It does take a little bit of effort, but it is pretty much instant gratification when you setup a relationship with a local farmer to get some of your produce or meat.
I have been getting eggs delivered for a couple years from a friend who keeps a dozen hens. What is not beautiful about this arrangement? I get free range eggs delivered to my door, I support a small farm, and it only cost $1 more per dozen. We finally ordered some pork from Celista Springs Ranch – and SPCA certified ranch down the road. Friends went to visit first for fun and were blown away by the hospitality and beauty of the ranch. Admittedly, ordering a bunch of meat requires some foresight and freezer space. And I certainly don’t admit to being perfect – I bought my latest batch of ground beef from Costco. But every choice matters and each time we ‘talk’ with our wallet, we influence the market.
There is a quote wandering around cyberspace in response to the Occupy Wallstreet movement that I relate to: If you really want to Occupy Wallstreet, do your holiday shopping at a small, independent merchant. If we all did that all the time, instead of consistently choosing the cheapest, most convenient every time we might have an entirely economy in front of us. Include in your purchasing decision – along with price, quality, convenience etc – do you want this business to have your money? For me, it isn’t the only factor (yet) but it is one of them.