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Food Co-ops

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm having trouble finding a food co-op in my area. I live in Broome County, in upstate New York. Although, I'd join a co-op in Susquehanna County, Pa, cause that's close by too.

Does anyone know where I could look?

Also, the little bit of research I did, I found that it's like $200-$300 per year - is that what those of you pay who are part of co-ops?
post #2 of 18
sorry I don't have any advise for you on co-op close to you but I am FREAKING out about the cost you quoted...

My co-op membership fee was.......

$36 dollars !!!

and that was for a 5 year membership
or $6.00 yearly....

post #3 of 18
Sorry to hear about your Co-op woes. Here in the 'burgh, our fabulous Co-op has a $100 share OPTION. You pay this once and you are a member until you don't want to be. Then you get your $100 back. You don't have to be a member to shop there either. Members get a 10% discount and others pay shelf price.

Does this Co-op that you were looking into require you to be a member in order to shop there? If not, I wouldn't join, but would still shop there.

post #4 of 18
Me, again.

I did some research and realized that your county includes Binghamton. I found Co-ops here that are at least in your general part of the state.

Suny Binghampton Co-op
Student Union Suny Binghampton
Binghampton New York 13905-
Phone: (607) 777-4258
(I think they really meant Binghamton)

Honest Weight Food Co-op
484 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206
Phone: (518) 482-2667
Email: email@hwfc.com
$100 share requirement with very flexible payments

Syracuse Real Food Co-op
618 Kensington Road [map]
Syracuse, NY 13210
(315) 472-1385
fax: (315) 422-9021
no info on membership cost on their site

There was also a list for the Genesse Food Co-op in Rochester, but their page link didn't work.

Are any of these near you at all?

I don't know if this link will work, but this is a list of the Co-ops by state. I saw some NY ones there. http://www.coopdirectory.org/directory.htm

Good Luck.

post #5 of 18
Look here:

$200-$300 sounds like the type of co-op (can't remember name) that you pay upfront the farmer and then every week you get a big box of fresh, usually organic produce. It actually is very reasonable.

I'm putting together some info to post on IL sources for area families to use. We have many options here, I am discovering.
post #6 of 18
Many co-ops are very flexible about membership fees, allowing you to pay a few dollars every month.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Mirlee - Ohmygosh, THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you for taking the time to do that for me!!! You are such a sweetie. I'm gonna check into the Binghamton University one. I did hear through the grapevine that it's not like it used to be and there's very limited selection - just dry goods, beans, grains, that sort of thing. I'm interested in produce, really. And even meat. I'm also interested in brown eggs. And I would buy some flowers sometimes, too. You even included phone numbers! Thank you!

Els3Ones - Thank you for that website!!! I think I went there before, and that's where I found that price of like $200-300 and yes you get produce for that for the year or something. I don't know what the difference is between that and a co-op.

What is a co-op exactly?

Everybody - thank you so much.
post #8 of 18
My understanding of a co-op is a group of people that order together in bulk. That saves money. Deliveries are to one location and there you pick up your portion. You pay for what you order.

The $200-$300 dealy is this: (I found the name!!! Yeah!!)

Become a shareholder in an organic farm (CSA: Community Supported Agriculture)

There is a growing movement across the United States of individuals supporting sustainable agriculture. This often takes the form of joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm. This sustainable and empowering way to buy food has been quite successful. The farmer grows a multitude of strictly organic crops and sells a "share "of the farm to an individual or group of individuals which entitles the holder to a weekly delivery of a share of all that the farm produces that week. Most CSA farms have a growing season from June through October, but some farms produce food year-round. The benefit to the farmer is that he or she gets a guaranteed income source and money up-front to buy seed and equipment. The system also removes a significant amount of risk for the farmer due to crop failures, infestation, or bad weather. It allows the farmer to have a more guaranteed living and be able to continue farming organically with some financial security. The benefit to the shareholder is that every week he or she receives a large box of varied vegetables and fruits. They are picked that day at the height of their ripeness and flavor with all of the benefits of organic agriculture. Shares are usually quite large and oftentimes are shared between four adults. In many instances, this has proven to be a real community builder amongst neighbors. Many communities across the United States now have CSA farms to pick from. Once introduced to this way of supporting sustainable agriculture, most shareholders become quite passionate about the practice. And of course, the food is delicious!
So, really, that much money for fresh, organic veggies every week is not a bad deal but a rather good one. But you pay upfront which some can't afford to do.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yes, CSA, that's what it's called - I remember now from that site. It does sound like it's less expensive when you think of it that way. I'd have to think about what I usually spend on produce per month or per year and see if I could do it.

So, when you pay like $36 to join a food co-op, like MoonChild was saying, then you place an order for what you'd like for your family, and just pay for it when you pick it up, right? Do you pick it up at the farm? Or have it delivered to one person's house?
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
El's 3 Ones, thank you so much for finding that for me! It's a big help! I'm trying to figure out how I could start getting local produce for my family, without having to hunt around for it, which I don't have time to do.

I always feel guilty when I buy it from our large chain grocery store in town. I want to support our local farmers, and I'd like to try to do better with eating "within the season" for my area.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
I just went to the Local Harvest site, and there's a CSA near me that charges $350.00 per season!!! See, that's way too expensive for me. I'm hoping I can find something MUCH less expensive.
post #12 of 18
My co-op/health food store charges $90 for a lifetime membership. They are allowing me to pay $7.50/mo for a year.

They have member day (Tuesdays in December members get 5% off total purchase) and you get a 'wild card' to use for one day's purchase at 5% off, you use it on non-member day. Certain items are on sale for members only for the month.

It's worth it even now, while I'm paying for my membership. After I'm paid off it will be money in my pocket! That's where I get my Organic produce, bulk grains and flours etc and health care items like Burt's Bees and Weleda. The only drawback is that it's a 20 minute drive!
post #13 of 18
I might be able to help (since I live in Binghamton!) with these questions. The food co-op on campus is the only co-op, as in in gives discounts to the people who volunteer in the store in order to keep it open. They mostly are good for bulk orders because they only charge 10% over wholesale for any order. This is particularly good when you order for the monthly sales catalogues. Other food options are the 3 Health food stores (Endicott, Johnson City, and Binghamton - the best is Sunrise in Binghamton). But, for produce, these are not tht great in the Winter - for this you have to go to the Wegman's. Eggs are available at each. Because it is winter up here, local options are not really available. For this, the best is to buy in the summer and can or freeze it for the winter.

The CSA options are very good here in town. There are 2 certified organic CSAs - one that delivers to Sunrise and one that delivers to the Vestal Farmers Market on Wed and Sat. Once a week you get a pile of produce - whatever is ready at the time.

My family subscribes tot he Bloodnick family farm, which costs 210 for a half share or 400 for a full share (and is SOOOO worth it). For this you get 5-6 months of produce, which is way less money than you'll pay for it at the store, or even at the market. We are veggie and eat mostly produce int he summers, so we get the full share for the 2 of us and buy almost no other food for several months of the year. A full share might be more than you want, though, since it requires that you eat that almost exclusively (4 heads of lettuce every week, for example). The payments for the CSA are due in febuary or March to help the farmers buy seeds and such. The Bloodnicks are great - a hippie family with 3 great kids and a beautiful garden out in Appalachin.

Hope this helps!

post #14 of 18
Hey, I used to live in Binghamton!! I'm from western Canada, but I went to grad school there for 2 years. It can be pretty tricky for health food, compared to what west-coasties are used to! I had a membership at the co-op on campus: even then it was pretty tiny, and I don't think it had fresh veggies, but it certainly helped. I got organics when I could at Wegman's, and I think also Price Chopper.

It's a pretty small town: I'm surprised there's 2 of you in the area on the boards, plus a former resident -- small world!
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
mammastar - I think there's a lot more Binghamtonians on the board, too, who are incognito! Or lurking maybe.

Thank you guys so much! Megan - that is a BIG help to me!!! When I see you IRL, we can talk more about the CSA's and such. I'm so happy to know that there's some resources in my area. I also didn't know that the CSAs delivered to the farmers markets. I LOVE the farmers' markets here. Next year I'm gonna be better about getting organized and visiting them every week for fresh produce. It's the winter that I'm struggling with at this point. At least they have the brown eggs at the health food stores, right? I get my produce at Wegman's in the winter, but I don't know if it's from closeby or far away.

Anyway, thank you very much, Megan, Celestial, mammastar and everyone.

You guys are the best.
post #16 of 18

We use Urban Organic

They deliver to NY, NYC and the tri-state area. They also operate in Portland.

Mention DH Frank Vacin and we get a free box! I've been very happy with their delivery and it saves me a lot of trips to the store. And it means we eat mostly organic which is hard to do just shopping in supermarkets.

Edited to add Urban Oranic's web site:

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
tessamami - thank you! That site looks great!
post #18 of 18

about the genesee co-op

the reason why the link page for the genesee co-p doesn't work is because it is now the abundance co-op. it has been re-organized from a co-op-like foodstore to a true co-op. shares are $100, or a volunteer shift of so many hours (can't recall.) i love the new co-op! we live about a block from it and shop there everyday, although we are still paying for our share. they have a kids' are for the children to play in & wonderful soups from local restaraunts. i miss the beautiful old wood in the old co-op, but the new one is so much nicer. i can not say enough nice things about this co-op. here's the new link:

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