Our dismay at the village of Black Earth forcing small, organic meat processor Black Earth Meats to shut down operations was certainly eased somewhat by the news that as many as seven other communities are interested in having the highly regarded business relocate.

Black Earth is certainly free to be the community its residents want it to be. While we think closing the ethical and health minded business and its 30 employees will be a net loss for Black Earth we have to assume residents support local officials who made the decision.

But we interpret the interest of other communities as recognition of the growing appreciation for small, local, sustainable and environmentally responsible food operations, a recognition we share. We need more food business like Black Earth Meats, not fewer, and we suspect communities that are home to such businesses will ultimately be seen as desirable places to live and work.

We hope owner Bartlett Durand finds a new home soon. In the meantime you can find ideas for supporting the business on the Black Earth Meats website.