Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ordering for May 29th ends tonight at 8:00PM

Good Morning Members of Bailey's Local Foods Buying Club,

How is the ordering going for you? We've had some technical kinks in the order form but have them straightened out now. If you had trouble ordering, log in again and give it another go. Please let us know if the order form doesn't work for you, we need to know where the bugs are so that we can get it running smoothly. Thank you for your patience as we figure all of this out!! Rachael and her husband Andrew have been working hard on this order form for many days and weeks. I often receive emails from them from the wee hours of the morning as they work on it. It is my first experience with developing a web-based order form. So many details!! It is good to know that computer programmers CAN contribute to a better world in concrete ways :)

Some people have not been receiving our emails. If you know someone who was wanting to order, please mention to them that now is the time (ordering closes at 8:00PM tonight). If you did not receive either of the two emails sent last week, you can read them at our blog: http://baileyslocalfoods.blogspot.com/. The emails have important info about farmers and products.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I was feeling down yesterday because I noticed that two stores in Uptown Waterloo are selling local asparagus for $1.99/lb. Farmers are selling it to me for $2.50 so I don't know how they are able to sell it at that price. I was feeling low because I'm torn between wanting to keep our food prices as low as possible AND wanting to pay farmers a fair price. I am also worried that buying club members will think that the farmers or I am overcharging them. When our buying club was small and run out of our home last year, most of the members knew me and trusted me to not take advantage of them by hiking prices. They also trusted me to buy from farmers who were not overcharging. Now that many of our new members do not know Rachael, Wendell or me personally, you may not know if you can trust us not to gouge you with high prices. I want to build this trust between us. One way we do this is by being completely transparent in how we decide a price. We mark up the foods by 25% or sell them for the suggested retail price - not lower than you would pay if you went directly to that farm or business. (The food on the spontaneous table has a higher mark up because we have to absorb what is left over.) We are committed to paying farmers a fair price. The way I do this is I ask the farmer: what do you need to charge me so that you receive a fair amount and at the same time sell it to me for less than retail since I am able to save you a lot of time and hassle by buying large quantities? If you are ever wondering why something is priced the way it is, send us an email and we'll be happy to tell you what we pay the farmer. I'll also include info about the true costs of food in the weekly emails I send.

The bottom line is: shopping for food through the buying club means that your money is going directly from us to local farmers and food processors. They love selling to us because we are a steady buyer with whom they can plan ahead to increase production for coming seasons. Together we are increasing the amount of local food that is grown and processed in our area. Together we are increasing the resiliency of our communities. When we grow a large percentage of our own food, we can better survive natural and human-made disasters (floods, epidemics, food contaminations, economic collapse, high fuel prices,...). Together we are increasing the incomes of local farmers and food processors and encouraging young people to become farmers. Together we are inventing a new way of moving local food into a city that others are interested in replicating in their cities.

No Head Lettuce
Selema let me know that the head lettuces she thought would be ready this week are not yet. So we'll have to be patient. Maybe next week. She is babying it along with feedings of fish emulsion and TLC but it needs a few more warm days.

100% Spelt Bread from Golden Harvest Baking Co.
Were you looking for our 100% local bread? It was not on the form until Sunday night. There are only 6 available, so hurry up and order if you want a loaf of the yummiest spelt bread we've ever tasted!

Simcoe Run
My Dad is heading to Simcoe on Thursday to pick up the local foods there that we can't find here: peanuts and peanut butter, popcorn, and canola oil. We will be making this Simcoe run less than once a month so if you want any of these products, be sure to order them this week. If there is some left over, we'll offer it next week.

I'll be phoning and emailing farmers at 8:00PM tonight with your orders. On Friday please come expecting your pick-up to take awhile. It is our first time doing this in a new place so we won't be as efficient as we will be in the coming weeks. I think there will be some photographers coming from the The Record so try to look happy! Just kidding.

Again, please email info@baileyslocalfoods.ca if you want your order pre-packaged.

See you Friday,

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