Monday, June 25, 2012

Not Buying The Farm (Co-op)

It's become quite the rage in SLC over the last few years: buy local, go green, buy organic, support your neighbors' businesses, do urban farming.  So, what could be better than a local, independent grocery mart that sells locally produced, organic food?  Really, it sounds great.
And plus, they have this program wherein the customer pays upfront for several weeks' worth of fresh products to be bagged and picked up on Thursdays.  Wow.  I was hooked.  It sounded awesome.
But it wasn't.
We've now reached the end of our six weeks, and I won't be doing it again.  Ever.
First off, not one bit of the produce was local.  Every single vegetable and the very occasional fruit came from California.  The eggs and cheese were local, yes, but nothing else was.  I, therefore, paid extra NOT to support local farmers and got the same stuff I could've bought for MUCH less shipped in from California to my local chain grocery store.
Secondly, they shoved the bag full of stuff they wouldn't be able to sell otherwise.  Dandelion greens, for example, are nasty things, once eaten by starving peasants in France, so now the French and those who wish to pretend they are high class pretend to like eating them.  Why, in heaven's name, would I want to pay huge prices for bitter weeds that I could pull right out of my own lawn?  And it's kale every single week.  Kale's not bad, but it's not great.  And bunch after bunch of it was stuck in the bag.  And one week they gave us beets that were the same texture as plywood.  Horrible stuff.  I love beets, but I don't like red sawdust, and that's what we got.  Another week, it was 10 bulbs of garlic.  TEN!  Now, I love garlic, but 10 bulbs in one week?  Seriously?
The result was that I paid a lot of good money on stuff I had to throw into the brown organic waste recycling bin.  What a waste of money!
From now on, if I want local produce, I think I'll visit the farmers' market instead.  No more farm co-ops for me, as this was more of a farm rip-off than a co-op.


  1. What a sad experience. Also sad to say my few co-op experiences were not much better. I think I will stick to growing my own organic produce. And dandelions.

  2. Farmer's markets in the UK tend to be like that. Overpriced rubbish that tastes bad.

    Best off visiting the lcoal farmers. I'm going fruit picking at a local farm sometime soon. I'll take the boys with me too.

  3. How disappointing! I have actually had a great experience with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares. For the past three or four years, I have written a check in the spring for a share of produce all summer from a local farm. I have tried two farms and they have both been picked in the morning is delivered to a drop-spot and I can pick it up at noon. One had a better variety of fruit, but the other was organic. I think there are 20-30 options in Utah now, but apparently they must vary in quality.

  4. This one was through a local small market, not through the farmers themselves. That may have been the problem. Still, I think the farmers' market might be a better choice for me.

  5. I still like the farmer's market just for the fun of puttering around and looking at all the interesting things, and trying something new every time.