I can't believe I bumped along buying retail for so long. I finally took the plunge and bought wholesale from Organically Grown Company in Clackamas outside of Portland, Oregon. They are a wonderful wholesaler- they really are! You don't have to be a licensed reseller or business or anything to be able to buy from them. I filled out a very simple application to set up an account with them, which included my debit card information and named my buyers club Kindred Coop, which is just me!
There is a minimum of $150. I thought that would be prohibitive, but surprisingly worked out just fine. I don't own a car, so for twenty bucks I rented a zip car to go pick up the produce; nice option, huh?
Oh, one big thing that really helped me with this enterprise was that I went out and got my very own fridge, love it! I'm a paid roommate with a developmentally-disabled lady and shared a fridge with her and my co-workers, so getting my own full-sized fridge really opened up a lot of room for me. Two hundred bucks second hand but well worth it.
So for the first order I got ( I had so much FUN figuring out what to buy!):
* 12 pints of figs
*38 lb. bananas
* 88 count of valencia oranges
* 18 lb. concord grapes
* 9 large mangoes
* 6 romaine
* 6 celery
* 4 lb. spinach
All of that for $160! I was very apprehensive that I would end up wasting a lot of it, but I haven't hardly at all. I'm committed to being 100% for the month of October, but this last month was a little sloppy, but now I feel much more comfortable that I have the resources to really delve into this lifestyle. At this point I'm still eating oranges, grapes and bananas and bought some fresh leafy greens at retail at the tail end of this run, so I feel like my planning went reasonably well. I had to freeze quite a bit of the bananas but I'm okay with that.
I hope this helps someone else to take the plunge into buying wholesale. I'd love to hear feedback from other people what their experiences have been like concerning this. I make very little money as a caregiver for the elderly and now have a happy feeling that I can tackle the 811 diet. Also, this kinda forces me to do more mono-eating and simple eating, which has been fantastic.
My next pick-up is on Monday. I'd like to experiment with getting more greens in my diet. So far it's been spinach with bananas and then an evening salad. I can't wait for persimmons to become available! :)
Congrats! That's great to hear :)
Maybe you can find another person to get in on the deal with you, that way you can split the oranges and whatever else might be losing its freshness too quickly?
Oranges don't ripen once picked so I taste them at the store first then I know when they are ready and buy from the wholesaler. The valencias we are getting in the midwest coming from California are now edible but not really sweet yet. Just a month ago and since they started picking them this season they were so unripe they burned my mouth which will do the same to the insides. I am finding grapes from California almost identical in timing.
I store both in the fridge as well as apples, this seems to preserve their taste and sweetness.
Thanks again for explaining all about OGC to me a couple days ago. :)
I'm still just trying to coordinate a ride out there, and maybe someone
to split an order with. Probably gonna go out next week.
Couple questions if you don't mind.. What's the '#' mean next to the
qty on the price list... Pounds I assume? Also, it says in the FAQ
on their site that they don't sell to the public. I'm not really worried
about it, but it'd be unfortunate to make the drive (13mi for me) out
there and get turned away.
Grr, can't wait to have a big box of bananas and apples. :)
Thanks for clearing that up!
I totally hate relying on people for rides.. That's why
I just bike everywhere, usually 20 miles a day, but can
only fit $50 max of produce in my bike bags.. Never
owned a drivers license and don't plan on it. I really need
to get/build a bike trailer, but I dunno if I could manage
to carry $150 worth with one! Haha. You've inspired me
to work on this. :)
The zip car is a great idea.
Interesting that you could get small quantities of a variety of greens. Did you pack a box yourself?
My organic wholesaler is $250 minimum order, including delivery.
As for the oranges, make sure they dry out from having been stored cold. I put mine in the large tupperware type containers you can get at hardware stores with small holes I drilled in the cover so the moisture is not locked in.
It's great you found a way to buy in bulk to make things more economical for you. I have only bought a few things here and there in bulk (bananas mostly). But now I will be living by myself and will have the space, and am planning on doing the same thing you are.
Could you tell us how long that order lasted you, roughly? Were you 100% while eating it?
Great post, it's good info for the rest of us who will be doing this as well! Thanks!