It’s a bit of an ambiguous phrase that is showing up a lot recently in our world of local organic food. We use it from time to time too, in phrasing like, “we support local small scale organic farms whenever possible.”
We’re realizing though, that it leaves a lot unsaid. What are the parameters of the possible? If local sustainable spinach is a bit more expensive than imported spinach, does that mean supporting local is no longer financially possible? Or, if local sustainable kale is available but requires a pickup from the farm and imported kale will be delivered to your door, does that mean that supporting local is no longer possible on the basis of convenience? Or, does it mean that whenever local spinach or kale is available, we’ll choose it over the imported product in spite of the price or the convenience. The latter gets close to our commitment to supporting local, but it still doesn’t quite convey the message. When we say possible, it’s about pushing the limits of possibility. We work hard to develop relationships with our producing partners on the basis of trust and communication. That trust and communication is what makes the most delicious local sustainable kale and spinach available as early as is practically possible. We communicate the need and the commitment to purchase with our producing partners and they trust us to be there to pick it up when it is ready. That's how you rebuild a sustainable food system and that’s what we mean by possible.