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Long Story Short

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When we published our annual InSider guide to Colorado Springs in early April, we counted nine farmers markets in the area. Four months later, it looks like that number has reached 14.

Among the new additions are at least two — Heritage Farmers Market and Homegrown on Tejon — that bill themselves as micro-markets, which sell items grown by small-plot urban farmers and backyard gardeners.

So even here, in the city that starred in Fast Food Nation, the hunger for local is clearly growing. That's probably why last week's fliers from both King Soopers and Safeway promoted not just cheap summer produce, but local summer produce, in big letters atop page one. It's simply good business right now to play up the local ties you have.

It's anything but simple, though, when a business, food-related or otherwise, actually invents those ties. And that's what's happening more and more in conference rooms throughout America.

Stacy Mitchell points out the ridiculousness of some such efforts. ("All bookselling is local," Barnes & Noble? Really?)

More importantly, she also explains the risks they pose to true neighborhood businessmen and women — those people whose work over the past decade-plus has created the wave Big Business is now trying to ride.

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