Saturday, July 04, 2009

Going Green Update -- Food Co-ops

Today was our introduction into the world of food co-ops. I had been at one of my clients this week and she gave me a bag of peaches and mentioned that they had gotten them in their basket of fruits and vegetables that she picked up every two weeks at Bountiful Baskets, a Phoenix-area co-op:

This is a grass roots, all volunteer, no contracts, no catch co-operative ... As a group, we purchase items at deep discounts. Items are then distributed evenly among participants ...

$15 every two weeks (paid ahead of time so that no more than purchased is ordered), bring your own basket or reusable bags, and pick up at several designated locations around the Valley during a specified time, in our case 7:45 am Saturday morning at a local elementary school. For a little more, you can get a basket of organic fruits and vegetables or even artisan bread.

The concept is cool because it cuts out all the crap that has absolutely nothing to do with food: advertising, processing, a storefront, displays. Participants are asked to volunteer occasionally. Everything is very fresh, as they are buying it at the same places that the local grocery stores and restaurants buy.

For the $15, I got two laundry baskets full of fruits and vegetables. Evidently a lot of people are catching on to the idea, as there were about 200 families picking up at this location, and this is only one of about 50 sites in the valley.

If you are looking for a co-op in your area, check out this site: LocalHarvest

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