We recently moved from Nashville to Bowdoinham, and we faced a practical dilemma: On our one-acre lot, do we plant our own large garden or do we buy our vegetables from the six local organic farmers nearby?

Sounds like a small problem, but it has more impact than one might imagine when solved on a larger scale.

On the one hand, we can start or buy seedlings and work in the sun, with tilling and planting and weeding and watering through the season. We definitely get some satisfaction in seeing things grow and eating them, but it is probably a financial wash and a lot of time and labor.

Or, we could buy locally from those whose livelihood depends on commercial success. Their businesses and families need the sales, their farms need a continued investment to keep going, and the produce we get is top quality. And, we get the satisfaction of knowing we are part of a movement of sustainability.

So, the solution? I think we will grow some basil and cherry tomatoes in small raised beds, and buy the rest of our vegetables from the farmers we want to support. It’s a small compromise, but it allows us time out of the garden to write letters to the editor and encourage others to support our local organic farmers.

They need us, and we need them.

Jim Deming, Bowdoinham

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