Three Votes a Day
Holcomb Farm—One of Many Local Polling Locations
By Joe O’Grady
I once heard the owner of Bobolink Dairy in New Jersey say that, "you have three votes a day to decide what kind of world you want to live in…breakfast, lunch and dinner." I studied politics at college and it remains an obsessive addiction that I wish I could quit. So when I heard this, a stadium full of light bulbs went off and I realized the truth and profundity of the statement.
Roughly 40 percent to 60 percent of eligible voters make their voices heard each November and I can understand how these numbers are so low and why so many people are apathetic towards participative democracy. Gerrymandered districts, hordes of lobbyists and free-speech protected Super PACs can make voting feel like a demoralizing waste of time.
But hope is not lost—you have the power to shape our community and country! 99.9 percent of us eat everyday (sometimes even three times a day) and where and how you choose to spend your food dollars has a much bigger collective impact than choosing which millionaire to put in the Senate.
Local farms can never compete with the rock bottom prices of big grocery store chains and their produce from California, Mexico and beyond. But price is the only area that they can claim superiority. The second a vegetable is harvested it begins to break down at the cellular level and its nutrients quickly degrade. So it is understandable that a Granby pepper is more expensive than a California pepper—it was picked yesterday and still has its full array of nutriment.
Smaller, local farms have a much gentler environmental impact (indeed many of us are even enhancing the local ecology) and we are blessed in the Northeast with…water! Many mega-farms that supply our grocery stores rely on depleted aquifers, so there can be cheap food now, but expensive environmental problems later.
Then there is our local economy. When you buy cheap farm goods from across the country, some middleman makes a dollar, the farmer makes a quarter, and the workers see a few pennies. So you saved a few cents, but you're not getting much bang for your buck. However, when you buy from a local farm 90 percent of that money stays in our community—the farmer and the workers living here spend it here! And we all benefit.
Joining CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture programs) and shopping at local farm stands and farmers' markets creates a positive feedback loop that if we all joined in could have our Granby community the envy of the crunchiest little Vermont hamlet.
I'd recommend casting your vote with us and joining Holcomb Farm's Summer CSA (and thereby getting first dibs on our limited Winter CSA). But, by all means, shop around. We are blessed with many options in the neighborhood and I only need to look across the street to see an amazing Granby farmer offering a CSA—Gary Cirullo and the Garlic Farm. And there's more: George Hall Farm in Simsbury, Sub Edge Farm in Farmington/Avon and the list goes on. We've certainly got the farms here, we just need the support!
Editor’s Note: Joe O’Grady is the farm manager at Holcomb Farm CSA