Daily Archives: June 5, 2008

Bainbridge moves towards Salatin’s local foods goal


Yesterday I covered a workshop in South Kitsap featuring sustainable farming guru Joel Salatin. He challenged Kitsapers to spend half their food budgets at local farms and farmers markets.

Reaching that goal, he said, would fire up the local economy to the tune of $1.3 million….per day.

Of course, the county’s far (far, as in really far) from reaching that goal. The county spends less than $1 million a year on food at local farmers markets.

But Bainbridge Island can pat its back for spending more at its farmers market than other six market communities spend at their markets.

The island can’t claim the biggest market (that honor goes to Port Orchard) or the cheapest (also Port Orchard…the secret is that the farther south you go, the cheaper the goods get) but it draws in the lion’s share of the $670,000 spent last year on edible market produce.

(Special note: total spending at farmers markets was over $1 million if you include all the hemp hats, dream catchers, lavender foot creams, etc.)

If you’re interested in Salatin’s food spending math, here’s how it works: Each American spends an average of $10 per day on food. Cut that amount in half, multiply it by the county’s population (250,000), and you end up with about $1.3 million.

Spreading that kind of spending over a year would generate about $450 million for local food producers. And then consider a local market manager’s estimate that every dollar spent at a farmers market typically circulates three more times before leaving the community.

For my story on Salatin’s Kitsap visit, go here.