Food for 5,000 Part I


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Went to a meeting of Big Stone Area Growth last night. My mind is whirling with all the possibilities; one of which is recreating a local foods economy. Can we support a local foods industry with just 5,000 people living in this county?

Do the math:

5,000 people
X $120/month spent on groceries (a conservative estimate)
= $600,000 per month on groceries or $7.2 million per year on food to eat

If just 10% were spent on local foods that would be $60,000 per month or $720,000 per year. That could support 5 new small farm families with a gross income of $120,000 per year on a 40 acre parcel or so. That could be a decent quality of life.

Increasing from 0% to just 10% local foods sold in grocery stores, butcher shop, direct market and farmers market means $720,000 per year stays in our county. We retain our wealth, we support our community. We could produce healthy, local pork, beef, chicken, eggs, fruits, vegetables, jams, pickles, and maybe could include some grains like oatmeal.

As one of those consumers/producers I want healthy local foods-- meaning some grassfed animals and sustainably produced produce.

Those figures don't even include local foods sold in the restaurants, care facilities, the local schools....
And maybe some day microbrewery using locally grown hops to make some Big Stone Brew...

Could this be low hanging fruit for some quality of life, quality of place, economic development? Someone check my numbers please.


You go girl! If anybody can make this work, I know you can. I am envious of you living in the country. Always was my dream. Wish I was there to help run this produce adventure. Good Luck.

Would poptarts be involved? hehe Love Ya Woman. Always thinking of you.


Becky-- thanks for the vote of confindence. You can come and enjoy some farm life anytime. I bet the grandkids would get a kick out of it too. Especially when we have more critters

DJ-- Poptarts! Truth is last week I was down to two organic items in my kitchen== organic poptarts and bacos (soy based bacon-like salad sprinkles). I mean really- can a poptart even be organic? It's just a feel good way to eat processed foods-- and not for the kids, but for me. Good to hear from you and hope to see you in Big Stone County next summer!!

Hello Kathy,

Hopefully you know me, Mikie's friend.
I'm checking out your blog you mentioned in your Christmas card. I see a post from October and notice a wonderful B & W by a Chris Long. I knew a Chris Long. He worked with me at Best Buy. He left and moved to Brainerd. Then later he was in the news as the boyfriend of a kidnapped and slain girl. It was soo sad. Could this be the same guy? Anyway, I love your blog and very much enjoyed a recent post about Alma and the school teacher salad. I picture you holding hands walking from the bustop on the wonderful prairie. Gives me a warm feeling.
Sincerely, Lita

I love that graphic! 'Buy Local!'

You'd get along swimmingly in Boulder, as that is the town motto. :) It has slowly become my own, too....slowly all the processed foods have dwindled away while the local stuff has increased. Can you believe I haven't bought pop tarts in almost a year?! :P


Well fine Tiff!! Get me buying organic poptarts and then you drop out of the scene. I think we'll do fine w/o them in Big Stone County. Hope we can all gather here this summer. I'm thinking of having a big canning party and put up some salsa, you could bring fresh organic peaches from CO, etc... Wouldn't camp kitchen be great for that?

Love you guys!

technically, I don't think organic pop tarts count as pop tarts....I pretty much consider them health food. :P

I'm looking forward to the Big Stone Brew!

Kathy, I love reading your posts! They make me want to move there now. I keep thinking, one day...
We try really hard to buy locally here too. I guess the organic trend is way bigger here than to buy locally but when summer comes I love all the stand that pop up!

Tiff, WHAT no POPTARTS? I just bought some yesterday that have knock, knock jokes printed on them!!!

Good to see all of you here.


Thanks for the post. I've been on your blog for way longer than expected already, lol. Good stuff.

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on January 18, 2008 1:54 PM.

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