Miniature farmers standing on top of cauliflower
by Woody Armour
The price of food items is rising faster than the inflation rate, as many have noticed. In addition, the actions of this Municipal Council are further agitating the situation. The council’s policy of assisting developers to build chain stores and franchises, with the apparent goal of removing the independent shop owners from the scene and putting the management of your food supply at the mercy of speculators operating out of the various foreign stock exchanges, is a fool’s goal.  Yet it is the policy of this council. This rapid rise in local food prices of 15 to 20% is very visual evidence. This is truly galling when the local food, in many instances, can be produced locally and sold more cheaply. This high food pricing by chain stores is an example of foreign monopoly forces overriding local market forces, and this council is supporting this action. Therefore, if we are to reduce the cost of food items we must do it ourselves, and therefore, I am issuing “A CALL TO FARMS!”
In addition to a local food supply, North Grenville needs employment.  So, why not build a cheese factory, and locate a “factory outlet” in old town Kemptville?  The outlet could also be supported by such products as varieties of pickles, assorted jams, mustards, and large glass bottles of pickled peppers. Combined with other items, this would give the appearance of an “old town deli.” It would be somewhat similar to the old Balderson cheese factory. There is nothing like this in the area: it would be unique. This factory and outlet could be a non- profit entity, a co-op entity, or share capital organization, this is a discussion point.
This factory outlet, and “Old Town Kemptville”, would be supported by a maple sugar festival day in the spring to kick off the season, a garlic festival mid-season, and a huge pumpkin smash in October to complete the season. We can attempt to make these sponsored events and advertise them in the local newspaper.
The principle aim of the proposal is to create jobs and create atmosphere, all of this associated with a revitalized farmers market. Since this is a local initiative, there exists a number of financing programs to assist in establishing this whole building process. However, some up- front money is required.  “Crowd funding” is the process by which the seed money could be raised for the factory. Funds from the garlic festival, etc., would assist in the fundraising. This whole concept should be discussed and debated, and this can be done in such a way that everyone, at any time, can be heard. It will be done using the “North Grenville local food Initiative”, which is already organized, set up, and moderated. Any conclusions and significant decisions would be published in our LOCAL newspaper.
Now, to further enhance the proposal, it would be simple to withdraw, say, local garlic from storage, and offer it, below cost, as a sales bonus in the factory outlet, during winter months. The next step is to lure a small micro-brewery to locate in the area, perhaps an environment will be created to do just that.
I leave you to your thoughts.
– Woody Armour
Next: “This is the season for wishes”

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