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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Anyone Interested in a Buying Club?

Anyone Interested in a Buying Club?

user 4058763
Hollis Center, ME
Post #: 21
I'm interested in all three proposals.

Will monitor progress.
Sue M.
user 3284483
South Portland, ME
Post #: 7
I am definitely interested in the buying club. what a great idea!
user 3832381
Portland, ME
Post #: 4
We'd be interested in buying market and Fedco order, too!

FYI: Lisa mentioned Winter CSAs - I was just at the Farmer's Market here in Mon. Sq. and discovered that at least one farm is offering a Winter CSA: Fishbowl Farm in Bowdoinham. $400.00 gets you 5 months of winter harvest items: apples, beets, carrots, cranberries, garlic, greens, herbs, kale, leeks, onions, pears, taters, pumpkin, scallions and winter squash. He'll drop off items once/month somewhere in So.Po. "He" is Chris Cavendish and if you need more details, dial him up at 207-666-8006. There is a limited number of shares so let him know asap and if the $400.00 up front is too much, you can spread it out and make it in two partial payments.

I'm sure there are other Winter CSAs out there, too.
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 83
Yes for the buying club, and am eager about the possibility of getting straw that way too!

We'll also have a small FEDCO order to mail to either Lee or Winnie....

Winnie, great ideas! In fact thanks to all for book suggestions from FEDCO.

Lisa, I've been out of the loop with these messages because I haven't initiated going into our website to look for myself.
I noticed an email you sent not long ago with a whole list of new messages that had been posted, but I still miss getting emails every time a message is posted. Of course others might prefer the new method which I can get used to also.
A former member
Post #: 1
Hi Everyone,

I was lucky enough to find this group by googling "'buying club' portland maine." I recently joined All Good Things buying club on Munjoy Hill, and I'm interested in the growing effort to start a store-front co-op in Portland, which I think will grow more likely as buying clubs proliferate and join forces. So here I am.

I want to tread lightly here as a newbie, and if I'm out of line, please tell me and I'll shut up, but I was wondering about people interested in joining an existing buying club--perhaps to learn the ropes and prepare for setting one up for this group, perhaps to add a node to their New Urbanist network.

The last thing I'd want to do is suck any energy out of the effort you've already got started here, but I don't think it would work that way. In my experience, most people who form buying clubs are former members of other clubs, where they found out what great things they are and how to make them work right.

I do know that All Good Things would welcome new members. If anyone's interested, check the message from Emily at­ There's other good stuff there too about buying locally and so forth.

Back to the store-front co-op, the organizers of the Portland Food Co-Op effort have a webpage at, and they are looking for organizers. This Sunday, 12/16, 5 p.m. they're holding a pot-luck dinner to welcome new members, to be followed by an organizational meeting. It's at 92 Congresss St., the little Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Association house.

I honestly don't know how much overlap there is between this here group and other like-minded ones, so this may all be old news to you. If so, then I'd be sorry I wasted your time but very happy to find a great place to learn.

Bill Lee
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 204
Hi Bill! Welcome to the group and sorry for the delay in busy-ness :)

It is great that you found us and great that you posted your message - no worries at all! It may make sense for some of us to join an existing buying club, especially if it involves the United component since setting that up takes quite a bit of work. If your gang is just getting going with it it could be good for us to join in.... It would not preclude us from still doing some things (we've already had a group Fedco order and other group purchases are in the works, for example).

I will connect with Emily and see about this as an option/alternative and will post back here. There probably is quite of bit of overlap philosophically on food issues so it may be a good match.

Watch this space....
A former member
Post #: 2
Fellow Cultivators,

First, I just want to say how much I'm impressed by the ideas and activities here, especially the permaculture resources thread--Great Stuff! Second, I thought I'd mention an opportunity to share the same:

Members intending to form or join a buying club might want to attend the Portland Food Co-op Community Forum on January 15th, 7-9 pm. The PFC people would certainly be interested in talking to those who want to form buying clubs, even though their goal is an eventual storefront.

It sounds like the forum will serve to report on progress to members, reach out to the community, and seek input from both. I think interim or affiliated buying clubs are central to all 3 purposes.

(Personal rant: I'm excited about the PFC mainly because it provides an opportunity for community groups like this one to combine their ideas, abilities, and economic clout for a greater social impact: For example, suppose, say, the "Permaculture for Peace" meet-up were common knowledge among hundreds of co-op members.)

With apologies to those who already know all about it, let me trespass on your hospitality by pasting in the forum information, copied from the PFC site:­


Bill Lee

Please come to the
Portland Food Co-op Community Forum!

What is it? A chance for you to find out more about current progress toward a storefront food cooperative here in Portland. A chance to share your thoughts and ideas.

When? January 15th, 7-9pm (snow date: 1/22)

Where? Williston West Church, 32 Thomas Street (on the West End between Pine and Spring Street)

Who? You, your friends, family, and neighbors- sharing ideas with us and hearing from a local farmer, a Maine food co-op manager, and local businesses owners about why a food co-op makes sense for Portland.

Why? Because this store is for YOU and will be owned by many of you, members of the Greater Portland community and it is essential that we know your interests and concerns in order to create the most successful co-op possible. We can't do it without you!!

How can you help? Hang fliers for us, forward this to your friends, bake/make snacks for us to sell at the forum. Email Emily if you can help: [email info available from the message on the site]

A former member
Post #: 1
Hi Everyone, I am new to the group. I have gone to a lot of co-ops /storefronts and find a lot of the food is pricey. It is convenient though. I'd be interested in trying and deal directly with farmers to get a discounted price on their produce/meats/grains/hay etc. if we ordered a large quantity as a group to meet our needs as a group. We could buy goods that are in season locally and support our farmers without a middle man. Just an idea! Perhaps we could barter among ourselves for food/services?
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 219
Hi All - I am still motivated to either join a like-minded group for a buying club, or organize our own. The focus would probably be coordinating joint orders to local producers/vendors as well as a buying club from united natural foods (a monthly order of stuff we can't easily get locally, etc....they would send each participant a monthly catalog of products).

However, to be realistic, I probably would need someone else here in the group to lead up this effort. I can certainly help, but can't really act as the lead person on the buying club right now due to some time constraints.

If anyone has some enthusiasm and time for this, please email me offline. I truly think this is worth doing and hope someone can be the coordinator (remember, you don't have to do it all alone, just be the "champion" for making it happen and keeping it humming along...).

Course, I started this thread;) but....

Gorham, ME
Post #: 1
I already placed my FEDco seed order, but miught be interested in tubers and trees from FEDco in a buying club. As for seeds, I ordered a boatload of various herbs, more unusual natives, etc. Chances are I will have extra seeds of some, if anyone wants some.

I'll be winter sowing many of them as a first year WS trial.

I am definitely interested in the 5 gal liquid manure, feel free to contact me on that.

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