Yesterday my friend Peggy and I went to the Harvest Table in Meadowview for lunch. The idea of the restaurant is simple: eat and shop locally. Based on the Barbara Kingsolver book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the concept was how to focus on local farmers and how to support one's local economy.
I was interested in this for lots of reasons. First, I don't shop at Wal-Mart unless I just have to do so. Wal-Mart's founder, Sam Walton, touted "American Made" in his early commercials. However, now Wal-Mart's importation of Chinese goods is larger than the USA gross national products http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/walmart/walmart_5.cfm. Scary, isn't it?
Another reason I am interested is that Don and I have talked about doing this same thing in our little community in Northwestern North Carolina. Our local general store is empty after the owners retired. We think this seems a good fit for our region. Open a general store with local goods and a small deli -- sandwiches and such -- that will open only for the 'season.' We have a lot of tourists and summer folk. Having a small business that offered local goods would appeal to these folks who love this region for its uniqueness and isolation. Offering music on Friday and Saturdays along with a farmer's market would only enhance this project.
As so, as we sat in the restaurant, I thought of how we could make this same thing happen in our area. I believe we can. What would it take? Courage to do it.
In the meantime, I continue to ponder and weed the flower beds and care for our flock and herd.