed up with horrible drugs of any kind. When you call the farm to order the milk his adorable wife answers the phone and it rings right into their living room :) He is always on our front porch by 6:30AM every Friday and it truly warms my heart to hear him clanking those glass milk bottles. And the best part! (drum roll please) the milk is actually LESS EXPENSIVE than in the store. His half gallon of 2% organic is $3.25....at my market it was $3.50.
I live smack dab in the middle of dairy country. How is it that my friend, who lives in the suburbs of upstate New York, can get wonderful home delivery milk and I can’t? That’s the thing about this buy fresh, buy local food movement – it’s dependent on local economies and local demand. If the people near you are willing to support it, business will boom. Maybe my area is slower coming to this because so many people are farmers or wanna-be farmers. Or maybe it’s that they’ve moved up here to escape the city, but are so far removed from farm life that they’re afraid of unprocessed products.
I don’t know the reason for my areas unwillingness to embrace locally grown whole-heartedly, but it just about kills me that my kids go to a school in sight of farm fields, yet the school doesn’t serve any local food. Everything comes from the big distributor, nothing comes from the local farmer. This seems backward when our message to our children should be that the healthiest food they can eat is whole food, grown close by. “Fresh” vegetables and fruit trucked in from the distributor, who had it trucked in from a supplier half-way across the country is not nearly as healthy, it’s already lost plenty of its inherent nutrients. The healthiest food is grown and harvested and eaten locally.
And then there’s the whole argument for supporting local businesses. It’s in all our best interests that local businesses do well. When local businesses fail, the local community suffers in terms of home values, tax base, and jobs. When we support our neighbors, we are also supporting ourselves (and many times, our health).
Cyndee’s e-mail inspired me to begin bugging some local dairies once again about the possibilities of home delivery. I would encourage you to pick up the phone or bring up your search engine. I was surprised to find that there were more possibilities than the last time I investigated two years ago. If consumers create a demand, suppliers will meet it. Basic economics. We can change the food system in the US. It does not have to be about processed food and mass marketing, we hold the power. Remember that. If you want to learn more about changing our food system check out the film Fresh.
Just googling “home delivery milk” and your city or state will bring up plenty of hits. But you can also try:
Note: If you live in the Southern York County vicinity and would like to participate in home milk delivery (also cheese and other dairy and meat products) from a local dairy with hormone free, grass-fed cows (Apple Valley Creamery), please let me know ASAP. Please ask your neighbors and friends. We need at least 25 customers to create a viable weekly delivery route.