Farmers markets and Bitcoin: What’s cooking in the crypto-kitchen?

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Farmers markets are the way to buy your produce, meats, milk and eggs these days. Concern over eating better has grown due to the increase of health problems like obesity, autism, cancer and other issues on the rise.

Local farm markets have increased since 2012 in direct sales by 9.6 percent in the United Sales alone. This number has grown exponentially every following year with a surge in agricultural interest. What’s also on the rise is the ever looming recession happening globally. The economy has made it hard for many families to survive acting as primer for the “grow your own” movement.

coins-plantIn many aspects, the agricultural boom is just as powerful as the cryptocurrency explosion. With cash transactions happening less and less, farmers markets and CSAs (Community-Supported Agriculture) typically operate businesses with credit card or checks. Vendors have to use portable units like Square, and often have to fork between three to five percent over to credit card companies and banking institutions. This is an unfortunate loss of profit by small businesses barely making it in these hard times.

[tweet_box design=”default”]Bitcoin is the perfect fit for activists who want to stop the never ending insanity of corporate greed in the food industry.[/tweet_box]

Small businesses like these makeshift markets have little cash flow to donate to faceless entities. These banks and credit card companies are also the same financial providers for Monsanto and the big food corporations. Bitcoin is the ethical answer to this problem, and the solution to many ‘ease of convenience’ issues within the agro-scene.

The digital currency born in 2008 has so much to offer to this movement. For the first time in history, wealth can be transferred without a central point of failure. There is no government of banks controlling Bitcoin. No corporate controllers with puppeteered political pundits, absolutely no associations with Monsanto.

An organic form of money

Farmers markets being a sharing subculture and a very vivid solution to economic woes concerning food should meld with the virtual currency. It is the perfect fit for activists who want to stop the never ending insanity of corporate greed in the food industry. There are a few known farmers markets and organic cook shops in the US that accept the currency like La Nay Ferme in Provo, Utah, SmartChickFarms, in North Carolina, Conscious Cookery in South Dakota, and many others popping up across the states.

bitfarms1_2And then there’s BitFarms, a website that gathers information about Bitcoin-accepting farmers markets across the world. The site is in the process of being built, but it already displays information about a few farms.

Manhattan Agriculture is one of these farms. The mission statement, which contains three core values says:

“We are building an agricultural network for the Information Age by adopting ecologically conscious technologies and product cycles. Descriptions of macrobiotics: it is the idea that if we eat foods appropriate for human consumption, cooked in ways that are harmonious with the seasons, we can optimize physical health, resist premature aging and overcome disease. Cryptocurrencies: the first proof of concept self-regulating economy, based on a pure form of money that resists manipulation by both well-meaning and misbehaving centralized authorities. Environmental justice and social liberty. I am another you.”

Another cool food merchant that accepts the virtual currency is HonestBeef, based out of Australia. The brand offers a flat rate of roughly 0.0403 a pound for its grass-fed beef. The service offers sustainable farming practices and uses no hormones during the growth process of their cattle. The company reminds people as Bitcoin is an instant service, their orders are not. HonestBeef’s website bares a large “Bitcoin Accepted” logo and states its humane principles towards cattle:

“It takes between 22 to 25 months to produce an HonestBeef animal. From gestation to market, the animal receives the best possible care to ensure both the healthiest and best beef possible. Only those animals that pass health and physical tests are considered.”

manhattanagOther example of farm freshness mixed with Bitcoin is the online Farmers Market. The food service owned and operated by Overstock.com allows you to buy farm fresh food with Bitcoin from home. Farmers Market is a home delivery site that ships to a wide variety of locations.

Patrick Byrne told the press that he wants to use this service to encompass 70 percent of the US farmers markets and CSAs. Farmers are encouraged to join for free using a unique sharing economy within the service. Users just login with no subscription, enter their address and order crisp and fresh vegetables and farm foods.

Farmers markets currently cover just about every county in the US and new related services are appearing abundantly online. From internet-based services to small town markets, the scene has leveraged 18 years of evolution across the US. The number of farms registered to sell with the US Department of Agriculture exceeds 10,000.

But farmers outside the country are also splicing online farm fresh delivery using the virtual currency. Santiago Zaz created the Tierra Buena Network, a produce merchant from Argentina. “To date, a steady 1 in 10 sales comes in the form of Bitcoin,” he recently told the press.

Carrying a Bitcoin wallet instead of large amounts of cash should also add convenience to the merchant and the buyer. No more going to the local barber shop for change. Bitcoin offers a fast transaction without the hassle of change or digging out cash. Bitcoin also gives instant gratification transactions where you won’t have to wait for a credit card payment to process. You will see your money instantly in your wallet and with merchant services like BitPay you can convert to US dollars or euros right away.

Bitcoin and the agricultural movement are the perfect fit. When thinking about everyday living and a healthy diet, financial freedom is also just what the doctor ordered. Bitcoin is the organic form of money without all the pests and pesticides.

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Jamie Redman

Writer at 99 Bitcoins
Jamie Redman is a bitcoin enthusiast, graphic artist, and journalist with an intense passion for free markets and sound money.

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