Cooperative Accepting Memberships
Charter memberships will be accepted through Dec. 21 for the new Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative, an innovative local-food project involving local farmers, workers and consumers.
Based on membership numbers, local farmers will grow vegetables and fruit for subscription members, ensuring the delivery of the freshest produce, while at the same time preserving farms and open land and keeping local dollars circulating in the Sandhills economy.
The concept is similar to another popular food distribution structure, the multi-farm CSA (community-supported agriculture).
As the first to support the formation of this new venture, charter members will be rewarded in several ways. For example, since local production of certain items -- such as local eggs, pastured poultry and more -- is still small, charter members will be offered these products first, in order to grow the market overall. Charter members will also steer some of the earliest decisions of the cooperative.
"People really appreciate the taste of 'fresh,' and are understanding the economic importance of 'local' and the need to preserve farmland, as well as the health benefits of eating more whole, fresh fruits and vegetables," said Fenton Wilkinson, general manager of the new cooperative. "Now, instead of spending an hour in the grocery store, you can pick up a box of locally grown produce in a few minutes."
A survey by Sustainable Sandhills showed that a number of Sandhills residents could not attend Moore County's popular Farmer's Markets due to work or family schedules. The co-op intends to deliver weekly boxes of produce to drop-off spots throughout Moore County or, for an extra fee, home delivery in certain areas of concentration.
Now incorporated as a cooperative, the SF2T received a huge boost in October when Maine organic farmers Stephen and Barbara Miller awarded the project a legacy gift of $10,000 in memory of their Pinehurst parents, Evelyn and Gilbert Miller.
This follows on the heels of an upcoming North Carolina marketing campaign to "Eat 10 Percent Local," a move which would return $3.4 billion to the state's economy.
For more information, e-mail Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative at www.SandhillsFarm2Table.com or call (910) 949-2142.
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