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Old 01-22-2008, 12:19 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,649,686 times
Reputation: 33083

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Quote:
This has been a fairly recent "revelation". For years small towns were destroyed by the WalMart effect. Small towns were in the shrivel up and die mode, there isn't anything we can do so just curl up and feel sorry for ourselves and shrivel away.
Actually, the Wal-Mart I was referring to came to town 20 yrs ago. I remember it well b/c my younger daughter was a baby then. There was no downtown left, to speak of. No place to buy clothes, household stuff, the things that Wal-Mart sells. WM at least brought some tax money back to the town. It was opened in conjunction with an Albertson's grocery store in a shopping center with a Radio Shack and some other small stores. Mind you, I am not a great fan of WM, but I shop there occasionally.
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,421,795 times
Reputation: 9552
Question Let's talk organic and niche

This is a topic near and dear to my heart.
I grow organic. Have for 20 years. Organic free-range chickens, organic eggs, organic fruits and vegies. Started as a hobby, and a way to save money raising three kids.
I am a member of an online forum where we hsare ideas and yes, ideals of organic for personal consumption as well as profit. Organic gardening is personal-labor-intensive, and requires a grasp of what one is doing, moreso than just spraying herbicides from an airplane, or watering with mechanical means.

Want to know if there is a market for organic produce, meat, and yes, organic cheese and wine? Ask Whole Foods. I met their management in their starter store in TX last year. (Don't ask - long story.) They have grown and grown, by the billion$, and are still growing with no end in sight. Why?

Just look at the produce and foods in WalMart. How much of it is grown in the US? How many stories have we heard of poisoned food being sold? Wheat gluten, fish that are raised in Chinese farms where standards are nil and filth is rampant. I don't eat any fish anymore unless it is locally caught; those chain restaurants and suppliers buy the cheapest - and the cheapest is the worst. Bad for you. No nutrients. Condensed poisons.

Instead of selling large farms to larger conglomerates, it might behoove folks to break up their farms and post sections of them for sale - 10-20-40-acres - to folk who want to practice organic gardening (there are many, and the groups are growing), and sell as a group to (or form their own) organic food corporation. Yes, produce picked right before ripening - instead of genetically engineered produce that lasts for weeks in stores (ARGH) has a quicker degeneration rate. Why not dry it, package it, and sell it? Why not hook up with Whole Foods and see how they do it or require it to be done?

You will revitalize rural areas in several ways - you will use the farm land for farming in a way that will not deplete it; you will have an influx of folk who are interested and truly want to farm, and those folk will bring their families and other ideas and creativity and businesses to rural towns to give them new life. Many people are looking for homesteads and farmsteads where they can live out their dream and work their rumps off for just this sort of rural adventure.

Shoot me down and give me all of the reasons this cannot be done... Seriously. Think about it and nail me.

I love gardening and I look forward to having more space to raise truly organic everything. Whether this inspires anyone else or not - I'm going to do it for my own self-satisfaction and independent lifestyle.
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:56 PM
 
Location: bumcrack Nebraska
438 posts, read 1,385,892 times
Reputation: 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
This is a topic near and dear to my heart.
I grow organic. Have for 20 years. Organic free-range chickens, organic eggs, organic fruits and vegies. Started as a hobby, and a way to save money raising three kids.
I am a member of an online forum where we hsare ideas and yes, ideals of organic for personal consumption as well as profit. Organic gardening is personal-labor-intensive, and requires a grasp of what one is doing, moreso than just spraying herbicides from an airplane, or watering with mechanical means.

Want to know if there is a market for organic produce, meat, and yes, organic cheese and wine? Ask Whole Foods. I met their management in their starter store in TX last year. (Don't ask - long story.) They have grown and grown, by the billion$, and are still growing with no end in sight. Why?

Just look at the produce and foods in WalMart. How much of it is grown in the US? How many stories have we heard of poisoned food being sold? Wheat gluten, fish that are raised in Chinese farms where standards are nil and filth is rampant. I don't eat any fish anymore unless it is locally caught; those chain restaurants and suppliers buy the cheapest - and the cheapest is the worst. Bad for you. No nutrients. Condensed poisons.

Instead of selling large farms to larger conglomerates, it might behoove folks to break up their farms and post sections of them for sale - 10-20-40-acres - to folk who want to practice organic gardening (there are many, and the groups are growing), and sell as a group to (or form their own) organic food corporation. Yes, produce picked right before ripening - instead of genetically engineered produce that lasts for weeks in stores (ARGH) has a quicker degeneration rate. Why not dry it, package it, and sell it? Why not hook up with Whole Foods and see how they do it or require it to be done?

You will revitalize rural areas in several ways - you will use the farm land for farming in a way that will not deplete it; you will have an influx of folk who are interested and truly want to farm, and those folk will bring their families and other ideas and creativity and businesses to rural towns to give them new life. Many people are looking for homesteads and farmsteads where they can live out their dream and work their rumps off for just this sort of rural adventure.

Shoot me down and give me all of the reasons this cannot be done... Seriously. Think about it and nail me.

I love gardening and I look forward to having more space to raise truly organic everything. Whether this inspires anyone else or not - I'm going to do it for my own self-satisfaction and independent lifestyle.
This is what I was talking about, though I'm not as articulate as you. Maybe because I'm on the outside looking in I can offer a different perspective on this. I do think there are a lot of people who would love a "rural adventure". I hear a lot of people who are fed up with the hectic pace and lack of "morality" they see here. Personally I would love to go out in the middle of nowhere and raise my family, but we do need jobs. I cannot offer any more suggestions than I already have, which by the way have been shot down.
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Old 01-22-2008, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Ne
884 posts, read 762,074 times
Reputation: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
This is a topic near and dear to my heart.
I grow organic. Have for 20 years. Organic free-range chickens, organic eggs, organic fruits and vegies. Started as a hobby, and a way to save money raising three kids.
I am a member of an online forum where we hsare ideas and yes, ideals of organic for personal consumption as well as profit. Organic gardening is personal-labor-intensive, and requires a grasp of what one is doing, moreso than just spraying herbicides from an airplane, or watering with mechanical means.

Want to know if there is a market for organic produce, meat, and yes, organic cheese and wine? Ask Whole Foods. I met their management in their starter store in TX last year. (Don't ask - long story.) They have grown and grown, by the billion$, and are still growing with no end in sight. Why?

Just look at the produce and foods in WalMart. How much of it is grown in the US? How many stories have we heard of poisoned food being sold? Wheat gluten, fish that are raised in Chinese farms where standards are nil and filth is rampant. I don't eat any fish anymore unless it is locally caught; those chain restaurants and suppliers buy the cheapest - and the cheapest is the worst. Bad for you. No nutrients. Condensed poisons.

Instead of selling large farms to larger conglomerates, it might behoove folks to break up their farms and post sections of them for sale - 10-20-40-acres - to folk who want to practice organic gardening (there are many, and the groups are growing), and sell as a group to (or form their own) organic food corporation. Yes, produce picked right before ripening - instead of genetically engineered produce that lasts for weeks in stores (ARGH) has a quicker degeneration rate. Why not dry it, package it, and sell it? Why not hook up with Whole Foods and see how they do it or require it to be done?

You will revitalize rural areas in several ways - you will use the farm land for farming in a way that will not deplete it; you will have an influx of folk who are interested and truly want to farm, and those folk will bring their families and other ideas and creativity and businesses to rural towns to give them new life. Many people are looking for homesteads and farmsteads where they can live out their dream and work their rumps off for just this sort of rural adventure.

Shoot me down and give me all of the reasons this cannot be done... Seriously. Think about it and nail me.

I love gardening and I look forward to having more space to raise truly organic everything. Whether this inspires anyone else or not - I'm going to do it for my own self-satisfaction and independent lifestyle.
Iwas simply pointing out issues that were raised from recent studies.

I'm not saying there isn't a market. There seems to be a market for everything. I'm simply saying many recent studies show zero benefit from organic as opposed to products raised/grown with steroids and/or other chemicals.

I'm not an expert at all I'm just pointing out what Iíve seen and read.

Anyway, as far as the "cheap" foods poisoning people, I think when organic foods become mass produced, processed, shipped and sold on that large of a scale there will be plenty of incidents and reports of food poisoning. Itís simply a law of averages.

Maybe organic is better or the same, I don't think anyone really knows for sure at this point.

I think itís wrong and you would be throwing many traditional farmers under the bus telling people their product is poison and yours is better on both a moral and health standpoint.
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Old 01-22-2008, 01:25 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,649,686 times
Reputation: 33083
I don't look at Whole Foods as the "gold standard". They are non-union. They have a reputation of not treating their employees well. At the Superior, Colorado WF, the manager was not going to give some of their employees time off work to attend their own high school graduation!
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Old 01-22-2008, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Ne
884 posts, read 762,074 times
Reputation: 119
SCGranny,
BTW, I don't think your organic market strategy would work unless you can prove you have a much superior product.

Modern traditional farms operate using chemicals and machinery for highest yield/earning potential.

Organic farms, I would assume, cost much more to operate for comparable yields. Most Americans are satisfied with what is currently offered and they have no reason to pay more for an organic product.

I guess what I'm saying is I think the Organic market as a whole is very limited especially as many families are living paycheck to paycheck.

I'm not all trying to downplay your hard work and product, which is very admirable.
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,421,795 times
Reputation: 9552
Good, good, good! Keep it coming! Yes, I mean it.

No, I'm not trying to throw traditional farmers under the bus; they have my highest respect. It is HARD to do, and I know it, and I know that I could never do it, or take the risks that they do as a matter of course. But look at the shelves in the produce section at WalMart. It's all produce from out of the country. Have you noticed that the bananas coming in for the past six months have a grey tinge under the skin??? Seriously - go look next time. The cheap and imported (like the wheat gluten in the animal feed) is undercutting our own farmers.

We were talking about cottage industries to revive dying towns, though. What's the best thing that can be grown in an area - soil-wise, rainwater, etc? What's the best thing that ya'll can produce? Say, raspberries? What about Nebraska Raspberry Fluff? Nebraska Raspberry Chocolates? Nebraska Chocolate Dipped Raspberries - when you call in your order, they are made right then, and shipped overnite in refrigerated boxes to your intended recipient? (OK, overboard on the chocolate, but still... There's Valentines' Day, Easter, all sorts of holidays you can make specific fruit/candy combos for.)

What's Kuchen? Seriously, I have no idea. What sort of foods are you very familiar with - but that the rest of the US doesn't know? Could it be made and packaged and sent out "to discerning buyers"?

Don't like Whole Foods? That's cool. (PS I hate unions but that's not important right now.) A town with some enthusiasm, direction, and investment capital could form its own production group. Free range chicken meat. Free range eggs.

I have to differ with you a little bit, Steve - but there are just as many articles showing that low-stress animals on range-feed rather than standard cattle feed are better, with less useless and more marbled fat that adds flavor, lower in cholesterol, etc.; and that organic fruits and vegetables have a higher vitamin and mineral content - the mineral content being the most important and least discussed. A lot of people are worried about the newer DNA-altered vegetables and grains, too - which is one of the reasons Whole Foods is doing so well. I'm not talking about replacing the standard cuts or store-bought meat - I'm talking about filling a niche that is already wide open.

My suggestion for a little exploratory investigative fun - go to Amazon.com and look under "Gourmet foods" - and see how many small, unusual, and independent businesses advertise their wares. Look at the words they use. People expect to pay more for the unusual, the comforting, the good feelings and personal attention that these small businesses offer.

Shoot, that's why I bought online from Discount Western Wear in Valentine this Christmas! Never heard of them before, but I will pay a little more for quality and service that Wal Mart and Target simply will not, can not offer.

Cmon, let's talk some more about it.
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Ne
884 posts, read 762,074 times
Reputation: 119
SCGranny, I think you have to prove this to me by sending me a truckload of your organic food. =-).

I guess time will tell as far as organics go. Regarding small specialty stores, I with you on that one 100%. I rarely shop at Wal-Mart but when I do I leave feeling dirty. Idk why, it's weird.

One thing I will say on Wal-Mart's behalf, Sam's steaks and prime ribs are very hard to beat.
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:27 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,649,686 times
Reputation: 33083
Well, I'm not real pro-union myself. But most other grocery store chains are unionized. And not wanting to let an employee attend their own high school graduation is pretty bad.
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,421,795 times
Reputation: 9552
I'll do better than that, Steve.

We're coming up to look at property in ND SD and NE in March. When we settle, I'll give you my address - and free samples. Or, I'll trade you for some local fare. Remember, I asked about kuchen... but any baked goods will be fine.

Fair?
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