Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MB is not exactly sure...

what kind of example she's setting.  But for a good reason.

A few weeks ago we signed up for our winter meat CSA.  Normally, we buy most of our meat (beef, chicken and pork) from the farmer's market.  The last week for that was last Saturday, since, well, it's cold outside.  In order to get his customers through the winter, our meat guy set up a CSA program.  I don't like it as much, since it requires more planning and skill (for the CSA he gives you what he has, normally we select what we want) but it's still far better than the market.  Anyway, the meat guy schedules a pick up time, and we all flock like idiots to meet him and get our meat.  Behind the Trader Joe's in our neighborhood.  Kind of like a crack deal.  Money is exchanged for goods.  With no proper "store front", just the back of his truck.  We try not to appear conspicuous, since I'm pretty sure TJ's would rather us buy their meat, inside the nice heated store.  What they sell is mostly krappe, too, though.

Last weekend I added another such arrangement.  Sigh.  Our apple guy plans to keep us happy through the winter in a similar fashion.  He'll send out an e-mail and tell us what he has.  We tell him what we want.  Then we show up behind TJ's, acting all covert, and exchange $$$ for appley goodness.  How sketchy is that?

BTW- I'm not sure either of these exchanged is completely legal.  I'm fairly sure that you are only supposed to sell goods from your own space (my normal CSA I pick up at the farm).   Now, I know both these farms are inspected and all that stuff.  The food is good to go.  It's the method of exchange that I think the state would have something to say about. 

What am I teaching the kids, though?  That in order to get the good stuff you need to know someone and make arrangements that involve parking lot deals?  If you can buy it in the market it's probably not good for you and overpriced?  That sounds like an endorsement for nothing good, I tell you.  When my kid shows up with a dime bag of "oregano" and says, "Look, Ma, I trust this guy.  I've tried his stuff before and it's good quality.  The government should just make this legal and easier for everyone to get access to."  how do I come back?  ""No, no, little o, that's only for meat and produce!  For pharmaceuticals you still need to trust the government and stick to doctors, insurance companies and pharmacies that are trying to rob you blind and not really cure what ails you?"  Yeah, it's a tough one, right?  (note:  I fully expect little o to be the one who does illegal things.  LG has a glass face, and cracks easily under pressure.  Little o knows the power of a cute smile and silence.  I'm on to him already...)

Anyhow, I just wanted to say this year that I'm thankful that there are a lot of people out there willing to go the extra mile, but their butts on the line and work like dogs to make better food available for my family and me.  We've come a really long way in just the two years I've been paying attention.  If they keep up the fight, and we keep supporting them, hopefully one day we'll go from back alley to store front again.

Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you (even the Canadians, eh!)

10 comments:

Sprite's Keeper said...

Look at you being all covert. I'll never snitch you out to the big bad FDA. :-)

VandyJ said...

I grew up with a mom who made those kinds of deals all the time. We'd get our raw milk in the parking lot of the church sometimes--winter mostly so it was cold enough to last.
I turned out OK. Mostly.

Casey said...

See, I'm jealous that these deals even exist. I have been emailing farmers to buy meat directly from them but the nearest ones are over an hour away and they're not emailing back. Dammit. Can you send me some meat? On the sly?

The Crazy Coxes said...

I think it's all good! Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

gretchen said...

I think I'm going to start doing the CSA thing this next week. But the pick up places are all very organized and above board. Frankly, I think the back alley handoff is kind of exciting. Black market organics. Hehe. Unfortunately, LA doesn't seem to have CSA meats. Dang.

Pseudo said...

You and Jan make me feel like I should work a little harder to find deals like that here.

Cloudia said...

Aloha from Waikiki

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blueviolet said...

I think you rock for supporting the little guy!

Sandi McBride said...

Hmmm...here because of Pseudo and I knew she wouldn't steer me wrong...I love a deal, especially if I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get poisoned in the end...hope your Thanksgiving was a blast...
Sandi

Frogs in my formula said...

Sounds like you have a good system in place!