I like it when good ideas spread. And I don't just mean things like Melissa Clark's Salted Maple Walnut Thumbprints. (But DO make those. They won't let you down.) I mean things like Island Grown Initiative—that Martha's Vineyard non-profit we spent so much time talking about back in January and February. I got an email a few weeks ago, and it looks like the idea has spread. A non-profit organization called Sustainable Nantucket, inspired by IGI's success, has launched a farm-to-school program, another program working to pair interns interested in agriculture with local growers, and this spring, it's starting a campaign to promote local produce on the island. It will look like this:
The idea is to give Nantucket farmers a unified marketing platform for their meat and eggs and produce. Sustainable Nantucket will hand out stickers and signs with the logo in the spring, and growers can use them at the farmers' market and anywhere else they sell retail, including grocery stores. Sustainable Nantucket's executive director, Michelle Whelan, says that she dreams of the day she walks into Grand Union and sees this logo popping up in the produce aisle.
On the restaurant side of things, Whelan's hoping to get things up and running by 2012. Restaurants will have to prove that they're sourcing a percentage of their food locally, this will be verified by Sustainable Nantucket through the growers, and the restaurants will be able to use the Nantucket Grown logo on their menus. This won't replace listing the farm names—i.e. Bartlett Farm Tomatoes on a caprese salad—but the hope is that it will help diners who care about local food choose accordingly.
So if you're on the island, keep an eye out. Nantucket Grown arrives this spring!