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Untangled Vine

An attempt to sort through all things wine. Specifically of, and about, but not limited to: Food and Wine in Toledo, Ohio. Plus the day to day musings of a Wine Distributor...

A Nationwide Network of Farmer's Markets?

As the subculture of would-be gourmands try to get their hands on the best produce, we all agree that locally grown fruits, vegetables, dairy products etc... are really something that we can all strive for. In some cities, these are more readliy available than others. With the advent of the one-stop shopping experience, convenience has trumped quality, and small farmers. My congressperson, Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) has again proposed this bill (h.r. 710) before congress. Kaptur is asking for federal funding for local farmer's market in everyone's community. The proposed bill stipulates that these farmer's Markets are to include a majority of locally and family owned farms. Not only has Slow Food U.S.A championed this measure, countless other growers have gottne behind this bill as well. Unfortunately, this bill is in it's (at least)third incarnation. The previous votes have gone along party lines (shocker!). Now political idealism aside (and that means you alleged libertarians!) this is a pimple on the budget, but it is the sort of legislation that can inspire (food) cultural change. Please take some time to research this measure, and barrage your congressperson (especially those represented by Republicans), and ask them to ignore party lines, and vote for a change for both consumers and farmers.

Clarification: This is a bill that only loans out money for Farmer's Markets, and only helps to capitalize money "not exceed 25% of the cost of the individual Markets". You can find the language of the actual bill here

I have been preliminarily given permission to interview Rep. Kaptur next week, and I'll be anxious to hear some of the particular challenges she is facing with this bill. Stay Tuned...
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At 11:58 PM, Blogger Tom said...

One of the best reasons to support this measure is because it suppors and encourages real family farming.

Here in Sonoma County we have it good. There's a healthy culture of micro farming and farmers markets. But I'd be some communities might just need the encouragement that this kind of legislation can create.    

At 12:07 AM, Blogger winedude said...

Wow-I'm not sure how to feel just now. Though I am a free-market guy, I can see some sense in this-but until I read more, I cannot help but think this is a bad move. You yourself have said "you can't legislate morality." Well, in this case, you cannot legislate markets. If what you say is correct, the bill essentially provides funding that will "encourage" (your word) people to use local produce, etc. How will it do that? What's the mechanism? If you're going to blog on it, give me details. I cannot in good conscience go at it until I know what's there. Once I know, I'll be glad to write about it. Again, I'm not drawing a party line, here. I am a center-right conservative, but the word center has some meaning with me. However, from what I've read of your post, I don't know how to take the issue. Fill me in...    

At 12:08 AM, Blogger winedude said...

Oh--and linking to a story in "The Nation" is not the best way to get me on bored. Now, if it were in the Weekly Standard or National Review...


At 12:25 AM, Blogger winedude said...

Sorry to do this a third time. I have a piece coming out in, of all places, Today's Dietitian--about Edible Communities. I know Tracey Ryder and Carol Topalian pretty well and I'll ask them about this. Small farming, local food, produce, etc--are something I'm eminently for. I want to know more about the bill.

I've got some "street cred" riding on this, actually. I've written in Wines and Vines, California Wine and Food, The Ventura County Reporter and now Today's Dietitian about the issue of local food and wine. You've piqued my interest. I need to find out more--and I will certainly blog about it...    

At 12:50 AM, Blogger Benito said...

I've responded to your e-mail request to blog on the issue, though I politely disagree with you. Anyone curious for my take on it can read about it on my blog.

If it's any consolation I've spent the past two hours fretting over this issue.    

At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Tana said...

Thanks for posting about this, Adam. I'm new to your blog, though I did cite "runningwithtweezers" earlier today, writing about the international food blogging community and the flap with Pete Wells and the cheese sandwiches.

Farmers markets, and the farmers, are near and dear to my heart: blogging about them is becoming my life's work.

To that end, I would invite you (and your readers) to create a map like the one I've started for "Chefs & Farms, which spotlights both the farmers themselves, and the chefs and restaurants that support them directly.

If anyone would like to e-mail and connect about this project, I would love to hear from any and all.

(I am in Santa Cruz county, the home of more organic/sustainable farms than any county in California, and probably the nation. In other words: the garden of Eden.)

Ciao for now,

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