Food is good………fresh food is better………local fresh food is the Best!
It may seem difficult and costly to start purchasing more local food from a farmer’s market as opposed to food shipped to your nearest grocer, but certain groups have helped tremendously. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and food co-ops are two popular ways for people like you and me to benefit from fresh food straight from a farm near you.
Kelley and I currently have our house for sale and were scheduled for a showing this past Saturday morning. Since this puts us out of the house for 2 hours, we opted to go for a nice walk with Abby, our Golden Retriever, and buy some coffee from a local business nearby. On the walk back, we stumbled on a group of people sorting various fresh produce among laundry baskets in equal portions. This was something that I, a food lover, had to investigate.
We walked over and the people explained how they are a food co-op consisting of small group of people who get their food from a farmer’s market every 2 weeks. To join, you pay $25 for each food assortment and a one-time fee of $7 for the laundry baskets used to place your share of food. After explaining how the group rotates who goes to the farmer’s market for the bulk purchases and their bi-weekly meeting time, I was intrigued and wanted to join. I saw they had mushrooms (a big fav of mine) and asked if I could by any leftovers. Instead, they gave us a basket full of their whole assortment of produce; green peppers, string beans, mango, kiwi, mushrooms, broccoli, and romaine lettuce!
Wow! If they didn’t know how passionate I was about food already, they did now. I became giddy offered the $5 we had left after our coffee purchase, but they refused. We finally get the group to accept the cash as a donation for their new church, but wish we could’ve given more. I got a number to call once we were sure we wanted to join, and then we carried on our way with a bag full of goodies!
So, what are food co-ops and CSA’s you ask? Here’s an explanation for each group and their benefits listed from this site:
•Environment benefits: Purchasing foods produced locally reduces the food miles your food travels (giving you a smaller carbon footprint). You’ll also likely be supporting a small-scale, family farm that is much more sustainable and hopefully organic, which has many other benefits. Learn more about the benefits of being a locavore.
Search for co-ops and CSA’s in your area at http://www.localharvest.org/ and start doing your part for a healthier environment and healthier you!
Here are a couple other sites to search for local farmers:
If there is nothing in your immediate area, you can look into starting your own co-op and take pride in your work.