Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who Gets Your Grocery Dollar?

I was reading The Daily Yonder today and I read an article called "Who Gets Your Grocery Dollar?" This article talked about the percentage of food dollars that are trickled down to farmers in rural areas. With many food store chains offering sales in every aisle, the profits made by certain products has gone down over the past few years. In turn, the farmers and farm communities have been taking an ever-smaller share of the food dollar.

You can read the full article, here.

This article made me think about the focus that Central Park NC has towards buying local. When we buy local food from farmers they are getting 100% of the profit from the sale of their products. There are no middle men involved to buy their products and you are always guaranteed that you are getting fresh, local goods.

Here at Central Park NC, we have started projects that focus on our beliefs that local is best for our communities. Our project, STARworks Garden, not only grows food for our CSA, but it also brings in food and products in from other farmers in the Central Park area.

We as employees of Central Park NC even strongly believe in buying and using services and products from local merchants and farmers in our personal lives. Having lived in the Washington DC area, I once believed that vegetables and fruits could only come from a grocery store or Walmart. The idea of a garden seemed foreign to me because what could be considered a yard in my neighborhood of townhomes was a 4' x 7' square patch of grass. The first time I went to a local farmer's market in this area, I bought almost $50 worth of fruits and vegetables for my one person household. Everything was better than the stuff in Walmart and I could talk to the person who actually grew it with their own hands. In addition, I knew that the money that I gave this farmer would be used by him for his family and his next season's crop.

Support your local farmers and businesses. Your support and the continued support from Central Park NC will help revive our rural communities to what they once were.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Exciting Annual Meeting News

Central Park's Annual Meeting is on October 29, 2009! I am sure by now, you have RSVPed and are ready to have a great time, right?

Now we are pleased to announce that our Keynote Speaker for the meeting will be Michael Shuman, author of The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition and Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in the Global Age. Mr. Shuman is the Research and Public Policy Director for The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), an organization that brings together small business leaders, economic development professionals, government officials, social innovators, and community leaders to build local loving economies. We are pleased to have him and look forward to hearing his speech.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Michael Shuman will be holding a localism workshop the afternoon of October 29th also! This workshop will be a chance for the public to hear an in-depth commentary from Mr. Shuman about how we can incorporate localism into communities. This will be followed by a question and answer session where you can ask Mr. Shuman all that you want to know about his book, localism, and how we can use this in our communities. This is a not-to-miss event!

The cost of the afternoon Shuman workshop is $15 for Central Park Stewards and $25 for the public. The Annual meeting is free so please feel free to stay afterwards.

To become a Central Park Steward and help continue programs like these, please click here. (Being a steward gets you discounts on future workshops and events as well.)

RSVP is required for both events. A registration page will be available soon. For now, you can RSVP by calling 910-428-9001 or by emailing

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Baby Boomers Are Coming!

More and more, we are hearing stories about how the baby boomers of America are picking up their roots and moving to small, rural areas. The allure for these individuals are lower crime rates, slower pace of life, and more of a connection to their community, just to name a few.

The Daily Yonder recently did a blog about this subject and I found it to be very informative. It gives many facts and stats about this migration.

To read this blog, please click here.

The Towns That Build Entrepreneurs

The Daily Yonder blog recently had a great article about towns that have rebuilt their communities up using entrepreneurship. Like many of the small towns in the Central Park region, these towns had gone through the disappearance of large manufacturers and economic downturns. They have found four ways that have helped them make their communities work.
  • A Heavy Emphasis on Main Street
  • Putting Aside Differences
  • Focusing on Assets
  • Diversifying
Read the full article by clicking here.