NEW FOODWIRE SERIES: How You Can Support Sustainable Agriculture in the Wiregrass

Become a “Friend of the Farm” and Take Our $30 in 30 Pledge!

What stops you from buying regularly from local family farms?  I’ve been asking this pointed question lately in an attempt to clearly define the obstacles preventing Wiregrass area consumers from buying locally grown produce and meats. 

At Gaucho Farms we make regular deliveries, open the farm on some Saturdays and try to be responsive to customers.  But as hard as we try, we aren’t growing.  We are stuck in a middle ground of making just enough to get by and maintain the farm, but not enough to grow, hire help, or offer more products and services. 

I’m trying to develop a small farm model that can be replicated,  so more small farms can grow chemical free, healthy, fresh foods.  Small, biodynamic farms don't just produce great food. They provide a buffer between us and natural or man-mad catastrophes, between us and Big Ag, between us and Big Food, between us and Big Pharma. Small farms preserve skills and knowledge like soil building, seed saving, and permaculture.  Well managed small farms are an ecological refuge and are extremely biodiverse.

Our local food system needs to be stronger, and stronger starts with a multitude of economically viable small farms.  So it’s vitally important that we, as consumers and farmers, partner in this endeavor.

The Top 10 Most Frequently Reported Obstacles to Buying Local
Do any of these sound familiar? 

1) I’m not sure where/how to buy local, chemical free foods.

2) I’m not sure when the order days/pick up days are.

3) I get busy and forget to place my order.

4) The order system is confusing/unwieldy.

5) The place/time of pick up doesn’t work well for me.

6) I’m not sure I’ll cook certain unfamiliar vegetables/cuts of meat / whole chicken.

7) You sell out of the things I want too fast.

8) I cook pretty often, but I’m not a planner.  I’ll just run in the store to pick up a few things for that night.

9) Sometimes you (or other locals) are not offering what I would like to cook that week.

10)  I’m going to the beach/lake this weekend, and I don’t want to leave food in the fridge or carry a lot of food with me.

I get it!  All of these are legitimate obstacles, as we all lead our busy, Americanized lives.  When I ask my questions, I often get asked a question in return, “So what can I do to help you?” 

Become a “Friend of the Farm” and Take Our $30 in 30 Pledge!

After much thought on bigger picture things that can be done (more on this in a future FOODWIRE post), I’ve come up with ONE SIMPLE THING YOU CAN DO TO HELP US AND FARMS LIKE OURS SURVIVE.

It’s called my “$30/30” plan.  I’m asking you to spend $30 with us at least once every 30 days.  One time per month spend $30 and a little extra effort to order from us.  If you absolutely cannot order from us, and you have the means, then DONATE any amount to us through our new DONATE button we'll be adding to our website. 

Your monthly purchase or donation will help us keep our heads above water, and start to grow.  Perhaps we can provide a few good jobs, maintain and improve infrastructure, plant more crops, implement new learning programs. 

So – here’s my pledge – I will work very hard to let you know when, where, and how to buy our products.  I pledge to be a good steward of any extra funds we receive to grow our offering of products and services.

Will you pledge a minimum of $30/30?  Of course, you can always make a bigger purchase and buy more often, if you’d like!  And if we run out of products – GREAT!  Know that it’s working, that we’re selling out, and that will allow us to GROW!  Please be patient as we work through the growing pains in our endeavor to help build the kind of local food system the Wiregrass area deserves.