Episode #170

Charley Cummings

Fixing a Local Food System by Connecting Farmers with Consumers

It’s pretty clear to most people that there’s no silver bullet to climate change. But it still seems like we’re looking for one, which is frustrating. Click To Tweet

One of my dreams is to fix the local food system here in Austin, and in my research to figure out how to do that, I came across someone who is already doing that in his area.

Charley Cummings started his business Walden Local as a way to connect farmers with consumers. It also addresses and fixes the issues in the entire food supply system in his local New England area and proudly serves 30,000 families there.

Charley’s business tackles everything from raising and processing animals to hand delivering the meat to consumers.

You’ll hear all about what led Charley to start this business, the problems he’s addressing, the obstacles he faced, and so much more.

It’s incredible to see how well his business addresses and fixes the problems in his local food system, and it’s just the beginning of what he does.

Charley’s latest venture, Walden Mutual, is a bank that supports the local economy and, more specifically, the local farming community he works with.

You’ll not only hear about how Charley started Walden Mutual in this episode, but you’ll also learn about the true impact of your bank deposit dollars — this blew my mind, and, trust me, it’s not good, and you’re going to be surprised at this one — and why you should pay more attention to where your money goes.

Of all your behaviors — like what you eat, the clothes you buy, driving an electric vehicle or hybrid versus not, etc. — your (bank) deposits are up there as one of the most impactful things you can do. Click To Tweet

This is another fascinating episode that I’m sure you’ll learn a lot from.

Here’s a peek at some of the topics Charley and I get into:

  • Charley’s story and how he found himself in this local agricultural movement space
  • Charley’s experience that made him realize something more needed to be done to connect consumers with local farmers
  • What Charley’s business Walden Local does
  • The pivotal point that shifted Charley’s thinking on addressing global environmental issues and how he still uses this thought process today
  • How Charley wanted to play a role in tackling environmental issues
  • Why there’s no silver bullet to climate change and what can be done instead
  • The problems Charley initially set out to solve and what that looks like today
  • How Charley addressed issues like moving massive quantities of ground beef
  • Why Charley doesn’t ship his meat and the delivery approach he uses instead
  • Some of the challenges farmers in his area faced and what he did to help people overcome them
  • What happens to your money when you deposit it in a traditional bank
  • How to change where your deposit dollars go and why you’d want to do that 

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