Friday, August 19, 2011

Green Label (+ Giveaway!!!!)

I love serendipity. I really do. When space and time collide in a strangely parallel way, then I just beam, feeling that some sort of order really does exist in the cosmos. Like that time my sister, Devan, and I were on our way home from a week-long trip to Northern California. We had some time to kill before our flight out of SFO, so we drove out to Point Reyes to visit the lighthouse (I have a very, very special place in my heart for lighthouses).

Just as we were about to walk back up the 300-odd stairs to our rental car, I heard a voice say "Ashley?" I turned to see Jen and Jon, very, very dear friends of mine who had been working on organic farms and living in a plant sanctuary in India (where they built their own house out of thatch and bamboo, and had monkeys and snakes as house companions!!!). They had just flown in from Japan. I hadn't seen them in 1 1/2 years, and then, there they were.

Or all of the parallels that existed between Hubs and I when we met. I'd come out of a very lengthy, rocky relationship when we first encountered one another. I got very specific about what sort of partner I wanted in the future and Hubs just kept meeting each and every one of the criteria I'd laid out in my mind. I had to marry him, of course.

More recently, I got an email from my buddy, Aaron. He wrote that he was working with the organic clothing company, Green Label, and would like to send me a t-shirt to keep and another to offer in a small measure giveaway. I looked down at the shirt I was wearing at the time, while still skimming over his email. Yep. It was Green Label. I knew this giveaway was meant to be. It's kismet, you see.

And so, for the newest giveaway on this blog of mine, I'd like to offer one lucky reader a women's medium-sized "Support Local" t-shirt, pictured above (men folk-this doesn't mean you're out of the running; feel free to enter the giveaway and festoon a lucky lady with the shirt, or, hell, you could even try to squeeze your own torso into it!).

In order to enter, just leave a comment telling me what "support local" means to you. Do you do it? If so, how do you do it? Do you think it's important? A bunch of hype? If you object to the idea, tell me about that? I'm all ears. PLEASE leave a way for me to reach you, should you be the winner (I've unfortunately had many, many entries in the past that came up as the winner in the Random Widget with no means of contacting the commenter). That could be achieved via either a link back to your blog or with your email included in your entry comment. I'll leave the contest open until a week from today, August 26th, midnight EST.

Good luck, everyone, and may serendipity shine its magical light upon you!

Update: Comments are now closed (actually, they closed at midnight, EST, on Friday, but it's 4:00 p.m. on Sunday and I'm just now getting around to announcing the winner!). The Green Label t-shirt, as chosen by the Random Widget, will be going to Jasmine of Bunchberry Farm way out in Alaska! Thank you to all who entered!!!

70 comments:

Melissa said...

To me, Support Local means to grow as much as I can (I am just starting my own gardens to hopefully grow as much of our produce as possible) and to buy what I can't grow as locally as possible. I find that the quality is much better and it is so much more satisfying, both personally and in eating the food. We also try to make as many things as possible!

Jennifer said...

Supporting local to me means looking at the small businesses owned by people in my own community and putting my money in their hands. I NEVER shop at Walmart and I enjoy knowing that my cheese came from goats just 20 miles away, my chocolate came 3 miles away and the 28 seat independent theater that just opened in town has the owners behind the reels.

Amber said...

Supporting local...since my ideal is a return to the village economy, I love to spend my hard earned coin in my community. All honey in Pixies Pocket products is from Haw Creek Honey, and I am currently looking to source my herbs locally as well!

My culinary ideal is that of a localvore...but I haven't gotten there yet with the unfortunate luxury expense that it entails.

El Gaucho said...

I'm a big believer in using the power of your purchasing dollar to speak for you. Instead of buying from a huge corporation that outsources jobs overseas or manufactures cheap goods in China, I'd rather use my dollars to buy from local artisans, growers, farmers, and manufacturers. Recovery from our current economic malaise isn't going to happen by pumping up Wal-Mart's bottom line, and economic stability isn't going to happen by spending your money outside of your community, so whenever possible I try to keep my dollars in my community by buying local.

jessieimproved said...

For me supporting local is so much more than where I spend my money. I am really interested in community action - actually getting to know your neighbors and cooperate. We don't have much like that around these parts so far, but a girl can hope!

Meg said...

I'm a firm believer in supporting local. In the food arena, it shows through our participation in a CSA and frequenting of a handful of local farmer's markets. In the non-food arena, it means that we try to shop locally owned and operated small businesses whenever possible.

jen said...

Supporting local to me means avoiding the big box stores as much as possible. Going to Mountain Marble for granite instead of Home Depot. Going to the farmer's market (or growing my own) instead of Super WalMart. Supporting locally owned restaurants that try to use locally grown food instead of chains. We try to do this as much as possible and don't mind paying a little extra if it means most of the money is going back into our community.

Sarah M said...

support local means eating seasonal and close-to-you produce, buying needed items in trusted "mom & pop" shops, and specifically to my family, it means sharing a CSA every year, picking produce at close UPick farms and preserving summer bounty, and growing a bit of our own. It also means we get to go to the Farmer's Markets every week and scour the food and enjoy the atmosphere. Once you buy seasonally, you realize that the food TASTES BETTER!
Sarah M

Shannon said...

Support local totally means trying to keep every dollar possible in your own community---small vendors, local farmers, family restaurants. It takes a commitment to value quality over quantity sometimes, for sure. Additionally I think it means volunteering one's time (and money) to civic causes, like your local school, church or community organizations. I try, I do my best to keep myself and my family on this path. It can be hard at times, but definitely worthwhile!

Green Zebra Market Garden said...

To me, supporting local means buying produce at the farmer's market. Luckily, there are several markets in my area to alternate between!

Kim said...

Supporting Local is immensely important! I try to buy local in all areas, food, goods & services. I grew up on Maui and learned the importance of this first-hand. When you're living on a small island in the middle of the ocean, supporting your local community is paramount!

Anonymous said...

Supporting local - grow it or buy it from someone who grew it or made it. Participating in a time bank. Volunteering. (kathieadams1@yahoo.com)

Jasmine said...

For me, supporting local is mostly about food: CSA, farmer's markets, the garden in the backyard, the berries in the woods, the eggs and meat from the local farmers; and the plans for larger gardens and for livestock.
But it also means going to the local hardware store before Lowes, supporting family owned restaurants before the chains. It means heating my house with firewood from the forest roundabouts rather than with fossil fuels. It means going to live music shows instead of the movies. and suchlike...

www.bunchberryfarm.blogspot.com

DarcC said...

I believe supporting local means taking responsibility for the fact that your purchasing/eating/wearing decisions have consequences. In the case of food, it's of controlling, to an extent, how that animal was treated during it's lifetime. For clothing, it's how the material was created and was the person who made it paid a living wage. Other purchasing decisions can be boiled down to their essence in similar fashion. Exert your power, influence your world, support local!

Laura said...

Supporting local to me means loyalty to community businesses, most often the garden shop and craft stores in my area. We live in an area where community businesses are rare, and we seek them out so we can shop there rather than at the big boxes. we get higher quality products, too. In fact, we still order coffee from Milwaukee's local coffee shop--even though we now live in Colorado--because we have never been able to match their high quality coffee anywhere else!

Melodie said...

To me support local means treating your neighbors like family.Need some cheese..well Aunt Jenny down the road makes cheese. Need honey...Uncle Joe raises bees...it's pear season ..cousin George has an orchard.Love and support your"family" of local growers and craftsmen!

Megan said...

I try to grow as much of my own produce as I can to eat throughout the growing season and then to preserve as much as I can either by canning, freezing or drying for eating the rest of the seasons. I try to buy all of my other produce, meat and dairy at our local farmer's market. In the winter, I subscribe to a local grocery delivery service that focuses on supporting local producers (as it is often very hard to find local produce during the winter in my area). I also try to shop at local small businesses for everything else. Also - very cute shirt - I love vintage tractors!

Sarah said...

To me supporting local means intentionally spending my money in favor of business that are owned, and often run, by people in my community. Essentially, I see it as "voting" for the small businesses to continue in our city instead of being driven out by large chains. Often, these smaller businesses have the same ideals that we try to live by and it's obvious in the way they do business. I try to shop at a small business instead of a big box store if I have the choice, is I guess what it comes down to.

Mark & Katie said...

I don't know if your giveaway is open to Canadians, but thought I'd give it a try! We support local by growing and preserving as much of our own produce as possible, frequenting small locally-owned businesses and farmer's markets. Supporting local also means spreading the word to friends and family about the great stuff there is to buy or do locally. This summer, instead of taking a road trip somewhere, we have been going to local museums to learn about our own local history.

Michele said...

Oooh support local is growing in my heart and head. The more I learn about something small like buying produce from my own farmers market the more I find myself wanting to seek out other things available in my own back yard. I want to return to simple. To growing and helping and enjoying what I am blessed to be living in right here.

amanda said...

I am a strong believer in using our money as a way to vote for things we want either more of or less of in our world.....

SO.... more cheese puffs? Nah. more local creameries making small batch cheeses? absolutely.

I buy food locally when and where I can. Meat, almost always. produce and dairy, often. I prefer to patronize restaurants that showcase our many fine local foods and try to shop independent stores when I can. (but man, isn't amazon hard to resist sometimes? I mean, really)

I saw a sign hanging in one of our little shops here in Black Mt. talking about the 3/50 project. It's GREAT. Basically, they're saying to chose the 3 small shops you'd miss if they weren't around and spend $50 in them monthly when you can. All at one or spread out, it still goes a long way.

thanks for the giveaway~

Jamie said...

WE SUPPORT LOCAL AS MUCH AS WE CAN.We grow lots of veggies inour garden and we have our own flock of hens for eggs(we sell or give away the extras)

We participate in our local farmers market

Supporting local means help thy neighbor and quit buying from grocers that ship from out of your state as much as you can.

bethany said...

It means thinking beyond food... I think one of the most powerful things you can do is to get rid of your "free miles" credit card and commit to banking at a truly local institution, one that is going to recycle your money right back into your local economy.

Ellen Landrum said...

What a great shirt! Local? means my CSA membership, as much local coffee as I can get my hands on. Local toyshops, local bookstore. Paying a bit more but remembering that I'll see these faces again. Remembering to pause and savor the act of shopping- it can be satisfying, for sure. Food trucks=local. Discovering as many great things to do close to home. Saving gas so I can buy more local food.

Alison said...

What they said. In addition to voting with our dollars we support local by getting to know our local growers and retailers. We make a point of telling them that we're glad they're here because we know they're busting their butts every day. We spread the word about their products and we introduce visitors to their shops and their food. When a tourist asks for a recommendation, we always suggest local over chain. Bottom line, however, we always insist on the best quality. Fortunately for us, that almost always points us to a local business. When it doesn't, we look first for a product or business that would be our local choice if we lived in the town where it originates.

JizzleK said...

In a general way, using your dollar to support goods/services derived from local sources--cradle to grave. In a more personal way, getting to know where the products you are purchasing came from, because you know your local producer that spun that yarn, grew that tomato, raised that hog, and hand scraped that wood.

Beyond supporting local, there is also growing and making your own, and bartering for what you cannot.

Tera said...

supporting local to me means being there for your community whenever needed. Our town (minot ND) just went through the worst flood in over 100 years. Over 8000 people were evacuated from their homes and most lost their homes. Our town rallied together and helped in all ways imaginable. Over 1/3 of our town was torn from their homes yet only approx 200 had to stay in a shelter vs 10,000. That to me is supporting local.

campingvw@yahoo.com
Tera McCahon
Minot ND

Brenda said...

I grow what I can. I belong to a CSA. Since I'm semi retired, I also have time to can and freeze for my husband and myself, as well as our children. The whole family keeps an eye out for locally grown produce and meat for all of us. We have our own beehives at one of the son's home. We also shop the local farmer's markets.

Tony R said...

We do our part to support local by buying only from local feed stores and nursery. We also make it a point to spend at least $50 a month at local restraunts, coffee shops, or bookstores... we usually go way over our monthly goal!

Lavigne Photography said...

I love local! It's super important to support your local farmer! To insure there is local food available and to keep farm land from being developed! We are part of a veggie csa; yummmm! And an apple csa. Luckilly there are lots of csa'a to choose from and great local food here in southern vt!
Love the blog and the shirt!
lavignephotographyatyahoo,com

Sarah said...

To me it means buying things people near us make. We have an amazing gift store, WHolly Craft, where we can buy clothing, art, toys and bath stuff all made by people within the city limits. I heart buying gifts at Wholly Craft!

http://www.broodandswarm.blogspot.com

producedlocally said...

Our family starts the "support local" in our own backyard first with our chickens, garden, rain barrels, handmade items - it's not a big operation but it's ours and it's important to us and brings us joy. We buy a weekly share from a local farm (a family of 15!)and share our bounty with our family and friends. Supporting local is more than just the "stuff" you get - though it's amazing quality and all the more special that someone you've met put their sweat into it - it's about the people and the relationships you build to your home and community. It's refreshing and liberating...

kathleen said...

supporting local says doing your part! it means patronizing business owners in your community white simoultaneously providing for them. it means growing and cultivating and caring for your patch of earth, and it means supporting local artists.

curlygirl8988@yahoo.com

Sherrie said...

Oh, serendipity! I loved your anecdotes. Supporting local to me is of course buying local food and products and making my own when possible. I've found that in addition to that, offering sincere encouragement and feedback to local producers and tangibly helping in whatever way that I can is often as valuable and appreciated as purchasing their goods.

PurrfectPetSitting said...

For me, it means buying as much as I can from the people who produce it. I just joined a grass fed beef CSA and can't wait to start getting my monthly deliveries!

notherethenwhere said...

To me, supporting local means buying as much as possible from as close to home as possible, and preferably from people who grow, make, or have a vested interest in what they're producing. I try not to buy too much, but when I do, it tends to be from the local market or a local crafts person. Conversely, it also means trying to stay away from big faceless corporations that tend to exploit whatever they can.

Christine said...

Love supporting local! I am a small business owner myself and so I like to think "what goes around, comes around".

Deb said...

Local is so important. It's not just about food. It's politics and the environment. It's about economics and wildlife. It's about health. It's about voting with your dollars.

We raise chickens and grow a big garden, but we also purchase a whole pig and half a side of beef from local farmers. Friends share their venison with us. I can with my girlfriends. In the winter we shop for dairy and staples at the local co-op.

We are fortunate to not only live within an hour's drive of the largest farmer's market in the country-- Madison WI, but to have several local farmer's markets to choose from during the season.

we're hosting our 2nd annual "locavore" dinner in a few weeks--everyone brings a dish made from local ingredients--it's a fabulous way to celebrate the harvest, friendship and all things local.

DancingApronFarmer.blogspot.com

Hollie said...

Support Local to me means that I make it a point to put my time and money into the people and places around me who are striving to make each corner of our earth a better place. It could be a local farm, restaurant, or shop. There are so many wonderful little places out there, you just have to take a little time to seek them out.

oukay said...

Supporting local to me means at least a couple of things. As a small businiss owner, I know the effect of people seeking my advice and then acting on it by purchasing from the internet or the big box stores. Because I know how this feels, I try to support other small businesses in my community with my purchases. I also try to purchase locally produced food products whenever possible.

Beth, bergerfamily@bellsouth.net said...

We all have a responsibility to each other - buying locally means that we support people and businesses as close as possible to my family as possible. Farmers, Farmers' Markets, local businesses, local restaurants - they all get my dollars before a big box store. And I support my local chickens too - the ones in my backyard!

Stephanie said...

'Support Local' to me is empowering our communities...allowing our hard earned money to stay within and grow the community in which we live. It's also knowing that the peach or the beans that you just pulled out of your CSA basket or local farm bag were probably still on the tree/vine just that morning...delicious.

Wanda said...

Local support for me is the farmers market,a local farmer for our organic beef and chicken,plus eating from my garden. We also make every effort to support local charities as opposed to glossy enticements that come from national charities in which I do not know where the $ goes. We donate our unwanted items to a thrift store which uses the proceeds to fund its daily hot meal program. That is very local for me! I also purchase items that are made in my country as opposed to overseas if i can- yes it can be more costly- but it is the right thing to do.
I thank you for your awesome blog and by the way---please pick me!!!!

The Haphazard Countryman said...

Local support is very important, and not just in the food arena that we think about most often. It is also suppoerting your locally owned stores that will turn around and put that money back into your local economy, and make it possible for people to live outside of the congested metropolis'. Food is the easily justified one due to the freshness and health factor, let alone the environmental of not using all the gas for transportation.

The Good Wife will love the shirt. Thanks for the opportunity.

The Haphazard Countryman
www.concrete2chickens.blogspot.com

Helois said...

supporting local for the hubs and me means, our backyard chickens, turkeys, garden (veggies) and orchard (apples and pears) we also shop our local farmer's market for food and crafts. we eat at local resturants and even though it's a bit further of a drive we pass the local walmart to go to a neighborhood grocery store.

heloiswegrzyn@yahoo.com

mindful mama said...

As a mother of 2 small children, supporting local means growing as much as I can and making as much as I can and involving them in the process. It also means knowing my farmer and participating as a CSA shareholder or farmers market buyer. In the future, if all goes well, it will mean living sustainably and self-sufficiently off my own land. :) <3

Courtney said...

Yes! Supporting local means intentionally investing in your geographic community. It means you can get to know the people who are providing goods and services to you! This summer we have a CSA, I work on a farm to get another share, we have a community garden plot and I manage a very small farmers market ... date night is always at a local, independent store downtown. I can't say everything we purchase it local, but we're taking small steps towards that goal everyday. It's exciting and so important!

courtney dot a dot behrens at gmail dot com

Rebecca said...

Supporting local means many different things to me. I love supporting local food and fiber growers. I try to buy a book a month at a local bookstore. I love small local bookstores. I know you can buy books for considerably cheaper online, but I can't imagine my small town without its little bookery. It can be exciting, too, when I'm traveling and find a new little bookstore where I can by a book there.

Danielle said...

To me, local means living my values. I believe in the right to a clean and healthy environment. I believe in delicious clean food made with real seasonal ingredients. I believe in the importance of meaningful support for a simple but back-breakingly beautiful way of life. And I believe my children should know and appreciate where their sustenance comes from. (Oh, and I believe in giving the finger to industrial agriculture.)

Anonymous said...

I'm a HUGE fan of supporting local and do so whenever I can...both in growing my own veggies, visiting the farmer's market every weekend and especially visiting the roadside stands that line a street near my house (love those!). I just want the local farmers to be able to keep doing what their doing for as long as they can! (amy.berg@charter.net)

redhott said...

This was a conversation I was having just yesterday. I live in the fruit basket of Washington State but when I went to the grocery story they had California peaches. WTF! Why would they fly peaches hundreds of miles (maybe thousands) when we have lovely peaches here?! I waited and got my canning peaches from the farmers market. Local is just that. Getting the goods you can from as near as possible and maybe limiting the ones you can't. I don't really like pineapple anyway. Uber local: my backyard garden, chickens and rabbits.

Kristy Lynn said...

eating and supporting local is an important concept that means many things... it's attending your area's farmer's markets; growing your own veg or raising your own chickens; helping to start soup kitchens, and other outlets to make whole, real food accessible to those who need it most; and most importantly, it's about engaging with your food and it's producers in a communal manner. It means sharing.

That being said, local isn't perfect nor is it acceptable in and of itself. There still needs to be thought to labor practices, animal welfare, chemical inputs, etc... Local does not necessarily mean ethical. In this sense, local has to be thought of as a part of a holistic social, political, economic, and ecological series of processes that work together to create a healthy food system (or not).

K. Jean said...

I love supporting local when I can. I don't think it always has to be about how many miles something has gone, but maybe the cause that you are supporting behind the product. Farmers markets are great, but they aren't going to be around in February in the north! Buying things from small retailers and choosing made in america is a priority. There are often cost prohibitors involved, but I think we do the best that we can! Doing as much as we can through our own yard and garden is the right direction.

Flint Handmade said...

I have thought long and hard about what it means to support local.

My current working definition has three parts:

1) Make or grow as much of what I need as I can.

2) Purchase goods directly from the person who produced them (e.g. farmers' markets, craft markets).

3) Shop at independent, one-location-only stores in my county that are owned and operated by other county residents.

If I can't support local, I try to purchase secondhand goods so that I am at least supporting the environment.

-Crystal

joanna said...

For me, supporting local means buying produce from local farms & stands then canning or freezing as much as possible. Nothing more satisfying than homemade jam on a biscuit in the middle of winter.

Also, I make a point of visiting a local farm every season and getting to know the farmers that work so hard in our area... fortunately, Asheville makes that pretty easy!

Jane said...

Support local: grow my own produce, barter with neighbors, shop at local stores, forage locally, hit the farmer's market, vacation locally, use the local library, hike locally, freecycle locally, and minimize my wants. This just feels right to me, AND, I don't have to drive in busy traffic to awful fluorescent-lighted box stores with bad air. Not that I have a strong preference here or anything. ;)

Jessica said...

To me and my little family supporting local means buying our milk from a small farm that does on site pasterization. The farmer even walks our daughter around the farm when we go to get milk. We know the names of the cows that provide us our milk each week! We grow as much of our own food as possible and support our local CSAs and markets. We also try to purchase from locally owned small businesses.
What a nice giveaway!

jwhitestanley@gmail.com

Tru Vani said...

I try to support local by shopping at independent stores and buying from friends who own a tiny organic farm just outside of town. I even take my university classes to visit and volunteer since I want them to see how possible it is to meet most if not all of our needs locally.

phoeberl said...

Buying apples from the orchard down the road even though they aren't organic, picking up my weekly CSA, and stopping at roadside stands for seasonal treats!

phoeberl@hotmail.com

Meg H. said...

Supporting local means buying our vegetables from local farmers, buying our meats from a local farmer, canning and preserving what we get and then sharing with our neighbors.

Salem said...

Supporting local means putting money back into the local economy by purchasing from locally owned businesses and people you respect and that are part of your community.

Rebecca said...

Support local....food! As newcomers to New York City, we're embracing the PE, NJ, and NY farmers who provide our meat and produce. It's a different growing season than the midwest, but we're catching on slowly......

Yasmin said...

While attending college at UC Davis in my home state of California, I developed this intense gratitude for local farmers and grew very fond of local agriculture and its importance to communities. Fast forward over 10 years and here I am in North Carolina. A lot in my life has changed since those days back in Cali but I still find myself loving local agriculture and building relationships with farmers in my community. I like knowing the farmer from whom I pick-up my weekly CSA box or the lady at the farmer's market from whom I buy goat cheese or herbs. To me supporting local is giving back to the community that gives so much to me every day.

Silver Sisters said...

Support Local means a great deal to me. It's supporting someone else's dreams. It's community. It's people.

Julie said...

I love this tee shirt the whole family has one, except my son who needs one! I love it and think of local as my global community and buy fair trade/ organic/ recycled for everything I can sometimes I can't afford to donated to causes, but I am voting and supporting with every dollar I spend which is just as important or more. We are blessed with such a rich organic farming community where we live. I love shopping there and at the markets where they aren't organic, but local resellers/growers. My children understand that normal supermarkets are filled with junk and they eat all their vegetables and love to know that Mrs. Louise grew it or Farmer Jack. We can't wait for fall greens.

julie said...

Julie @ royaljewels@gmail.com

emily said...

Support Local is about seeking out the small businesses whose owners call Asheville home any time I have something to buy. If I ever need or want something (clothes, food, gifts) I make sure to see if there is a local shop that sells it.
emily@integritive.com

89bc3b5a-3e40-11e0-a95a-000bcdcb2996 said...

Support local to me means trying to shop at your locally owned shops and putting the money back into my own community. Also, shopping at local farm markets and of course, my own garden!

tree said...

For me Supporting local means buying fresh produce from our local farm market, healthfood store and small mom & pop grocery that all sell locally grown produce. It also means bartering with neighbors and purchasing from small businesses and individual people and avoiding the large chain stores ASAP.

thanks for the chance! enchantedtree(at)hotmail.com

sweetbugfarm said...

Support local means buying from people you know and not big ag~spending a few dollars more each time but SO worth it!!