When one door closes, as is the case with the Marco Island Farmers Market, another door may well provide an opening for Islanders to purchase locally grown organic produce and more through a small group of food co-ops called Green Village Organics.
The co-op founders Danielle Holimon and Beth Housewert believed that naturally grown, pesticide-free food was best for their families but found local supermarket prices too high for their budgets. By eliminating the middleman they were able to lower prices as well as provide healthier food for their families and co-op members, explained Patti Cohen, organizer of the Island Organics Buying Club on Marco Island.
“We’re part of a small, community-minded group of food cooperatives in Naples, Florida, called Green Village Organics that are able to buy large amounts of organic produce and some locally grown food delivered practically to your doorstep. And now Marco Island has one too — my house. This is your opportunity to purchase organic food at a bargain price.
“Once a week, we order bulk items of locally grown, organic vegetables and fruit for a flat fee. The goods are delivered to my home each Tuesday morning. We, including the wonderful students in my home school co-op group, divide them into equal portions and have them ready for you to pick up that afternoon,” said Cohen, adding that Green Village Organics has six pickup locations and Island Organics Buying Club is the seventh.
Cohen noted that depending on member interest, the Marco club could purchase other goods, including cheese, eggs, honey, bakery goods and meat at bulk rate whole sale prices separate from but comparable to produce they purchase in bulk from Albert’s Organics as well as several local organic farmers. Co-op members may opt for $25 or $15 bags, and each bag includes a variety of contents such as 3 to 5 fruits and 4 to 5 vegetables depending on what’s in season.
Recently, Cohen related that a member inquired if they were actually getting a good deal on their produce, so she checked with a member who had taken the contents of a weekly $15 bag and compared each item with prices charged at Whole Foods, Publix and Green Wise in February 2011. She then created a comparison chart and posted it on her blog: The total for the same items at Whole Foods, taking the lowest price on everything, came to $23.46
“The reason why you can get such good buys on fresh organic produce from local growers is because we’re a co-op. Also, be sure to tell your friends! We’re starting as soon as we have 22 people signed up, so register today,” said Cohen.
To register for the Marco Island delivery, go to the Green Village Organics Website: greenvillageorganics.com/ and select Island Organics Buying Club as your pick-up location.
Island Organics Buying Club
For Marco Island delivery, go to the Green Village Organics Website greenvillageorganics.com and select Island Organics Buying Club as your pick-up location.