Jim Riddle: Support local food growers on Dec. 1
When we support our local shops, local food growers and local food makers, we help our neighbors succeed. Shop Small Saturday on Nov. 24 is a good reminder, but I urge everyone to shop at small businesses throughout the year.
Local small-business owners create jobs and support other local businesses, leading to a healthier overall economy in our community. Shopping locally also helps cut down on processing, packaging and transportation waste.
According to the American Independent Business Alliance (AIBA), on average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses is recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores. Money spent with mega-online retailers leaves the community and is not recirculated in the local economy. Local shopkeepers also pay local property and sales taxes.
An additional opportunity to meet and buy from local growers and food makers is the FEAST! festival in Rochester on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Many of the FEAST! vendors are artisan food-makers from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Over 100 of them will be coming together at the 5th annual FEAST! festival, which will be held Dec. 1 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. Attendees can sample and sip delicious local foods and beverages and purchase locally made products.
To see a list of food makers from our area who will be at FEAST! go to www.local-feast.org.
Jim Riddle, Winona
Editor’s note: Jim Riddle is a co-owner of Blue Fruit Farm in Winona, a participant of the FEAST! festival.