It's hard to think back to the time when I was a business consultant hearing all of these local foods enthusiasts talk about farm to table and thinking "who cares." That's right - Ms. Blue Haired Beef Woman over here and I just didn't get it. Honestly, that was because as a quasi-government employee, I didn't think I could afford it. Now, I am working right in the middle of this movement and I cannot get behind it enough.
The whole idea of shortening your food chain is to know where your food is coming from, supporting your local economy and SAVING money. I had this graphic made because I was blown away at how expensive a whole animal would cost if you bought it in the grocery store (over $6,000) or through an online delivery service (over $8,000). B.L.O.W.N. Away!
I don't tell you this to make you want to buy my beef. Heck, ya'll, just buy local. The reason you are paying so much at the store is because my cattle that are not saved back for your consumption through our direct sales are shipped many miles, fed out from North Texas to Kansas, butchered in a huge packaging plant and then packaged and shipped back across the country.
By shortening your food chain, you are saving money on your food, BUT you are also supporting local businesses. For example, that nameless packing plant above --- here locally, that would be IO Ranch Processing out of Evant, TX or Hamilton Quality Meats out of Hamilton, TX. From there, either I show up in your town with boxes of perfectly butchered and frozen beef or you can pick it up at several local options. That local market would be your Waco Farmers Market though Long Branch Farms or delivered to your house by Pippa Hills Farms or a retail market like 1854 Mercantile.
A really neat part of the local foods movement is that once you make your first purchase, you realize how cool it is to get to know the people who work every day to make something awesome FOR YOU! For example, and this is no joke ya'll, I think Pippa Hills Farms Okra tastes better than any Okra I've ever had because I know when Liz is making that little container for me... she puts at least an extra on there knowing I'm incredibly clumsy and will definitely drop one. And I get to see two adorable little kiddos grow up around the chickens and eggs that I get to eat. And I know Chelsea is trying to come up with the best sauce to pair with beef at 1854 Mercantile. It's like the old days of families taking care of each other and I like that a lot. Family - so important - even if you aren't related.