How Local is “Locally Grown”?

I enjoy visiting the independently-owned-and-operated greenhouses and garden centers in my region of Ohio – and when doing so also make it a point to visit the surrounding box stores.  I like to compare the product selection and quality, pricing, and see what type of consumer shops in each store.  This can be an eye-opening experience!

The growers in NW Ohio have worked together for several years on a educational/media campaign to promote “buying local”.  You can check out some of these branding and marketing efforts at Today I ran across this “locally grown” signage at a box store in NW Ohio:

locally grown wave sign cropped

In looking at the individual container labels, these wave petunias and other plants similarly advertised were grown 158 miles and 2 hours and 21 minutes away (according to MapQuest).  While I couldn’t find a description or definition of local in the store itself, the box store website explains that they work with “local growers in the five states” they service to source their flowers and plants.  So how far can a “locally grown” product be grown and still be considered “local”?  I’m not sure this question can be answered in a way that would satisfy all of us.  Do you consider this to be truth in advertising or misleading to the general public?  One thing is certain, it is interesting to see how businesses are defining and sourcing “local” products.

We would love to hear how you are promoting “buy local” in your greenhouse or garden center! Please leave a comment below: