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Monday, August 5,2019

When You Buy Local...

By Liz Sterling  
For the longest time, I’ve had this thing with buying local, especially when supporting the vendors in farmers’ markets. As a matter of fact, I’ll be going to one today and indulging in the bounty here in Michigan where I am hanging my hat for the summer!

In Florida we have the benefit of farmers’ markets throughout the winter, and in summer, well, we can support our local small businesses and restaurants and buy food items that are made locally. A proliferation of healthy baked yummies have entered the market as well as a slew of kombucha producers. I love going to Bedner’s Farm out on 441 just north of Delray Beach. Have you been there? They grow the biggest spinach heads I’ve ever seen!

I’ve traveled a lot in the past two decades. One of my top to-dos when visiting other cities is to frequent their local markets and buy homemade products, especially skincare and wellness tinctures. From reishi mushrooms in Asheville to maple syrup in Vermont and blueberries and cherries in Michigan, I love enjoying the bounty of the land; and even though the produce sometimes doesn’t look perfect, as in the ugly tomato, it tastes very alive!

Last year I was in Nantucket for a few weeks and learned about the immunity benefits of locally sourced honey. One of the beekeepers explained that using honey internally or externally can be helpful to the consumer.

A blog post on “Better Hens and Gardens” states, “Raw honey is honey that hasn’t been heated or pasteurized, and it contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants, and other important nutrients. Raw honey has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and antifungal properties, and promotes digestive health. Raw, local honey also contains a blend of local pollen, which can strengthen a person’s immune system, and reduce pollen allergy symptoms. When honey is removed from the hive, it needs to be strained to remove parts of bee bodies and pieces of wax. If a coarse strainer is used without heating, then the honey will contain the pollen that was present in the original honey from the local area. If this local honey is ingested regularly, it can reduce pollen allergy symptoms in humans.”

*** See below for a homemade saltscrub recipe using local honey. I use Orange Blossom honey in Florida. ***

As we’ve become a society of quick fixes, we’ve also indulged in quick purchases and instantaneous service. An online order can be processed and shipped these days in a matter of hours and arrive in less than 24. It’s just so easy. So why shop local?

The Institute of Local Self-Reliance’s research shows that small businesses reinvest in the local economy at a higher rate than chains do. “’For every $100 spent at one of these businesses, for example, $68 stays in the community,’ according to Amy Hartzler, director of communications for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, a nonprofit that advocates building strong local economies. ‘That’s more than twice the amount chains reinvest.’”

Lisa Wirthman, a writer for Forbes, discovered five benefits of shopping locally in a 2017 article.

She lists them as follows:

1. Create More Local Jobs

2. Enhance Diversity of Products

3. Strengthen Local Networks

4. Boost Environmental Sustainability

5. Increase Real Estate Values

Individually and as a larger global community, we have many choices to make. How we invest our hard earned dollars is high on the list. Sometimes, all I want is to stretch my dollar, but at other times, I want to stretch my humanity and compassion and connection and community. Yup, I’ll use the shopping cart online, here and there, but I will also make it a high priority to buy locally and to support businesses and vendors and restaurateurs and entrepreneurs and families and the children of local business owners, etc. Need I say more….?

Have fun buying local and invest in keeping the spirit of homegrown alive!

Recipe for Easy Homemade Raw Local Honey Salt Scrub


This skin revitalizer is easy to make and feels wow on your skin.

Although I’d prefer to store it in glass, a BPA-free plastic container is safer in the shower. Once you get the hang of it, make some extra and share with your friends.

Prep Time 5 minutes Servings 2 jars


1/3 cup honey 1/2 cup olive oil 1 cup salt 5-6 drops essential oil


Whisk together honey and olive oil. Slowly mix in salt. Add essential oil and mix well. Spoon mixture into wide-mouth Mason jar or BPA-free container. Add a pretty tag to give as a gift.


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