On my counter as I type this are five gallon jars full of local organic cucumbers, garlic, dill, brine and spices. In two weeks, these local food prizes will be magically transformed into dill pickles that will last my family for months.
Making these pickles is as easy as putting the cucumbers and other tasty tidbits into the jars and pouring the brine over. Since the brine is simply pickling salt mixed with water, I don't even know that I want to call it brine, it's so uncomplicated.
Sure, I could go to the grocery store in December and buy a big jar of dill pickles for probably less than these will cost me to make.
But let's add up what I get going this route:
The cucumbers are organic, not grown using mass industrial ag methods. I know the farmer who grew them by first name, as opposed to the corporate conglomerate that brings me the grocery store variety. I know the workers are well paid and cared for (since they work the market booth too!). And the $66 I spent to buy the local food cucumbers, dill and garlic is not only going straight to the farmer; it's also going to stay in my local economy.
All that for 30 minutes worth of work cutting off the blossom ends and mixing up the brine. Sounds like a steal if you ask me!
It's the same when you buy meat from a local farmer raising pasture pigs. You might pay a little more per pound, but you know the pigs are raised naturally. You know your farmer, and you can even tour the property. Plus, your dollars stay where they belong: in your local economy. Naturally. :-)