Run out of Fort Worth, Your Health Source offers local, regional and national fruits and vegetables that are all organic — raised without harmful pesticides and with no genetically modified items. Co-op participants pay $25 a year for a membership fee, plus $50 every two weeks for the produce. There can be between 15 to 30 pounds of produce, according to the Your Health Source website, depending on the items — berries obviously cost less than apples. For those who want more, they can pay a bit extra to receive more vegetables or fruits. In Weatherford, two of the people who help run the distribution for the co-op also get raw milk and cheese from Bridgeport and offer those items to the participants in the co-op. A gallon of raw milk is about $7.
Simone Cobb and Joanna and Keith Saunders were originally part of a different Parker County organic food co-op about a year ago. But, that one disbanded and they decided to participate in and help distribute items for Your Health Source. This Weatherford co-op has been around for almost three weeks and has 23 members.
Every other week, a truck from Fort Worth comes to Cobb’s home to drop off the produce. She and the Saunders’ distribute it into bins for the co-op members, who then pick it up and pay in advance for the next food drop.
“There’s an average of eight to 10 kinds of vegetables and six varieties of fruits,” Cobb said about the what’s in the bins.
On Saturday, the three gave out bins with locally-grown shitake mushrooms, as well as organic asparagus, beets, peppers, apples, avocados, zucchini and more.
Co-op members get emails in advance about what will be in the coming bins so they can plan ahead on meals, said Cobb.
“It’s a huge difference,” Cobb said of the taste of the food. “It’s clean food. It doesn’t have the pesticides, the herbicides, the chemical fertilizers — all that stuff is toxic to your body.”
The woman who runs the co-op from Fort Worth also has some dry goods and even personal care products available, Joanna Saunders said.
“Not only is it good for us, it’s going for the environment,” Cobb added, noting that organic items come from responsible farms that take care not to erode the soil with overfarming, for example.
In Parker County, there aren’t a lot of options for finding local and organic products, Cobb said. Shopping at Whole Foods or other stores in Fort Worth can not only take a chunk of time and be expensive, but it doesn’t guarantee quality, Saunders added, noting how the apples from the co-op seem crisper and fresher than any she’s gotten at the store.
“The other great benefit that people find is that they really make an effort to use it,” Cobb said. “A lot of people who have joined have said they really want to get back into cooking.”