WASHINGTON– In a surprising turn of events, new financial data from the Federal Reserve brought jubilation to both Main Street and Wall Street yesterday as the economic picture for job growth, new business starts and overall household income improved markedly improved since last month. But financial analysts were bewildered about the source of this sudden economic rebound: farmers markets reopening for spring with fresh produce.
“The looming economic recession that kept Americans on the edge of their seats for the past months has been entirely and unexpectedly averted by an infusion of revenue generated at local farmers markets,” said a grinning Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, at an appearance with President Bush at a farmers market in suburban Reston, Virginia. “We should never have underestimated the economic prowess of public markets simply because of their small size, lack of business experience, or previously tiny share of the commodity system.
The outlook is even rosier for April and May, as farmer’s markets reopen in many states outside the Sun Belt. Concerns were raised by many economists about what happens late next fall when local farmers markets shut down at the end of harvest season, but Congress was busy all day yesterday drafting emergency legislation to construct thousands of indoor year-round public markets.
The Clinton-McCain-Obama Act, named for its chief sponsors, passed unanimously in both the House and Senate yesterday and was signed by President Bush in a special ceremony at Washington’s Eastern Market this morning. It appropriates more than $37 billion dollars to construct and manage indoor public markets in every county seat and community of more than 2500 people across America.
“Obviously, these sources of local food, public gathering places, and intra-neighborhood commerce are the engine that will drive the economy of the United States,” Bush said as several members of the White House press corps fainted in shock.
While this marks a sudden and fundamental shift in the Bush Administration’s policy, press secretary Dana Perino reminded reporters, “George Bush and Dick Cheney have always been true believers in market economics.”
“This administration may have devoted too much attention to large businesses in our first seven years,” Perino admitted. “But in our last ten months we will do everything possible to level the playing field by boosting small-scale farmers and enterprises that serve Americans right in their communities. Farmers markets are just the beginning. We also intend to boost small, independent neighborhood businesses.”
Economic analysts attribute this huge growth in farmers markets to consumers’ newfound interest in eating locally-sourced food, improving public health, boosting their local economies, creating community gathering places and supporting small, environmentally-friendly farmers everywhere.
“We must publicly acknowledge the new power of farmers markets in the U.S., and admit that we have so far missed the boat on what consumers want: healthy, locally-grown food,” said Alice Walton, daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. “We cannot stand in the way of progress. We plan to add organic farmers markets to each Wal-Mart store and will look into tearing up the parking lots to plant heirloom tomatoes.”
Interest in locally produced food is expected to grow substantially, fueled in part by a report to be released next week by the federal Centers for Disease Control that unearths long-buried research establishing clear links between eating locally and wildly prolonged human life expectancy.
Read this and all the other April 1 News at Faking Places. Hope your day was a pleasant one…
Bowing to the pressure of local small businesses dependent on public water for their livelihoods, the Belmont City Council water committee has put forth a motion to ease water restrictions in the area.
Residents would be able to hand water, drip irrigate trees, shrubs, and personal gardens. If approved, the watering could be done during the entire day on those three days. “I don’t mind the hand held watering,” said Councilman Charlie Flowers”.
It seems that the “squeaky” (re: “leaky”) wheel gets the grease. If City Council passes the recommendation, residents still will not be able to water their lawns.
Other communities throughout the state are still working on further restrictions and closely tracking water use, Belmont gets a bit a rain and Poof! – no more drought — in some eyes.
We admit there has been some improvement in the drought, but the area is still in what is considered exceptional drought conditions. Typically late February and the month of March are “catch up” months in regards to rain. Not this spring – so far.
A special meeting next Monday evening (6:30 PM) will have this discussion and vote. Interested people should attend this meeting and see how council members who have landscapers maintain their personal yards vote on this issue.
More information links: System Status for Belmont
Older table dates
Sure doesn’t look like water restrictions have affected Belmont’s use of water. Going back to an earlier article where the Belmont Front Porch reported on the growing practice of new wells being dug throughout the county, the County Health Department repudiated the charge that new wells were an issue with groundwater.
With this information, it seems that local “businesses” would not be affected — according to the County health department — just dig a well.
Good for business, keeps the businesses off the backs of elected “leaders”, and keeps the progeny of local councilmembers with their jobs.
It’s all good.
We reported in January about the food prices at area stores. It seemed like a good idea.
Today, with oil prices going as high a $105/barrel, we felt that it was time to do an update on our local cost of living.
We added Walgreens to the mix because their outside sign is advertising milk prices this week. We also added eggs after discussing how much we all use eggs each week in our menu planning.
|1 doz, Large Eggs||$1.75||$2.19||$1.99||$1.82|
We appreciate the competition between the chain stores on these particular staple food items. But the obscene amount of displayed food at Walmart puts all the other stories to shame and our editors to tears. Our one Walmart over in Montcross has more food on the shelves in one day than many stores in Haiti or Pakistan can display in a year.
We live in a land of plenty and we are thankful for the options and choices that we have in this community.