Buying Local at the West Michigan Cooperative

Creswick Farms truck at the loading dock

Bill and I just joined the West Michigan Co-op this month and last night was our first order pick-up. It was loads of fun.

After dinner at one of our favorite Local First eateries, the Electric Cheetah in Grand Rapids, we headed over to a nearby warehouse for the pick-up, which is a designated day and time once a month. To become a member, you sign up online and pay $35 per year. Then you place a monthly order online during the shopping window (first week of the month), print off your invoice, bring it with you to the warehouse, and pay for your goods that night.

Our first-time order included ground beef, ground lamb, and lamb chops from Creswick Farms; fingerling potatoes from Groundswell Community Farm; and yellow onions from Funny Farm Organics.

Inside the Creswick Farms trailer, where the meat is stored

Our meat order from Creswick Farms

Veggies bagged up at Funny Farm Organics

Our fingerling potato order from Funny Farm Organics

Veggies bagged up at Groundswell Community Farm

Our onion order from Groundswell Community Farm

But there’s way more to choose from than meat, onions, and potatoes.

How about breads, pies, and cookies? Soaps, socks, and candles? Greens from Mud Lake Farm, our CSA provider?

Kris from Mud Lake Farm

Beyond what you’ve requested through your online order, you can buy directly from the vendors the night of your pick-up. They almost always have a surplus of goods.

On our way out, I saw two women by a trailer full of meat and we got to talking. They were from Crane Dance Farm in Middleville, Michigan, where they operate a sustainable, regenerative, pasture-based farm.

Jill and Mary from Crane Dance Farm

Even better, they’ll be joining the vendors at the Holland Farmers’ Market–where I shop half the year–taking the place of Providence Farms, our original source for grassfed meat. (In fact, Mary and Jill from Crane Dance adopted the herd from Providence Farms when it stopped operating. How’s that for connection?) We bought some meat from them with the cash we had left. Watch for a future blog post about Crane Dance Farm after we’ve sampled their beef.

Delmonico steak from Crane Dance Farms

You can read more about the West Michigan Co-op in an article by Rapid Growth. Or just sign up on the co-op’s website! The first two months are free so you can try it out and see how you like it.

Not sure about buying local? Here are ten reasons why it’s a good idea.

One response to “Buying Local at the West Michigan Cooperative

  1. Thanks for this info!

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