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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Wild Oats / Whole Foods / Portland Options????

Wild Oats / Whole Foods / Portland Options????

Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 90
OK, I was bummed out when I moved back to Maine in the mid-90s and the only cooperatively owned food outlet closed down (Good Day Market - despite its limits, it was an option, at least). We were hard core coop people out west.

After they closed I could still continue to buy at a locally-owned, for-profit venue...The Whole Grocer. I could live with that.

Wild Oats was not ideal for me philosophically as a non-local corporate store, but I could get some stuff there that I couldn't get at The Whole Grocer on occasion.

We filled in with a great CSA membership and, for a while, a whole foods buying club.

So, now we have the new Whole Foods snack emporium... it has me completely depressed at a variety of levels (OK, it's an option, but it's enormous, lacks the organic selection and bulk selection, big focus on processed products, it's mega corporate, and now it's absorbing the only competition in town...Wild Oats will go away in the near future).

We're going to try to make it all work with our CSA, garden, maybe start up another buying club. Is anyone involved with a new Portland Coop discussion???? I'm trying to drive less so hitting all the small venues like Lois', Royal River, Rosemont, etc. is not the best way to go logistically.

Trying not to be a whiner on this topic ("oh, woe is me...where will I buy my organic food?"... acknowledging this is a ridiculous rant when looking at the global food situation) but just a'wonderin' what others are doing who are trying to eat whole/organic/local????
A former member
Post #: 1
A group called "Wild Grocer" is meeting on the first and third sundays of the month at 5:30pm at 10 Mayo Street to discuss forming a new co-op in portland. It can be found at
francesco s.
user 3227838
Portland, ME
Post #: 5
A CSA FAIR!!!!! Sue McCormick told me about this article in yesterday's Press Herald:­

The CSA Fair is March 11th at 1st Parish Church (Temple & Congress St. ) 1-4pm. It'll bring at least 20 farms together. This sounds like a great event! Perhaps we should post it on our big calendar?
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 27
Yes, Francis and I heard about the CSA Fair on March 11 from 1-4 and plan to go! We used to belong to the Willow Pond Farm CSA for the winter share but it's in Sabbatus. Eager to find one closer to home.

Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 91
Very excited by the coop developments and the CSA fair - I've posted the latter up to our calendar!!!

Thanks all.
A former member
Post #: 30
Started out in a co-op 30 yrs ago and gardened/traded home grown foods; started Maine's first whole grain bakery and provided a market for new organic growers...time goes on.

Organic foods is now a huge industry....probably deserves its own commodity exchange.

Maine is seeing the results....buyouts, giant stores and stores which integrate innovative food preparation with the sale of ingredients----until you're in the food business you have no idea how valuable a 'food court' to reducing spoilage--a major factor in keeping the prices low.

Shaws & Hannaford's all have large 'certified' organic sections; and in the summer there are a growing number of direct to buyer sales relationships...contract sales are very popular, when my neighbor goes away, we get her 'contract' for the week from Crystal Springs Farm.

Then there are farmer's markets and internet sales.

I too yearn for the old days when our food coop's cheese buying committee would cherry pick the best cheeses at wholesale prices; but nothing lasts forever!

I don't think you can reinvent the wheel; I prefer buying trips to local growers who have expanded their offerings considerably, but Maine despite global warming's impact, has a short growing season and that means we import food...a lot of it.
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 94
Good point about Maine importing alot of food, especially at the population levels we have here now (and the food qty/type expectations of many Mainers). What's that old equation.... I = P X T (I=Impact, P=Population, T=Technologly).

I've been working on my root cellar plans and hope to grow more storage crops in the coming years and/or make more arrangments with local growers on that kind of stuff.

I still have a few things that I would really miss if things got rough, like coffee and bananas...but I figure every once in a while a fully laden sailing vessel will make it to Portland's waterfront and I'll bike over for some of my vices... :)

Lucky we have options right now at all!
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