Keepin’ It Local

I went to Vermont this past weekend and, as always, had much food and much conversation and much conversation about food. Both of which seem to go hand in hand whenever we get together with our Vermont friends!


The topic came up about ‘buying local’, as this is really BIG in Vermont, everywhere you go there are signs and products encouraging you to support community with local purchasing. Yeah, it is here in Montreal, for sure, we see Quebec Vrai certifying home-grown products as organic, but the collective encouragement is definitely not as in-your-face. Vermont has always been this way in my lifetime of frequent border crossings as former Townshipper. Why? More rural living and agri-culture, giving rise to community that basically needed to support each other to survive,were some reasons that were put out.

And it’s true, I have seen this when I lived in rural Nova Scotia for a while. It was easy to buy local, we went to the market every Saturday and bought everything for our week of eating, veggies, fruits, cheese, butter, meats, tofu, cleaning and body products. ALL made from people who’s farms we had visited! This is a bit harder to do when living in Montreal, but worth the effort for seeing where your ‘organic’ veggies really lived before they habited your fridge. You begin to feel more connected to what you are eating. Really. Well, at least I do, and if you can not remember the last time you felt really connected with everything on your plate, then it’s at least worth a try. Visit your farmer’s markets, join a CSA, visit the farms where your food is grown and processed. If you eat meat, see where and how these animals lived before they were killed, find out how they were killed. Get connected.

We have an array of city markets available now, from the large markets of Jean-Talon and Atwater, to the local marches des quartiers, and some newer local markets, which are more and more bringing in organic and unsprayed non-herbicided, non-pesticided produce. Buying local, healthy products close to wherever you live in the city is easier now than ever.
So head out and don’t forget to get some cash out before you go!

But why buy local and pay with cash? (another great gem from our many Vermont-discussions) Well, apart from building community and making us feel more connected with each other and the earth, it also keeps the goods in your back pocket so to speak. If all of our money, time, effort are going right back into the people in our community, stability is encouraged in our local economic system, which in times of late, seems like a good idea, with words like recession bouncing around. I am certainly no economist, but I have read enough to get the gist and also experienced this reality work!

When we pay with credit and debit cards the person that we are paying for a good or service DOES NOT get all of the money that we are paying them. It is soooo easy to forget this when we are busy collecting airmiles for trips to foreign lands or for movie passes. The credit card company, who certainly is not in need, is getting some of the money that should ALL be going back to the fellow who planted your organic local really yummy cucumbers. Sometimes you can not get around using plastic, but when we buy local it seems like completing the cycle to have all the money go back directly to the source of the product or service. Credit cards and debit are just like drugs, so remember: JUST SAY NO!

And the bonus of this cash friendly action: we are more discerning about what we buy, what we really need.

Because, while, ya it’s great to support the local community, it’s also great to tone down the longtime cultural pattern of just buying way too much stuff!

Another reminder that being more sustainable is all about self vigilance and inquiry. Why do I want this? What purpose does it serve the big big big picture?

I went to Vermont this past weekend and, as always, had much food and much conversation and much conversation about food. Both of which seem to go hand in hand whenever we get together with our Vermont friends!


The topic came up about ‘buying local’, as this is really BIG in Vermont, everywhere you go there are signs and products encouraging you to support community with local purchasing. Yeah, it is here in Montreal, for sure, we see Quebec Vrai certifying home-grown products as organic, but the collective encouragement is definitely not as in-your-face. Vermont has always been this way in my lifetime of frequent border crossings as former Townshipper. Why? More rural living and agri-culture, giving rise to community that basically needed to support each other to survive,were some reasons that were put out.

And it’s true, I have seen this when I lived in rural Nova Scotia for a while. It was easy to buy local, we went to the market every Saturday and bought everything for our week of eating, veggies, fruits, cheese, butter, meats, tofu, cleaning and body products. ALL made from people who’s farms we had visited! This is a bit harder to do when living in Montreal, but worth the effort for seeing where your ‘organic’ veggies really lived before they habited your fridge. You begin to feel more connected to what you are eating. Really. Well, at least I do, and if you can not remember the last time you felt really connected with everything on your plate, then it’s at least worth a try. Visit your farmer’s markets, join a CSA, visit the farms where your food is grown and processed. If you eat meat, see where and how these animals lived before they were killed, find out how they were killed. Get connected.

We have an array of city markets available now, from the large markets of Jean-Talon and Atwater, to the local marches des quartiers, and some newer local markets, which are more and more bringing in organic and unsprayed non-herbicided, non-pesticided produce. Buying local, healthy products close to wherever you live in the city is easier now than ever.
So head out and don’t forget to get some cash out before you go!

But why buy local and pay with cash? (another great gem from our many Vermont-discussions) Well, apart from building community and making us feel more connected with each other and the earth, it also keeps the goods in your back pocket so to speak. If all of our money, time, effort are going right back into the people in our community, stability is encouraged in our local economic system, which in times of late, seems like a good idea, with words like recession bouncing around. I am certainly no economist, but I have read enough to get the gist and also experienced this reality work!

When we pay with credit and debit cards the person that we are paying for a good or service DOES NOT get all of the money that we are paying them. It is soooo easy to forget this when we are busy collecting airmiles for trips to foreign lands or for movie passes. The credit card company, who certainly is not in need, is getting some of the money that should ALL be going back to the fellow who planted your organic local really yummy cucumbers. Sometimes you can not get around using plastic, but when we buy local it seems like completing the cycle to have all the money go back directly to the source of the product or service. Credit cards and debit are just like drugs, so remember: JUST SAY NO!

And the bonus of this cash friendly action: we are more discerning about what we buy, what we really need.

Because, while, ya it’s great to support the local community, it’s also great to tone down the longtime cultural pattern of just buying way too much stuff!

Another reminder that being more sustainable is all about self vigilance and inquiry. Why do I want this? What purpose does it serve the big big big picture?

2 thoughts on “Keepin’ It Local

  1. right on, nadia! it's interesting to bring the concept of paying with cash into the conversation about buying local. and when you follow that conversation through, as you have done, it makes more and more sense. thanks for speaking your truth!

  2. the paying in cash was an inspiration from my 'german friend', who says that it such a european thing to never be so without cash as we are here, and then another reminder of this 'keep the cash in the community' when I was in vermont! I'm diggin' it and don't you know that i really do appreciate all my clients who pay ME in cash too?

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