Sunday, November 20, 2011

when the harvest comes in

This year our family is doing things differently for Thanksgiving. No, we're not cooking up an Italian feast or going vegetarian, and we're definitely not going out to a restaurant for dinner. This year our meal will be traditional but everything will be prepared from locally grown and produced foods. Instead of trekking over to the one-stop-shopping superstore on the Pike, I'll be visiting the local Farmers' Market where I can find fresh meats, produce, and baked goods all at low cost...and, by doing so, throw my support behind local businesses. I've already ordered the turkey from a nearby farm.

I'm a big fan of small business owners and regional producers. I am not a fan of ten-acre parking lots and chemically preserved fruits and vegetables. And I believe there is something fundamentally suspicious about bread that NEVER gets moldy even after I've forgotten about it for a couple of weeks in the back of the cupboard. So this year we're going for fresh, unadulterated food produced by people who live nearby, who greet customers with a smile, and genuinely appreciate their business.

I also like to promote local shop owners and our local Indie bookstore.

These people don't have a chance in today's marketplace unless we throw our support behind them. You may have to spend a little more and make do with a little less...but the alternative is to suck up to the retail behemoths whose lofty ideals are tied to corporate profit.

It's much the same when it comes to writing. I'm connected on-line with authors and publishers from across the country and around the world...but more important to me is the local community of writers and artists that surround me. We share the same dream. We collaborate to bring our words and images and lyrics to life. We support each others' efforts in a difficult artistic climate. And when the harvest comes in for one of us, we buy the book, visit the gallery, or attend the opening.

Sometimes less is more. Better food but less of it. Closer friends but fewer of them. And when it comes to publishing...more engaging stories though they may attract lower sales. can get in line with the crowds for the holidays...or you can throw your support behind regional producers and local craftspeople. You can continue to download internatioal best-sellers to read...or you can attend a local booksigning. You can surf the internet or trade ideas with small businessmen in your community. In my book, a warm handshake beats a cold keyboard any day.

Whatever way your family chooses to observe Thanksgiving this year, I wish you a spirit of community, support, and gratitude for all who work so hard to make the day enjoyable for the rest of us.
"An artist...has to stand out against
 the tenor of the age
 and not go on flopping along."
--Evelyn Waugh--
Thanks, everybody!


  1. What a great idea. We used to order our turkey fresh from a local family farm but they went out of business. I do shop local in the spring, summer and fall. We grow some of our own vegetables. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  2. Susan--I like to support the "little guys" because I'm one of them and I can use all the support I can get!

  3. Loved this, Jan! Here in the city, to get local produce, we have to travel 15 miles at specific times to reach a farmers market, which I find is loaded also with commercial junk! - Pete

  4. Pete--Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving anyway. Our grocery store is fifteen miles away...the farmer's market is another ten miles after that.

  5. I am with you one hundred percent.
    Great blog, Thank You.