Homegrown market | AspenTimes.com

Homegrown market

Dear Editor:

Carbondale is having a love-hate relationship with the Crystal River Marketplace. The Marketplace has the potential to forever change this so-called “bedroom” community into the prototypical bustling American small town. Ironically, the Valley Journal placed the development story on the page with a story about a growing movement to make communities more self-sufficient, especially with the ability to produce local food. The Marketplace would be built on old bottomland farm fields.

Instead of fields that might produce vegetables or pasture livestock, we will get stores that would sell us these products, but all shipped to us from many miles away. In years to come, it’s going to be the shipping that’s the problem. As the world approaches the revolutionary state of “peak oil,” the cost of transportation will prohibit long-distance shipping of produce. The “1,000-mile Caesar salad” will be a thing of the past.

If the Marketplace is built, the only locally produced jam we will see will be the traffic jam on what used to be called a highway. This is the Glenwood Springs model. Take a tight little valley and see how much you can “jam” into it. They now spend half their time arguing about how to build a “bypass.” Note to Carbondale planners: Start thinking of where to build the Highway 133 bypass.

The current plan for the Marketplace was called a “miracle.” I wonder what kind of religion welcomes business developments as miracles. Nor did I think that Carbondale had reached such dire economic straits that miracles are needed. Actually, a true miracle here would be, instead of a shopping center, a set of greenhouses to grow year-round foodstuffs. Now you’ll accuse me of smoking the “home-grown.”

Patrick Hunter


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