After our sit down with The Good Farm for the happy hour podcast, the GCFL crew took a moment, cracked some local brews and discussed further the implications of the buy local challenge coming in August. We all agreed that by purchasing local goods and services we not only are able to reinvest in our community, but that the quality of those products would be able to be monitored in such a way that would guarantee satisfaction. You feel safer buying locally because the product comes from a place you trust. The conversation jogged memories from years past in which I felt compelled to use my hard earned money to support certain people, places, or things that I felt were inherently valuable. Any concert or show would always have me coming home with T-shirts, stickers, or more importantly CD’s. I say that CD’s are important because the offer from friends was always “I’ll burn you a copy”. Being a former user of Napster, Kazaa, Bit torrent and everything in between I’ll tell you I am no saint when it comes to “borrowing” my music, but for some reason one day I realized that it was more important for me to shell out the $15 to buy a cd from an artist instead of downloading or burning a copy for free. Fast forward to the last year and I’ve found myself plunged head first into the world of craft brewing. I found myself enjoying craft beer for a few years already, however I didn’t understand the economics of the beer world. Craft beer despite it’s surge in the past few years remains a scrappy fighter and holds only a fraction of the market share for domestic beer sales. As I realized the work that goes into producing and distributing hand crafter beer and why that was important I firmly decided to swear off of Anheuser Busch and Miller Coors purchases. My old habits started making sense to me. While buying local is an important concept it is hard to implicate across the spectrum of products. What is more important is to understand the democratic nature of spending our money. By voting with your dollar you effectively express your opinion in a way that has a true impact on how our world works. Over the next couple months you will hear about the build up to the buy local challenge. We should all do what we can to support local business and products that we know are manufactured in our best interest. Bryan Brushmiller at Burley Oak isn’t accountable to shareholders, and Christie at The Good Farm isn’t worried about going public. Find the people and things that matter to you and support them with patronage. Hopefully soon we will have a way to support ourselves with the things that are conceived and produced locally, but until then VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR.