Demand local produce and you shall receive?

We didn’t have much luck in Virginia. And, then we did.

Combined with high produce prices at the Norfolk farmer’s market , excessive packaging at the Heritage Store and the distance we had to drive to get to the market in Virginia Beach, I gave up and shopped at the commissary. ONLY to discover, much to my delight,  the commissary limited DECA (Defense Commissary Agency) and bought much of their produce from local Virginia farms because the customers demanded it.

I want to see more of these signs!

Here in Georgia,  we haven’t had much luck. And then we have.

DECA rules the commissary here. All produce is shipped  from California or Chile. I’ve never seen a local name. And it’s covered in plastic wrap. So, we stopped shopping produce at the commissary and started growing our own veggies. We lucked up and rented a house with abundant fruit trees. But the best part of all? The food at the local farmer’s markets is wonderfully inexpensive. Whatever we don’t grow, we buy there.

We  hit the jack pot.

Because of this, we haven’t had any plastic to throw out. And we’re no longer eating strawberries grown in California year round. We only eat what’s in season, grown in someone’s back yard. The food tastes 100 times better. Totally worth it. I want to announce it from the roof tops.

But the lesson I learned here—what the customers demand, they shall receive. DEMAND LOCAL PRODUCE and you shall get it!

(My original plan was to try a bit harder with DECA here in GA but I got bogged down with…. life. I didn’t follow through. But if it can be done in VA, I’m sure it could be done  anywhere, and with any grocery store. It’s worth a shot, right?)

Fresh produce at the local farmer’s market.

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9 responses to “Demand local produce and you shall receive?

  1. Awesome reminder that we really are in charge.

  2. absolutely Jennifer..we are always getting, grapes, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and especially red wine or rakia from our neighbours and nothing can taste so good.
    Stay Healthy

  3. Even the commisary would eventually have to bow to supply and demand, if you demand it, they will supply it for fear of losing business. I love seeing local produce in stores. I will buy from the grocery stores too, knowing that it was grown locally. The stuff that comes from Mexico and California and trucked all the way up here always tastes like sawdust.

  4. My Ex’s grandfather (from Sicily) used to have a little produce store on the corner of street in an Italian neighborhood in St.Louis, MO. It was really low-tec… no refrigeration methods–you’d better grab it that day, but the produce was bought fresh every morning from a downtown St.Louis location called “Produce Row”. The locals always shopped there.

  5. Yeah! Great find. Food is always better from soil nearby, not ripened on a truck, but on the plant. I long for a corner store of jrliggettsblog’s description. Nice post. There’s hope everywhere – change is slow, but it starts at the bottom and works it way up!

  6. Glad to see that the ‘food desert’ in North America is slowly disappearing!

  7. It’s definitely worth a shot! I didn’t know that about the Norfolk commissary, but honestly, it’s out of the way for me, so I’ve only shopped there a couple of times. I keep trying to drag hubby over to the Virginia Beach Farmer’s Market, but no luck so far. I know, I just need to go by myself. :/ I did find out that there are quite a few co-op farms in the area, and it might be something we participate in next season.

  8. I thought you were in Florida! I can’t keep up with you – and hope you are great!

  9. 4/25/2011 10:12:59 AM ETThe produce quality standards at the commissaries are a joke. Commissary produce is horribly. Unless you plan to use it within a day of purchase it is very likely to go bad within a day or two. I was able to get one produce manager to finally admit that the commissary does in fact buy a lot of produce that is rejected by the large food supermarkets. It does not mean the produce is bad it just does not meet their standards which are obviously higher than the commissaries. Buy a head of lettuce at the commissary and from a supermarket on the same day. Put both in your crisper and I guarantee the one from the commissary will go bad days before the other one ever does. Same goes for most of the commissaries produce. Save your money and spend the extra 10 cents at a real store for your produce.

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