Now that the election season is over, we’re safe to turn on the television, radio and computer without getting assaulted by political ads and pundits telling us why the other guy is going to send our country beyond the brink of destruction and into the hands of third world tribesmen who will enslave the American people and send our women to perpetual abortion clinics. It’s over, but in all the cries of joy and adulation, we soon discover that we’re being assaulted by another kind of ad. This time, they’re covered in red, white, and green as a fat hairy imp dances across the screen with what must be some sort of electrically charged mammal telling you to buy Chinese made televisions and iCrap from their Wall Street based box store owned by a multi-billionaire draft dodger. Ah, American entertainment at its best.
I say screw it. I know that there will be millions of people jumping at the chance to crush a family of four while beating the crowd at the 4am opening of a Target on Black Friday, or at 8pm at Walmart the night before, but with all the excitement, and despite my desire to crush a family, I think I’m going to sit this one out. Michelle and I have traveled all over this amazing country of ours in the past few years, and one thing we’ve discovered is that there is some pretty cool stuff where you are, no matter what part of the country you live in. Also, you can buy from sites like mine, who sell products made in America by Americans, sometimes even in your own neighborhood.
There is also a movement to buy local. Every year, the movement to buy local from small independent vendors the Saturday after Black Friday rather than go out to fight the crowds on Friday gets bigger. This year is going to be huge. With more and more people understanding that the key to economy is to buy local, we believe there will be a great boost in local economies.
The question is, are you going to wake up early to beat the crowds for some trendy crap that does nothing to support your local economy and will probably break once you get it home, or are you going to do what’s right and buy from a local vendor or from someone who sells American Made products built at the highest standards?
Rochester, NY is a small industrial city along Lake Ontario in western, NY. Our roots go back to a blue collar way of life where everyone knows the difference between a MIG and a TIG, and the favorite food is called a garbage plate. We’re known for Kodak and bone chilling winters. Triple-A baseball and White Hots. The only thing that’s saltier than the salt mines just south of the city are the people who live here, and that’s just the way we like it.
Despite our hard reputation, there are a lot of people who are working to do good for the world we live in. Rochester leads the nation in nonprofits per capita. This is a city of giving. Though Philadelphia has the title ‘City of Brotherly Love’, Rochester is the city who truly lives up to that name.
Now, Rochester has a new task at hand. Rochester wants to be the city known for environmental and economic sustainability. We are stepping up to the plate to take full responsibility for the well being of the city and the people who live here. Though we have seen hard times in the past, Rochester has a backbone made of steel.
Yesterday I took a walk around a small portion of our city. Though there are still ghosts of a troubled past that can be seen nearly everywhere you look, there are countless positives. There are signs of growth. There are signs of independence. Small locally owned business and community gardens. People have dreams and a strong will to make them come true. Soon, many of the neighborhood farmers markets will be alive with locally grown produce and meats. It’s happening…
As winter begins to settle in, we have nothing to look forward to but the future. In 2011, we’ve seen wonderful and great things happen all around the world, and within our own communities. We’ve seen the world question our leaders and bankers, and we’ve seen communities take ownership of their own economies and industry. We’ve been witness to a silent revolution, but it’s just begun.
Here, in Rochester, NY, we’ve seen amazing change led by farmers, independent business owners, and consumers themselves. Farmers markets have sprung up on virtually every other street corner throughout the summer and fall where we can purchase locally produced vegetables, fruits, meats, juices and milk. Our local vendors and store owners are leading the way in setting trends.
This winter there’s a lot of planning going on. Farmers are preparing for next years crops, and markets, vendors are forecasting trends and ideas, and manufacturers are working to keep ahead of the curve.
This is a whole new world we live in. We’re going to see more change in the way the world works in 2012 than ever before. My guess? Your best friend might just be your local farmer.
It seems as if we’re a part of something much bigger than ourselves, a great awakening, of sorts. It’s overwhelmingly exciting! You can see it just about everywhere you go, there are small independent stores and shops, farmers markets on virtually every street corner in the summer months, products being made locally being sold to local vendors, restaurants using locally grown meats and produce. We’re coming into a renaissance or even a silent revolution of sorts.
I would like to hear from every one of you. I would like for each and every reader to leave in the comments, in your own words why this movement to sustainability and localism is so important within your own communities. Tell me what you’re doing to promote your local economy and the environment. I look forward to hearing from each one of you and hopefully we can get a dialog open.
I would like to thank my faithful readers for all the support you’ve given me these past couple months. Though we’re just starting out, I would like for Our Tiny Earth to be as much a part of your life as it is mine. As you know, our goal is to show the world that living responsibly and sustainably within your community can be simple, enjoyable, and more rewarding than one might think.
I would like to thank our local farmers and all the independent, organic, and sustainable farmers who have supported us and the rest of the world through wonderfully nourishing meats and produce that could never be matched in freshness by products shipped in from across the country and the rest of the world.
I would like to thank our small independent businesses who go out of their way to sell products produced locally and within the United States. It is you who keeps us employed. It’s you who makes a difference.
I would like to thank everyone for setting aside your differences, not only today, but everyday to see your neighbor not as someone who’s different from you, but as a human being, a member of your community, as a friend.
I would like to thank my beautiful girlfriend, Michelle for being the most wonderful person I have ever, or will ever meet. I love her with all of my heart. Without her, Our Tiny Earth would never be anything more than a dream.
I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving with your families and your friends. We only have this one chance at life. You only have one chance to get it right.