As Yogi Berra so famously said:

"When You Come To A Fork In The Road, Take It!"

A Kind-of Blog by Rebekah Tanner

On Caregiving, Living and Loving Art, Learning & Resiliency, and Retirement

This is Blog #6; please click for: Links to earlier Blogs

Photo by Saffu on Unsplash, Meme by Rebekah Tanner ~ Winged Fox Enterprises

Smaller is Better

About 20 years ago I was Project Director for something called “Resources for Economic Viability in Sustainable Agriculture,” (see pages 107 to 124). So yes, a great deal of the following comes out of my own experiences and biases. There is also a focus on New York State, because that is where I do my shopping. These are intended to be idea-starters and examples to get you taking some small steps in feeling empowered about how your resources can be allocated in ways that both address your needs and serve the greater good.

Try one different way of spending just every 6 months, or make a swift, radical shift – but start somehow and do something. You will feel better about yourself, if nothing else.

Also tell your family, friends, co-workers and others what you are discovering as you adopt or expand these ways of being a consumer. We, the average schnooks of the world can create a revolution of the less-than-a-millionaire class! Here and there, one by one, we can alter not only the way our economy is currently privileged for the ones who have so very much, but we can do it in ways that are beneficial and sustaining to the environment, the climate, and life on the planet.

I saw family farmers have new successes in their operations by taking small step at little risk to themselves or their productivity. I know that these kinds of changes can and do have an impact.

Instead of buying your veggies at a supermarket, try a Farmer’s Market

Eating out? Instead of a big chain why not try Farm-to-Table
This was originally posted in 2017 and updated last spring:

If you can, get to know your farmer, we have had a relationship with this family since the late 1990’s and because of how they run their operation expect that to continue for another generation or two:
Sap Bush Hollow Farm --
And just because we don’t live in their neighborhood anymore, doesn’t mean we can’t log the blog:
When we do get to the Capital District we always take the back road, but provisions and have a meal at the cafe:

Need some dairy products?
You can get this farm’s products at several of the local Wegman’s supermarkets:
Don’t live in a dairy producing region? So, instead of a giant like Kraft why not buy from a cooperative like Cabot?

On that topic – instead of Pillsbury and Betty Crocker how about:
Red Mill
New Hope Mills
Nelson Farms
Or for a real small operation that does quick-bread mixes and nice things for your dog, a one-woman shop out of Rhode Island: Usquepaugh Baking Company
Want to support a Native American business? The best wild rice anywhere and much more at:
Red Lake Nation Foods

Ok – don’t like shopping online, or just want to see for yourself before you buy?
How about something different than a supermarket –
Why not try Ontario Orchards in Oswego, near beautiful Lake Ontario
Or Sauders Market between Seneca Falls and Waterloo, on the River Road. It is is run by Mennonites and does not have an online presence, but a visit there is a thing to never forget. Bring extra money, buy bulk, pickled, preserved (like in the most amazing selection of jams you ever saw!) and store it for later use. Then have lunch in their cafe:

If all else fails, there are probably lots of great local, smaller groceries and ethnic food shops somewhere not so far away from you. Or make a trip to Syracuse where we have everywhere from Jerusalem to Vietnam and round the world again. No, you do not have to go to a metropolis for great shopping.

Not hungry, but need some sneakers?
Skip Nike and try
Or how’s about those tee-shirts?
Instead of cheaply made ones from Walmart consider getting some from organizations you wish you had money to donate to but right now, you need a new shirt, and you’re broke. Or maybe options like:
Syracuse Cultural Workers (publishers / producers with a message)
SYR Clothing (local flavor, selects a different organization each month to get 5% of the profits)
And one of my favorite places for new pants that are 100% cotton, made in the USA and reasonably priced – they also have some very cool patterns and can do custom work at a price, upon request:
You can support fashion artists from all around the world (including me) by buying from

Some other thoughts:
Instead of a huge banking conglomerate have you considered either a Co-op, Savings & Loan, or more local bank? For example this one takes its responsibility for aiding its communities pretty seriously
Key Bank

Time for some fun?
Instead of wine from a carton have you thought about craft beers, local wine trails, and there are even now makers of stronger spirits that are quite good. We tried this one a few years ago at the State Fair and it was memorable. Should life take me to Rochester I, who rarely imbibe, will just have to make a visit
Black Button Distillery

Don’t even get me started on all the great local coffee roasters!

Here is a Tea Blender well worth tasting
Harney and Sons

Want some candy?
Syracuse has several handmade shops: Hercules, Speaches, and that one in Armory Square… but recently I have had to think about cutting back on processed sugars and found a couple of options online. Check this out for organic chocolates:
Want a wider variety? Try out
Natural Candy Store
No sweet tooth? How about these zany folks in New Jersey

And finally, if you want some other type of goody, like say, jewelry – I say instead of the mall branded Kay and Zales, think about using the skills of a local crafts person or jewelry store where you can probably work with the proprietor to design something both totally unique and within your budget.

So –
Shop local
Shop ethically sourced
Shop products that give part of the profits to charity
Support Women Owned, People of Color Owned, and Family Owned businesses.
If it’s important to you: Buy “Made in the USA” or “Union Made”
And even if you still want to eat at places like Denny’s after all this:
Use the discounts benefits you probably already have: AARP, AAA and others.

Join the smaller is better revolution!

Rebekah Tanner ~ Winged Fox Enterprises
Syracuse, NY
February 22, 2020

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