photo by richreed
As I was getting ready to place my co-op order last month, I decided I should do a post about it. I touched on it in my last post, but we order from Frankferd Farms. We order through a friend of a friend and it’s not really a co-op because it’s not really membership based. A co-op, or food cooperative, according to the International Cooperative Alliance (1), is:
“… an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.”
The idea for co-ops, is to provide people access to real and natural foods that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to just by shopping at the grocery store. This is especially important in areas like mine that are very small communities that have limited foods available. All we have is a Kroger and a Walmart and a small mexican grocery….SO….a co-op was a good idea for us.
There are certainly other ways to get real food. I touched on this a little in my budgeting for real food article. A really good way to get good food is to go to good people! The little guys: farmers, small shop owners, farmer’s markets, get stuff from friends or grow it yourself. But for things we can’t get this way, we order.
Like anything, we need to budget our spending for the co-op orders. Our main order is wheat berries for making our homemade bread (recipe coming soon). So when we buy those, (25lbs!!) we won’t usually buy anything else. But, since 25lbs will keep us in wheat for a while, when we don’t have to order them, we can get other things. There is a wide variety of things to order from, of course.
Most of the time, we get rice, a nut butter, baking supplies, cheese…etc.
Some of the best things to get are dry goods. Grain, rice, and beans. We do buy this stuff, but we also buy cheese and other refrigerated goods.
Photo by freedigitalphotos.net
Most of the time, if you have a co-op group, there will also be people in the group who know what is best to buy and what is not as good. There may also be people who you can get certain items from. The woman that orders for us sells chickens, eggs, and much more. She also has Kombucha Scobies, Kefir Grains, and Sourdough starters that she gives away because she’s always got extra. 🙂 So check around.
Ask around at farmer’s markets or people in your area to see if they know of a co-op in your community. There are probably several. You can order from Frankferd and other co-ops independently, but it can be costly. Plus delivery can be difficult. Doing it as a group order will be most beneficial. You can even google “local food co-ops” and see if you can find one that is near you. However, I think the best way to find one, is to ask people you know.
Good food is the key to a good life.