Organic food co-operation taking root

A nonprofit organic food co-op is being organized in Chilton County and invites all who are interested to take part.

The group is for those who eat organic perishable or non-perishable food. Organic foods are produced without using chemicals, genetic modification or irradiation.)

Those interested will be able to purchase organic produce, perishable and shelf stable food through the nonprofit organic food co-op.

The co-op will make it possible to purchase such foods at a discount and pick them up in Chilton County.

“We currently have nine families who will be participating,” said Gwen Harrison of Clanton, director of the organization. “We are hoping to place our first order in June.”

Harrison and her family eat organic produce, perishable and shelf stable food whenever possible, she said. She bakes all their bread with flour she grinds from organic wheat and corn, and has two Zojirushi bread machines and a solar oven, in addition to a regular oven.

After Harrison’s father was diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer in February 2006, and was given less than a year to live, her family became interested in organic food.

“After much research and experimentation, we have drastically changed our diet,” said Harrison. “Another impetus was my husband having a stint placed in one of his arteries at the age of 46.”

Harrison implements organic products in all of her cooking. She uses hard red wheat for breads and organic soft white wheat for cakes, muffins and cookies.

She sweetens desserts with powdered stevia extract.

“One teaspoon of stevia and 1/3 cup of organic applesauce are required to replace one cup of sugar, and the difference is imperceptible,” she said. “We are growing a garden this year and trying to use only organic fertilizers and pest control. We plan to grow free-range chickens in the future for both meat and eggs.”

The organization meets when the orders are delivered from Atlanta. Perishable items and shelf stable foods are delivered once a month, produce is delivered every two weeks and grains are delivered every three months.

If anyone is interested in hearing more or have questions, contact Harrison at 205-258-0020 or visit the organization’s website at www.ChiltonOrganicBuyingClub.org or via email at gwen32539@gmail.com.

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