In reply Eric Gibson, firstname.lastname@example.org, author of Selling What You Sow,
points out the resource cost (in petroleum, etc.) of shipping produce vs.
selling to the local citizenry.
If one grows large quantities of herbs for sale fresh, there is not likely to
be a local market big enough.
Today's monocropping agribusiness is decried for its negative impact on
genetic diversity, and defended for its efficiency.
If you have the expertise, the soil, and the climate, to grow one thing
better than any other, and to grow that one thing better than any one else
can, doesn't it make sense to specialize? Also, I hope that our herb
growing friend maintains a wide diversity of herbs and perhaps is preserving
some that might otherwise be lost.
On the other hand, how much of the short term efficiency of specialization is
counteracted by the long term inefficiency of long distance shipping?
Do we need to learn more about selling what we sow, or about sowing what we
can sell - locally?
Our farm operates on a learn-as-you-grow basis and I refer to seven or eight
texts for every planting - there is an astonishing amount of disagreement on
nutrient needs and culture for almost everything. I find myself saying "now
I understand why some farmers practice monocropping." We sell everything
via CSA, farm stand, local farmers markets, and local restaurants and stores
when we have a surplus. But we are lucky to be near a sizable, educated, and
Land near adequate markets is expensive, land that is affordable for new
farmers is off the beaten path and far from potential markets.
Guess I'll have to read Eric Gibson's book and see what solutions he offers.