The New York Times is going local again. An article from nytimes.com described how a San Francisco man started a business where he comes to your house and creates an organic vegetable garden for you, right in your backyard. He also weeds, harvests the produce, and then leaves the vegetables for you on your back porch. Wow. I have to give the guy props for a brilliant business idea. I imagine that he can charge a pretty penny for his gardening services, and he gets to do something he loves (hopefully) without having to own any farm land himself. In addition, he avoids having to market and sell his produce during the tiny window between ripeness and rot. Bravo!
However, it did strike me as odd that people would actually pay someone to do this. If your motivation is fresh, local produce, why not just go to the farmer’s market or join a CSA? And if you really are passionate about seeing your vegetables grow from seedlings, it seems to me that you would also want to have a hand in growing them. That’s part of the fun! What this indicates to me is that there’s another motivating factor at play here- trendiness. Apparently, local food is becoming trendy, like pomegranates or flax seeds, and frankly I’m a bit conflicted about it. On the one hand, I am glad because it means that more people will be buying local food, which means more money will go to the farmers. But on the other hand, I’m afraid that “trendiness” will become “elitist” and that mainstream Americans will come to believe that local produce is somehow unattainable. This would definitely be a step in the wrong direction. Delicious, healthy, seasonal food as a trend is almost comical. There seems to be some sort of role reversal here. Fresh tomatoes in December. Now that’s elitist. I hope the trend stops before it’s too late for local food to become the norm.