My wife and I subscribe to an every other week box of fruit and vegetables from Full Circle, an outfit that sources from small farmers and delivers to consumers. They do deliveries in Washington State, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and the San Francisco Bay Area.
My wife and I have lived in Alaska since 1998. When we lived in the lower 48 we were big fans of farmers markets. Not only did the produce tend to be fresher, we appreciated the chance to support small farmers directly. Both of us feel that keeping some diversity in our food chain is important and that corporations rarely treat individual farming families well.
But Juneau, while technically on the North American mainland, has an island like atmosphere cut off from the road system. And we have a fairly poor growing climate and limited land. We have some great gardeners, but farming on a commercial-scale doesn’t seem feasible. So when Full Circle – then Full Circle Farms – first started offering produce to Juneau, we jumped at the chance. There have been a few periods when we’ve dropped the subscription but we came back.
Generally the produce is of good quality. When it’s not Full Circle is great about issuing credits. We generally use most of what comes in our box and it’s a greater variety of fruits and vegetables than we would buy for ourselves. As advertised, the food does come from small growers.
So why I am ambivalent? Mostly because of the distances our produce has to travel. Buying organic local produce to be lighter on the Earth doesn’t seem as Earth-friendly once you’re shipping it a thousand miles. Also, Full Circle has gone beyond farms in their state to source stuff from as far away as Mexico. I’m not against foreign produce per se. I do wonder how I can say “I’m supporting local farming families!” If I’m sourcing my produce from foreign countries. On the other hand, they do seem to all be small farmers.
If you subscribe to Full Circle, especially if you’re outside their driving radius, I’d like to hear from you in comments. Do you think subscribing to Full Circle is supporting small farming? Why or why not?
With this post, I surpassed my previous Write. Every. Day. streak of eight days. So now I will stop routinely prefacing my blog posts with the day number except:
1) When I hit certain mileposts, say 30 days of writing every day.
2) When I fall off the wagon and need to restart.
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