When we started switching from being traditional greenhouse growers in which we sold all of our products to distributors across North America, we had no idea just how much of our product we would be able to sell locally or whether or not the idea would even work.
It didn't take long though for it to catch on, & for the past several years, we've been selling nearly 98% of our products locally within Arizona. We've been excited about how this has been able to make us a more sustainable company & to decrease the distance that our produce has to travel to our customer's tables.
Recently, though, we've been able to take local to the next level. In our non-veganic growing system, we grew our tomatoes in slabs that came from Sri-Lanka and fertilizers that came mainly from Israel & Norway. In our veganic growing system, we grow in dirt in raised beds (now how much more local & natural can you be than that?!). For fertilizers, most of what we use comes from local sources - tomato leaves from our own plants as well as straw, alfalfa & pinto beans that we get from other local farms. And for the plant products that we can't get locally here, we are able to get them from farms located within the US.
Besides the local products that we use for growing, we also get the pecan shells that we use for heating our greenhouse from a local farm here in Arizona (read about it under the Biomass Heating section), and the waste ash from burning them gets re-used in our fertilizers for our crops.
To us, local is part of connecting the farm and the table - of growing nutrient rich foods in an environmentally conscious & healthy way; it's giving our customers the essence of local: locally grown using mainly local materials.