In my previous post about purchasing organic produce at an affordable price, I briefly suggested some sources. Well, here is a list of sources with a descriptive blurb. I also posted a link to a website where you can search for local produce in your area. I hope you find it helpful.
Sources for Organic Produce:
- CSA‘s (Community Supported Agriculture) – this is a membership that you pay ahead of time (usually several months) to a local farm where you get a box of fresh produce either weekly or every other week. It’s a great way to get a variety of fresh produce that is seasonal, organic and locally grown. Plus, you are supporting local farms which are a sustainable source of food. It’s a win-win for everyone: you, the farm and the earth. It’s also a great way to become acquainted with produce that you may not be familiar with. Usually CSA’s will let you know ahead of time what is in the week’s box and will also supply recipes for items that are not so widely known.
- Farmer’s Markets – Like CSA’s, shopping at a farmer’s market is a great way to support local farmers and get fresh seasonal produce. It also allows you to talk with the farmers themselves. Some local farms use organic growing practices, but are not officially USDA Certified Organic. Reason being, the certification process is too expensive for their small farm. They are not allowed to advertise “organic” but they can at least advertise as “pesticide free.” They may even let you know that they follow organic practices. So essentially, you are getting organic produce, even though it is not labeled “organic.”
- Local Produce/ Grocery Stores – These can range from a roadside stand, to a mom & pop grocery store. Usually, they purchase their produce from local farmers. However, you may need to ask some questions as to whether or not pesticides are used and what their practices are.
- Specialty or Health Food Stores – These range from larger chain stores such as Wholefoods and Trader Joe’s to smaller chain or individual health food stores. Usually you get a nice selection, BUT, you need to really check out the prices. This is where you will find prices fluctuate and they can be quite high or very affordable.
- Organic Sections in Supermarkets – Many large chain grocery stores are now creating organic sections in their stores. Again, the prices can be high. Plus, the produce may be out of season and imported from halfway across the globe (burning a lot of fuel in order to make it from the farm to the store). But at least it is good to see these large commercial stores now giving an organic option. Because sometimes out of convenience, you may need to purchase from this source. Plus, as more people buy organic, the supply may increase and bring the prices down.
- Costco – Costco is a wholesale club that now carries many organic products at REALLY good prices. The downside is, like mentioned above, the produce may come from halfway across the globe. BUT, they also carry a lot of organic local (depending on where you live) and frozen produce. They are a great affordable convenient source if you are a member.
Not sure where to find LOCAL produce? Here is a link to a website to search for local produce in your area: www.localharvest.org