Food Co-Op Promotes Bartering, Sustainability

| 5/24/2013 11:24:00 AM

food co-opWhen Arkansas native Rachel Reynolds Luster, a folklorist and fiddler, moved to Oregon County, Mo., a few years ago, she quickly scouted out local growers of meat, eggs, cheese, garden produce, honey and raw milk.

Although it meant many miles of driving in the large, sparsely populated county, Luster wanted fresh, all-natural food for her family.

Some of these local farmers traded their products in exchange for Luster’s sewing or fiddle skills. Instead of cash, a few ranchers traded homegrown beef for fiddle lessons.

“Sure, I could get paid and then go to the store and buy some hamburger, but I’d rather have  grass-fed meat that my neighbor raised,” Luster said. “For me, it’s all about knowing where it comes from.”

As she drove the rocky roads from one farm to another, Luster thought about ways to bring these people together. To see if others might be interested in forming a network of food producers and crafters, Luster put up flyers and notified the local newspaper.

To her surprise, 30 people packed into Juggbutt’s Coffee House for an exploratory meeting on a rainy Saturday, the day before Easter, two years ago. Among the attendees were farmers, woodworkers, a chiropractor, spinners, weavers, soap makers, herbalists, artists, beekeepers, gardeners and craftspeople of all sorts, many of whom Luster had never met.

11/18/2013 6:48:04 PM

Happenings in my hometown! :) Pretty cool.

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