Frustrated about trying to buy local produce - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 06-27-2010, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would love to do this. At one point I was buying farm fresh eggs from a woman, but it was like 10 miles from my house so not really worth the gas $ for the more expensive eggs. The farmer's market is held on a weekday when dh and I are not able to go (he works, I'm in school full time). There is another farmers market about 15 miles away on Saturdays that is indoors in our extreme Phoenix heat. Again, is it worth the gas money? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of buying local produce?

Also our transportation system stinks big time. I would have to walk over 1 mile to the nearest stop, then 10 miles up on the bus to the light rail, then 10 miles to school. That stretches a 20 minute trip into over 1 hour (even if I drove the 1 mile to the bus stop) each way and that's for $3.50 (more than I would pay for gas to drive there). So there would not be a way to realistically take the bus to the farmer's market either.

So week after week we buy imported shipped in veggies and fruits, most of them not organic. And of course we have to put them in plastic bags to be weighed. Any ideas?

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#2 of 13 Old 07-02-2010, 01:05 AM
 
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No solutions for you, unfortunately, but I wanted you to know you're not alone in this. We have no vehicle and are just outside a metro area. There are no really decent options for us, either. I did decide to ride the bus once a week or so to a farmer's market and/or local produce stand, but I also have the time to do it. DH and I are going to start doing that next week. Once those options are closed, there will be little to no local good for us. It can be frustrating!

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#3 of 13 Old 07-02-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
There is another farmers market about 15 miles away on Saturdays that is indoors in our extreme Phoenix heat. Again, is it worth the gas money? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of buying local produce?

Any ideas?
Buying local produce isn't about not having to drive to buy the stuff. Even if you were to drive 15 miles to buy it you are still saving lots of food miles if the stuff you normally buy is shipped to your state from California, Mexico or Chile.

Not only that but you will be supporting small local farmers and not some agribusiness conglomerate.

The food will be fresher, and you don't have to worry about it being irradiated, sprayed with wax, or some other nastiness.

Totally worth it.
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#4 of 13 Old 07-02-2010, 01:56 AM
 
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Good point, Chamomile! Inspires me to hop on the bus.

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#5 of 13 Old 07-03-2010, 11:32 AM
 
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I was just going to post what CG said... We have a similar issue. The natural food co-op is all the way across town, and it's hard to park once you do get there. I *never* go downtown, so it's not like I can combine trips. So I started going to the farmer's markets around town whenever I can. Yeah, I still drive about 20 minutes in any direction, but it's better than the 300 miles my strawberries from Trader Joe's just traveled.
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#6 of 13 Old 07-03-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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you dont have to put your produce in plastic bags at the grocery store. reusablebags.com sells muslin produce bags, or you could sew your own if you have the time, talent, and inclination (i SO dont have any of the 3! LOL)

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#7 of 13 Old 07-03-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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anyway you can do your own garden? I did go to the farmer's markets some, but found the prices too high for our budget, so i decided to learn gardening instead.

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#8 of 13 Old 07-04-2010, 12:17 AM
 
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you dont have to put your produce in plastic bags at the grocery store. reusablebags.com sells muslin produce bags, or you could sew your own if you have the time, talent, and inclination (i SO dont have any of the 3! LOL)
Our local Fred Meyer (owned by Kroger) now has sets of mesh produce bags to buy in their produce department. They would be good for certain bulk foods too, like beans. You can also find them on Etsy.

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#9 of 13 Old 07-04-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Arianwen1174 View Post
Our local Fred Meyer (owned by Kroger) now has sets of mesh produce bags to buy in their produce department. They would be good for certain bulk foods too, like beans. You can also find them on Etsy.
I've found that those mesh lingerie bags work just as well as those fancy "produce bags" I was able to buy a set of 3 smaller sizes at the dollar tree store. They are lightweight and washable with a zipper on them.
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#10 of 13 Old 07-04-2010, 01:33 AM
 
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Again, is it worth the gas money? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of buying local produce?
YES worth the gas money! Definitely doesn't defeat the purpose!! Produce you buy from the store around the corner from you has likely traveled HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS (if not thousands and thousands) more miles than you will drive to your farmers market. And it may or may not be in season. Don't worry about taking the bus (unless you have the patience). If it makes the difference between shopping from a local farmer and not shopping local, just drive. It's better for the environment, the local economy, and your health.


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So week after week we buy imported shipped in veggies and fruits, most of them not organic. And of course we have to put them in plastic bags to be weighed. Any ideas?
You can also reuse your plastic bags from week to week. Just wash/rinse them and you can easily dry them by hanging them on a clothes line (another alternative is to store your large wooden cooking spoon in a glass jar--then hang your drying bags over the handles).

And here's a great resource site to make sure that you really know about all the ways to get local produce near you: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ If the farmers market doesn't work for you, you might consider a "CSA"...but this site has information on both types of resources.

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#11 of 13 Old 07-04-2010, 02:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Carlyle View Post
And here's a great resource site to make sure that you really know about all the ways to get local produce near you: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ If the farmers market doesn't work for you, you might consider a "CSA"...but this site has information on both types of resources.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this link!!!

Can a person join a CSA later in the season or does it have to be before the season starts?

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#12 of 13 Old 07-04-2010, 02:39 AM
 
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Thank you, thank you, thank you for this link!!!

Can a person join a CSA later in the season or does it have to be before the season starts?
It depends on the CSA. Most require a subscription at the beginning of the season, but some sell partial seasons, and some around here allow you to buy a box every other week or so on demand.
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#13 of 13 Old 07-04-2010, 05:32 AM
 
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Thanks, Chamomile!

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