When we started down this path, we were faced with a great deal of challenges along the way (we still are!) and were forced to analyze the effectiveness of our programs to our goals of providing economic sustainability for local farms. How do we balance the support of our local farms with the growth of the food hub?
Our answer in the past was very one dimensional, we grow with the farms. We had envisioned to only grow as fast as our local farms. Well, the reality is that not all farms grow at the same rate. This one dimensional approach just wasn't sustainable for us nor for our local farmers.
So, we went back to the drawing board and looked at ways to maintain longevity, not only for our members but for our local farms too. We have amazing partners in northern New Mexico, Arizona and California that share in this mission to provide economic support to local, regional, and sustainable farms. In the past, we've limited our purchasing ability strictly to a 400-mile radius which also limited our financial support to the same organizations that have long been involved in the local/sustainable food movement. While it was nice to have a strict local radius, it also placed blinders on us in regards to the interconnectedness of food. It's not so black and white and neither are our diets.