The Front Porch Farm Stand is becoming quite the hang out for local talent, musical talent, that is.  One singer songwriter was so concerned upon hearing that two Walmarts were being built in a small foothill town of Altadena that he wrote a song.  In fact, he wrote that song sitting in our front yard, enjoying a cup of organic coffee or maybe it was rose petal lemonade (can’t remember which).

Whilst I was helping customers with their orders, it was neat to take a peek and see him scribbling away writing lyrics.   Even though we don’t live in Altadena, many of our farm stand customers do.  With the birth of this song in our front garden and being a small business ourselves, we utilized  our video and editing skills so that this song be heard.

In the great tradition of folk music protest, check out this just-posted demo cut of “Waltadena” composed and sung by Duane Thorin.


Sadly, this scenario is happening to small towns and businesses everywhere; however,  there are certainly mixed feelings, especially in this economy with folks  trying to save money to feed their families.

It’s just human nature to look for bargains. I mean we are all guilty of trying to “save a buck or two.”

At Eco Farm Conference one year there was a very heated discussion/exchange between Gary Hirshberg  (CEO of Stonyfield) and longtime small farmer Elliot Coleman over the selling of organic foods to Walmart.  One guy got up from the audience and said that he was from the south and THE only place one could purchase organic foods was Walmart.

Seems there’s a lot to be said on both sides.

What do you think?  Are big box stores helpful or hurtful?

:: Resources ::

 The High Cost of Low Price   (watch entire documentary online)


  1. mia says:

    This song and video is so beautiful. I can’t get it out of my head. Good job, guys!

    • mia says:

      This song and video are so beautiful. I can’t get it out of my head. Good job, guys!

  2. Deanna says:

    This song really spoke to me. I have been on both side trying to support small businesses as well as struggling to feed my family. It was a hard decision in the beginning but I have found (at least in my area) the local farmers and businesses have better deals but you have to have the cash up front otherwise you can’t shop at their stores. This can be difficult for some but if you get to know your local businesses people are more than willing to work with you.

    I found that when I finally stopped shopping at the big box stores my grocery and household bills went down because I was only purchasing what I needed. I was actually surprised by this but with that knowledge I have only visited a big box store a few times in the last couple of years.

    The smaller stores have way better customer service and better selection and you know you are keeping your money in the community by shopping local.

  3. TechChik says:

    Short term, big box stores may have some benefits. After all, who wouldn’t want to pay less for what they need? The problem is that the real motivation of these stores is to get us to spend as much as we can. They sell us things we want, not just need, and they make them look so attractive and cheap. I’m not saying it’s anyone’s responsibility but our own to monitor our own finances, spending and consumption habits, but it is our responsibility to look at the bigger picture and ask what it is we really want. Big box stores actively lie about the bigger picture by saying they’ll create jobs in a community and help provide a better life for everyone.

    Long term, I don’t think big stores are sustainable. Their entire business model depends on cheap oil/gas, and we all know where the price of that has been going – nowhere but up. They’ll either have to completely decentralize and go local (I’ve seen a few add a few local products in an attempt to keep the public feeling less guilty about their consumption habits so they’ll buy more) , or they’ll have to downsize back to the mom & pop stores that existed before they came.

    Local businesses are sustainable, globally supplied, oil dependant big box stores aren’t.

  4. Ady says:

    Hello !!!!
    I like very much your blog and I follow it since very long time. Unfortunately your feed doesn’t work since June. How can I do to have the good feed url ?

  5. kendra says:

    Not true about only finding organics at Walmart. I never set foot in Walmart and havent for 15 years. We have Earth Fare and Whole Foods; Publix has an organic section; the farmers market always has at least one organic farmer. I live in Summerville, SC, which is 25 miles inland from Charleston.

  6. Lee Taylor says:

    As a video professional, I appreciated the quality of the video, BUT, I appreciated even more the message! Seems those “cheaper” prices don’t come so cheap after all! There are so many places where we need to draw a line and say, “No further!”

    Lord help us to stand in the gap!

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