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Old 08-21-2008, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
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Food is a relatively small, compared to fuel/electricity/telephone part of our budget so we do buy local produce, including my own tomatoes, when in season. We also buy beef and pork from a local butcher shop. His ground beef costs about 50% more than the supermarkets but tastes much better and was ground the same day instead of being processed twice with water added to increase the weight. We also buy milk from a moderately large Maine Dairy that does not use growth hormones to stimulate milk production. This dairy was actually sued by other dairies to try and force the greener dairy to take the note off their packaging that told the consumer about the lack of growth hormone.

The increased costs can be attributed to lack of the economies of scale, smaller yields from smaller fields, non mechanical harvesting, greater losses and lower government subsidies. I am willing to pay the higher price for a better product.

Unfortunately many of us cannot afford the good food so they buy the mass produced foods. Many of these people have been propagandized (advertized) into buying some really unhealthy corn sugar laden “health” drinks when local water will do as well.

Sunspirit - Where do you operate your farm?

Last edited by GregW; 08-21-2008 at 06:15 AM.. Reason: a
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by GregW View Post

Sunspirit - Where do you operate your farm?
SE Wyoming, right along the Colorado border. With a slingshot, I can toss rocks into Nebraska.
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,544,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
We also buy beef and pork from a local butcher shop. His ground beef costs about 50% more than the supermarkets but tastes much better and was ground the same day instead of being processed twice with water added to increase the weight.
We work with a local farmer to raise a cow for us... we then find a couple of other families to split it with us... he takes it to the butcher for processing and we pay him the current market price for live weight and then just a little more goes to the butcher for the kill/processing/packaging... we walk away with a couple hundred pounds of fantastic meat and the total weight per pound average is much less than we would pay at the supermarket... Do the same with a hog each year...

Local farmer wins, local butcher wins, and we win...
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:09 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,052,621 times
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Sometimes it's more and sometimes it's a lot less. I can pick blueberries for $1.75/pound - much less than at the the store. But then, I'm not paying the high labor costs that way. The price is up from last year's $.99/# because of the high fuel prices this year.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Sound Beach
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I have also noticed you can get a somewhat better price from local farmers by buying in bulk. Here on the east end of Long Island...there is a stretch of about 20 miles on the north fork with a few dozen farms. A few of them will do this. I bought 40 lbs of tomatoes today...and paid $35. they are selling for $2-$2.50 per pound...but the farmers are happier to move more product.

I'll peel and jar the tomatoes...which are about the best I have ever had.
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:10 AM
 
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I think the whole process is much more expensive then it has to be.

Trying to buy locally grown produce in a chain supermarket is going to empty your pocketbook in a hurry. Fortunately, I live in an area where there are several food co-ops (open to non-members) which are thriving, smaller grocery stores where weekly, farmer's market and organic food growers set up their stands in the parking lots. These venues provide much more reasonably priced food for organic, locally grown produce.

Every time I walk into a Safeway or Albertson's, I am appalled at the extraordinarily high prices they charge for organic foods - rarely are the selections locally grown. My regular food-gathering route is to 'hit' a co-op (vegetables, seasonings, some staples), and the local fruit stands. Takes a bit of driving around, but time-wise, I've got it down to a science. Also, there're organic family-run farms around - most too far to drive for perishables in my case - where you pick your own. Several places up in Washington like that, too.

For instance, yesterday in Safeway: 1/2 pint of "organic" blueberries going for $4.99; 1 lb of grapes, $11.99. Ridiculous pricing. The prepared organic food (frozen pizza, veggies) are easily $2-$4 more expensive then at New Season's or Whole Foods (which, imo, are notoriously spendy, as well)

Definitely, if all you had available to you were national chain stores, I can understand being put off the notion of buying locally grown food. I find those stores astonishingly more expensive than driving around to a few local vendors' locations and buying what I need at the time.

And, best of all I think, are the co-op farm owned devlivery services which make weekly delivery runs to individual homes in Portland - all the way from Olympia, Wa. Not sure on the cost, but they offer seasonal foods, organic flour, pastas, etc. You pay a seasonal fee, and order your stuff just prior to growing season.

If I move out of the Pacific NW, I know a vegetable garden is in my future!
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Old 08-23-2008, 05:00 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 53,989,816 times
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I know that our local farmers market is a lot less expensive then our grocery store. I just bought 5 HUGE tomatoes (no idea of the weight) for $2. In the grocery store that would have been maybe 3 small tomatoes with no taste. I got 5 green peppers for $2, the grocery store they are $1 each.

We have several truck farms in our area and we have been watching the families from start to finish and it is an amazing and tedious process. Everything is had tilled, planted, cultivated.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Loudoun County, VA
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^^ That's great! Do you mind if I ask whereabouts you're located at?
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Old 08-24-2008, 04:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by EuroExpat View Post
^^ That's great! Do you mind if I ask whereabouts you're located at?
I am in MN, suburb of St. Paul/Minneapolis.
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Old 08-24-2008, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,515,954 times
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Here's a link where you can look up local farmers in your area:

Local Harvest / Farmers Markets / Family Farms / CSA / Organic Food
Organic Consumers Association

On the organic consumers page..look to the left - there's a pulldown for your state.

FWIW..getting certified organic is becoming cost prohibitive for small farmers.
Naturally grown is the new "organic" since the government/corporations took over "organic".
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