Coming back to the farm

Corn at Seacoast Growers Market, Hampton, NH

Corn at Seacoast Growers Market, Hampton, NH

Got a farm? Your children are going to want to farm it. That's my prediction, based on the rising enthusiasm I sense all around for locally grown foods. And today the New York Times weighs in with "Supermarket Chains Narrow Their Sights," describing the ways and means the big chains have begun using to buy and sell locally grown produce.

Here is real evidence of a shift in mass food markets toward locally grown food. (And I'm predicting here that the next focus after this will be on quality, not local-ity.) Here's a powerful quote from a spokesperson for Hannaford Foods, a chain with 165 stores in New York and New England:

'Our research tells us consumers have about five or six reasons for wanting local: freshness and taste; keeping farmland in the community and having open spaces; a desire to be close to the food source and know where it comes from; support of local farmers and keeping money in the community. Embedded in all of this is concern about food safety. All this creates pretty powerful interest.'

All that without even mentioning gasoline prices!

Interesting contrast -- and I don't quite know how to interpret it -- with a Times "Business Today" story this very same day, describing a 30 percent decline in profits at Whole Foods.