Friday, May 27, 2011

Our first pick-up from West Michigan Co-op!

On Wednesday night, we ventured into downtown Grand Rapids to a warehouse on the corner of Godfrey SW and Hall St to pick up our first Co-op order.  The process was so easy and enjoyable and I look forward to next month!

When we arrived, we pulled into a parking lot and quickly realized that this was THE place to be that night. There was lots of traffic. We had our shopping bags ready and entered the building - we were greeted right away and shown where to pick up our order invoice. (an invoice is printed out for anyone who added items to their shopping cart on their site - Then, you take your invoice around to the different tables/areas set up for each "producer" that is there - and you get to pick up your food! It was so much fun! The kids really got into it and wanted to help pick up the food and put it in our bags, etc. They also got excited about the many samples being given out at each table: icecream from Moo-ville Creamery, cheeses from Grassfields Cheese, coffee and chocolate samples from Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters, YUMMY goat cheese samples from Dogwood Farms and many more!

Then, once you pick up everything you previously ordered (and maybe a few extra things like some yummy asparagus from Cherry Point Market and some kettle corn from Dorothy and Toto's Gourmet Kettle Company), you go to the "adjustments" or check-out station and pay with cash or check!

It was a great experience and I cannot wait for next month! If you want to give them a try, they give you 2 months of a 'trial' membership for free - if you like them and want to shop, there is a $35 membership for the year. You can shop once a month, year-round!

Here's a picture of what I got:


5 different heirloom tomato plants to plant in our garden, a dill plant, oregano plant, sage plant, rosemary plant, 1 lb of hydroponic lettuce, 3 whole chickens, 6lbs of grassfed ground beef, 2 lbs butter, 4lbs honey, 5lbs grassfed/nitrate-free bacon, and 1 gallon of cream-top (non-homogonized) milk - plus asparagus and kettle corn (not pictured).

We had roast chicken in the crockpot last night - which made enough meat for another meal or two. The bones are currently in the crockpot for the next 24 hrs as I am making homemade chicken stock/broth (just added filtered water, a quartered onion, several garlic cloves, some dried thyme, salt/pepper and a couple cut up carrots. I'll use it for soup and in other recipes (I freeze in various sized glass jars or heavy-duty ziploc bags.

Check out the Co-op at and look around at their producers, etc.

Happy eating!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A great source for safe, non-toxic home products!

If you know me, you know I am always trying to have my family eat more healthy, nourishing, safe food (which usually means organic). Well, over the last year or so I have really realized that I should also be USING safer products AROUND my family and in my home.

Thankfully, my friend Shauna Davis (a fellow pastor's wife) introduced me to Melaleuca: The Wellness Company. Once I heard what they offered, I was IN! I have been doing my shopping with them for consumable non-grocery items since November and have been SUPER impressed!!

They pride themselves in:
1) being a U.S-based company
2) being "Green" - using their resources wisely and using green manufacturing processes
3) offering safe, non-toxic products and never using ingredients that could harm a person, animal OR the environment
4) offering a viable "business" for those who would like to actively refer people to shop with their company, with no investment/delivering products/doing parties/collecting money, etc.

The BEST thing is that everyone shops DIRECTLY with Melaleuca, who manufactures their own products.

Anyway, their products are awesome - none of their cleaning products need child safety caps, which is awesome and provides me with great peace of mind. I've switched over to using all of their products in our home (well, not quite all of them YET, as they have over 350 products!). 

They offer products in these 5 categories:
1) Ecosense line of cleaners: everything to clean your home, dishes and laundry
2) Vitality for Life: vitamins, supplements, sports nutrition and weight loss/fiber products
3) Bath & Body: everything to wash men, women and children and to get them ready in morning (soap, haircare products, deoderant, lotions, etc)
4) Sei Bella: skin care and cosmetics that are all vegetable and mineral based
5) Pharmacy items: all over-the-counter pharmacy items and dental products - they even have toothbrushes, floss and band-aids!

Anyway, I'd LOVE to tell you more about them (and the perks and freebies that come with shopping with them) if you'd like to hear! I love that there is NO risk with shopping with them and you can cancel your shopping acct at ANY time. If you'd like to hear more, shoot me an email at We can hop on a quick webcast together and I'll explain how shopping with them works. Then you can see if it might be a good fit for your family and if you'd like to just give shopping with them a try for a few months! They are great!!! In the meantime, you can check out: for some additional info via a few short videos.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My co-op order.....

So, I thought I'd post what my order looks like for the co-op this first time....I am really excited to pick this up on Wed., May 25th! I will take a picture of everything when I get it home so you can see what I got. For $150, I don't think this is too bad for all GOOD, pastured, grass-fed meat and healthy food. I'll use the farmer's market for a little produce until our garden is producing as well as some trips to Meijer for a few other things. I am REALLY trying to get to the point where I hardly ever have to go to the store! I've been ordering all of my everyday products from Melaleuca (I'll write another post about that sometime), and all of their products are safe, non-toxic and naturally-derived. So, other than paper products and some trips for the store for other stuff, I hope to avoid Meijer as much as possible!!!

Here's what my order looks like:

QtyProducerItemUnit Price

1 pound [Change][Remove]Crane Dance FarmBulk Sweet Italian Sausage$7.00 per pound

1 package [Change][Remove]Creswick FarmsBacon, Seconds “Butchers’ Choice”$4.50 per pound
1 pot [Change] [Remove]Fat Blossom FarmDill plant$2.00 per pot

1 pot [Change] [Remove]Fat Blossom FarmOregano plant$3.00 per pot

1 pot [Change] [Remove]Fat Blossom FarmSage plant$2.00 per pot

1 pot [Change] [Remove]Fat Blossom FarmThyme plant$3.00 per pot

1 plant [Change] [Remove]Fat Blossom FarmTomato plant- paste- Speckled Roman$2.00 per plant

1 plant [Change] [Remove]Fat Blossom FarmTomato plant-Brandywine Red$2.00 per plant

1 plant [Change] [Remove]Fat Blossom FarmTomato plant-cherry-Juliet$2.00 per plant

1 plant [Change] [Remove]Fat Blossom FarmTomato plant-Costoluto Genovese$2.00 per plant

1 plant [Change] [Remove]Fat Blossom FarmTomato plant-German Bi-color$2.00 per plant

6 pound [Change][Remove]Grassfields, LLCGround Beef - 100% grassfed$4.50 per pound

3 chicken [Change][Remove]Grassfields, LLCPure Pastured Chicken$3.00 per pound

1 GALLON [Change][Remove]Mooville Creamery2% MILK CREAMLINE$4.50 per GALLON

2 POUND [Change][Remove]Mooville CreameryMOO-VILLE BUTTER$4.50 per POUND

1 1 pound bag [Change][Remove]Mud Lake FarmLettuce - 1 lb, hydroponic$6.00 per 1 pound bag

1 4# jar [Change][Remove]Wells OrchardsHoney - 4#$14.00 per 4# jar

Monday, May 9, 2011

A new source for local, whole food - The West Michigan Co-op.

Well, it has been nearly 8 months since we've moved to Rockford, MI from Oak Harbor, WA. The adjustment has gone pretty smoothly overall since moving to MI was "coming back home" for us.

One thing that has been a bit of a challenge for me is finding healthy, whole foods for my family. I was spoiled when I lived in WA where it seemed to be more readily available, thankfully because I was a part of Jenee VanKooten's "Healthy Living Buyer's Club". Here, it was been a little more challenging, but I think I am making strides!

I recently started shopping with the West Michigan Co-op. I am so new to it that I haven't even gotten my first shopping order yet. For those of you who are local here are some fun details about it:

1) They offer a 2-month free trial membership where you can simply order and give them a try. If you like it, then you can pay a $35 membership to shop with them for the year.

2) Shopping is "open" from the 1st Saturday through the 1st Friday of the month. Then ordering is "closed" and you pick up your shopping order the last Wednesday of the month.

3) When you pick up the items you've ordered, you actually get to go around from table to table and pick up each item yourself and MEET the farmer or person who grew/raised your food. I love it!

I will keep you posted on how the process goes and how we like it! I am excited to have this resource available to us! Check them out at

If you are local, let me know other "whole foods" resources you shop with! I am specifically looking for bulk grains as we have our own flour mill......