Many GSG.com readers are leaders. You may not think of yourself that way, but are you always organizing things? Are people starting to come to you for advice, answers to questions? If so, then you should start a co-op.
First off, you’ll want to start keeping a list of people who are interested in nutrition, with their email addresses. Spend a little time tracking down lists of people who are interested in nutrition, and/or food storage (the LDS/Mormon people in your area are interested in bulk buys, and some of them within that group are also trying to get high-nutrition food storage and are always grateful for help).
Second, you’ll want to contact AzureStandard.com to see about monthly deliveries (of virtually every product carried in health food stores). Require that people send you a check in advance for anything you order, so you aren’t left holding the bag when 20% of the people take weeks or even months to pick up their order. (This will happen, I promise.) The people I know who handle Azure Standard locally charge 10% of the order totals, to be paid for their time and effort. They used to deliver but don’t any more, with gas prices so high. Make clear that any refrigerated/frozen items must be picked up within a few days. Have quarterly catalogs and sale catalogs for your people with their orders to be picked up.
Third, contact me, and I will hook you up with my contacts to get RAW ALMONDS directly from the ranches in California, since no retailer can sell you unpasteurized almonds any more now. Anyone interested in health/nutrition should have sproutable almonds. (Ch. 7 of 12 Steps gives you ideas and recipes for what to do with them.) This is an important group buy, because it’s something that your friends cannot obtain on their own. In my recent local buy of raw almonds (over 13,000 lbs.!), I made a sample of teriyaki and/or candied sprouted almonds for each person picking up, so they could see what can be done with raw almonds to make them live food that families love to eat.
Fourth, be on the lookout for community-supported agriculture. When you’ve built up your list, you could ask the CSA farmer in your area for a free share in exchange for publicizing his program that you like and finding a certain number of people to participate. (I confess I am paying for my share, and didn’t do this myself, but you could. And having a group of people take turns picking up from the farm is still worth the organizing hassle for me, with gas at $4+ and going up!)
People want a leader to help them with nutrition. They really need a little help. If you lead out and organize a co-op, you will bless many lives, including the lives of children who will have dramatically better nutrition as a result. You can also reach outside your own carbon footprint to help really decrease the effect OTHERS are having on the environment, a great way for a stay-home mom to make a difference.
I’m happy to help if you blog your questions. Any of you currently running a co-op, I hope you’ll share here what you’ve learned. Email me privately if you want to do an almond buy in your area and I’ll see if I can work it out.
Your network will grow with every group buy you do. It’s hard for me to quantify here the ways that bringing this group together will enrich your life. People tell me new things, hook me up with resources I didn’t about, bring me recipes and samples of their own good ideas—because they are on the same quest I am, and because I often invite them into my home to try whatever I’m working on that day. If you want, use those same names to put together a monthly meeting on a topic related to health you’re all interested in. It’s fun!
So tell us what you’re learning as a co-op organizer, as several of you have already done, by blogging here!