The strawberries are ripe, the tomatoes are plump and the lettuce is crisp.
All they need now are buyers.
new co-operative of Waterloo, Perth and Wellington county organic
farmers are hoping to gather a critical mass of residents who want to
eat locally grown, pesticide and fertilizer-free foods on a weekly
For $35, consumers can have a bin of fresh produce, meat
and breads delivered to one of eight depots around the region. The
co-op asks that buyers sign on for a minimum of 10 weeks.
The bin program, which will run year-round, is the creation of a new group called Local Organic Food Team, or LOFT.
small, organic farmers such as Linda Laepple, the LOFT co-op gives her
an accessible market for her grass-fed beef and the grain and potatoes
she grows near New Hamburg. She’s one of 15 producers who will supply
everything from snow peas to duck meat and pumpkin pie.
more consumers are interested in buying local foods, she said, but the
inconvenience and gas costs associated with gathering it has kept them
"Now we can get better access to the people," she said.
"And the people can get everything in one box, instead of driving out
to five or six different farms."
Yesterday, supporters for the
new co-op crammed into the Joseph Schneider Haus to celebrate its
launch and sample some local edibles. The co-op will eventually need
about 400 weekly buyers to be sustainable, said Martha Gay Scroggins, a
grower and one of LOFT’s creators.
There are about 120 members now, she said. But numbers are growing every week, in part thanks to word-of-mouth and a website, www.localorganic.ca/loft.
people taste the difference between mass-produced produce and the stuff
coming out of local fields, there’s no need to do any advertising,
"This has spread so much simply because the food tastes amazing," she said.