This morning, another crisp, clear morning that makes a great start for the day.  In the gym at 4:30 and on the road by 5:15, a.m. that is. Also the pleasure of seeing a spectacular full moon.  I love when the moon is so full and so bright that I cast a shadow, I guess that’s how the song “Moon Shadow” was inspired!  Now you can’t get that tune out of your head (that is called an “earworm”).  At least I didn’t talk about the song, “It’s a Small World”!

To continue with the 100 degrees of change, I present another opportunity to move toward your one degree of change.

#2  Join a CO-OP. This is a great way to follow up with the

#1 Degree of Change of eating local. 

I gave you a few locations last time, but I want to make it as easy as possible.

If you live in the Golden Triangle area (Eustis, Mount Dora, Tavares/Leesburg) I would suggest Lake County’s Veggie-Table.  You can go to Facebook and look up Lake County’s Veggie-Table (or just click on the link).  The cost is $8 for your bin.  You can email Sherri Owen to get on her email list. Your name will be added to the next list which comes out 2xs a month, the 1st & 3rd Friday. When you get it, order produce by Monday night! Pickup your produce on Thursday’s between 10:30 & 1:30, in the Eustis/Mt.Dora area. There are no yearly membership fees. There is a one-time bin fee of $8 for the purpose of purchasing a bin for your produce. You are able to buy that when you place your first order.  Take your reusable grocery bags to pick up your produce.

Another choice for Lake County residents of Leesburg and Tavares is Lee Farms and they have a Facebook page: Lee Farms Webster.  You have a choice of a Fruit BasketLarge Family Basket and a Small Family Basket.  Each one gives you the choice of a Farmer’s choice or a Traditional Choice.  It is a pay as you go and very affordable.  There are delivery options and pick up options.

For those of you that live in Orlando/Winter Park, you are very lucky.  You have so many more choices.  I will give you two options, but don’t limit it to these.  Google local co-ops and you can see what is the most convenient for you.  Your first choice is Orlando Organics.  They are a family-owned and operated organic produce home delivery service. They have been in business since June 2002. They are not a co-op or a buying club, nor are they a retail store or a CSA farm. They exist solely as a delivery service. You sign up for a subscription of organic produce, choosing one of our primary produce options, and they deliver that produce to your home weekly or biweekly (every other week). (Unfortunately, they do not deliver to offices or business addresses.)

The contents of each of these bags change from week to week and are based on seasonal availability, what they get the best price on, and are based on their goal of supplying you with a varied selection of fruits and vegetables every delivery. They get their produce from organic farms all over the country. They try and obtain locally and regionally grown produce whenever possible.

Your second option for the Orlando area is Homegrown Co-op.  They have a store front on Orange Avenue between Florida Hospital and Princeton Avenue.  Their online market is reserved for  members, but you are able to make two trial orders to test the market. After your third order you will be auto-charged $45 for a subscription annual membership. You do not have to be a Member of the Cooperative shop in the retail store, however most items are marked up a small percentage.
These surcharge monies will simply go to pay but a portion of Federal Income Tax the Cooperative is liable for with all non-members using their service. Wouldn’t you feel better with them using that money right here in Central Florida to create more jobs, while saving green space and creating identifiable culture for our region?  If you are planning to make more than $400 in purchases throughout the year (that’s only $33.33 per month), you should consider Membership, because at only $400 in local food patronage your non-member surcharges will equal an annual dues payment.
Membership costs are as follows:
$45 yearly for 5 years
$200 lifetime
$4.35 a month for 60 months (5 Years)

Now you have no excuses.  Two simple options for the two areas of my offices.  This is about community and community support.  I love community.  This morning I had the opportunity to speak to a group of Fleet Feet runners preparing for half and full marathons in December and January.  My speaking venue was an open courtyard between Panera’s and Peach Valley Café.  I had the privilege of speaking to these athletes who just finished running 10 -12 miles.  There were also people  walking about and others were casual observers on the trail, all stopping to listen.  It brings me great pleasure to teach about eating well.  Maybe it made a one degree of change for someone in that courtyard!

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