Wednesday, February 06, 2013
good morning everyone! well its off to the food coop for the first time today. my friend marianne has been a member of this group forever, and recently we decided to join too. a couple weeks ago i went to an orientation meeting and its such a sweet little group of people.
there is a small Catholic university near us called ancilla college. it is administered by a group of sisters "the poor handmaids of Jesus Christ". i am not a Catholic, so i don't know the exact in's and out's of the terminology here, so if i make a mistake, its not intentional or meant to be disrespectful.
anyway--ancilla college has, as one of its missions, the desire to promote responsible and healthy consumption of food and resources. they do this through a number of means; one of which is a sort of store they operate called "earthworks". this is a quirky little place where you can buy artisan breads baked in the back of the store, artisan cheeses made at nearby monastaries, local honey, locally raised organic meat, and all manner of free trade and "close to the source" items. its in the town of plymouth--about 25 minutes from me--which is a small town that still survives and has a very strong identity thanks to a very active and commited civic pride.
the coop is an offshoot of the earthworks operation--i am still not entirely clear on the hierarchy, but the two entities exist symbiotically in some fashion.
basically you join the coop (it used to be free but because they moved to a new building where they have to pay rent, they decided it will now cost 10.00, but they are very laid back about actually collecting the money). once you join, the lady that oversees the coop (a hypnotherapist in her career life) gives you a user name and password so you can access a website. this is a HUMONGOUS website--basically every organic or enviornmentally conscious product you have ever seen in the grocery store or farmer's market is on this website somewhere. as a coop member you have access to certain discounts and specials, as well as being able to buy any of the items in the catalog that are routed through the distribution point in your region. once a month you place an order--the deadline is at midnight on a wednesday. the following wed. your order comes in to the coop and you go pick it up. this month i ordered a few things off the sale flyers to try it out and see how it all works. today is pick up day so i will find out.
this whole operation is quite low tech and laid back. people are assumed to be honest and no one seems to get real excited about strict procedures and protocols. marianne tells me that this has always been true of the organization and its one of the many reasons i love living in a small, rural area. it will be fun and interesting as rob and i become a part of this group. for today, i will be picking up 25 pounds of organic basmati rice, a case of drinkable yogurt, some silver based medicine, and a couple other things. should be fun!