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Here are some frequently asked questions:
- Are there membership fees?
- Will I have to buy vegetables I don't want?
- How do I order?
- When do I pay?
- When and Where do I pick up my order?
- Why Support Locally Grown?
- How can I sell through this market?
- How do I sign up for a discounted produce box from Nature's Garden Express?
- You offer Raw Dairy? I thought it was illegal.
- How do I buy raw Jersey cow milk in GLASS jars?
- Are coffees on the market organic?
- What if I forget to pick up my items on Tuesday?
- Why is there a convenience charge to use my credit card?
And here are some answers:
Are there membership fees?
To help us provide farm tours, educational programs, and to help us with our overhead costs, we ask that you pay an annual fee of $25 per household for one calendar year. You are welcome to try us for two orders before officially becoming members.
Will I have to buy vegetables I don't want?
Unlike some co-ops, buying clubs, or CSAs where everyone gets the same box of stuff (and you don’t know what you’re getting until you get it), with Locally Grown you get to order what you want, in the quantities that you want, from the farms that you want. The weekly email lists the produce, milled products, fresh flowers, and artisan goods available that week, and you can browse the items on this website before you place your order.
How do I order?
Each Friday morning, a list of available products is sent to all of our registered customers by e-mail. Customers must place their order for the week no later than Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Orders can be placed here on our website. Ordering through this web site is our preferred method as it is designed to reduce the amount of time it takes us to process orders as well as provide you with detailed information about our products.
When do I pay?
We accept cash, checks when you pick up your order. We also accept advance credit/debit card payment on the website and Dwolla (digital secure payment network). Because we may have to adjust your total then (to account for table sale items you decide to purchase or items that were unexpectedly unavailable), your card will not be charged until after pick up.
If you have a Nature’s Garden Express organic produce box delivered to the co-op pick up site, you will pay Nature’s Garden directly. When you create an account with them, your credit/debit card is saved and will be billed directly.
When and Where do I pick up my order?
From when the “co-op pick is ready” email is sent (usually around 1 pm) to 6:30 pm on TUESDAYS, customers can pick-up their co-op items at 285 E. Moreno St. Buford 30518
I do not have the space or the means to keep produce boxes or co-op items after Tuesday. If you have an emergency please contact me as soon as you can if you can’t pick up. I will accommodate special circumstances.
If you forget any items, it is your responsibility to contact us before 6:30 PM on Tuesday. Anything left will be donated.
No Pick Up, Will Donate Policy- If you do not pick up your items by 6:30 pm on TUESDAY they will be donated. If you have an emergency please contact me to arrange pick up.* I encourage to check off the items on the packing list before you leave to make sure you don’t leave without an item. You will still be responsible for payment of anything left behind because I have already paid the farmers on your behalf. The only other exemption, besides an emergency, are the group buy items.
Why Support Locally Grown?
Enhance your local economy: By purchasing produce and other items from local growers you are providing stability to your local economy through the support of local businesses.
Save natural resources: Buying locally makes you an invaluable link in the process of saving resources such as fossil fuels and packaging materials. Also, we are right here in your community so the expense of transportation and delivery is kept to a minimum.
Provide learning opportunities: Locally Grown supporters provide member growers the means to help educate our community about the importance of sustainable agriculture.
Supporting a way of life: The number of small farms in the United States has decreased dramatically in the last decade. Please help us preserve an honest and worthy means of making a living.
We believe that small, diverse, family-owned farms contribute to society’s overall health.
How can I sell through this market?
If you’ve already created a customer account here, simply go to Our Growers scroll to the bottom, and look for the line “If you would like to sell through this market, pleas tell us about yourself and a market manager will contact you.” Click the link, and this will add you to our system and our market managers will contact you with the next step. We do charge 10% of your overall sales as a “table fee” for selling through the market. Like at a traditional farmers’ market, you do get to set your own prices and list your items as you wish. You are responsible to collect sales tax so please make sure to include that in your pricing. Contact Nora at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more information.
You should have a good understanding of how we work before you apply to be a grower. We would like you to first become a customer and place a couple orders so you can see firsthand how we operate. Things go so much more smoothly if you’d join us as a customer first.
How do I sign up for a discounted produce box from Nature's Garden Express?
Please email Nora and she can give you a promo code to receive an additional $10 off your box plus the co-op discount!
1. go to https://www.naturesgardenexpress.com/
2. Click “About” and choose “Join Co-op” in the dropdown box
3. On Step 1"Pick a box" click Co-op and select our co-op (Suwanee Whole Life Co-op) in the drop down box. Choose your box type and size.
6. Fill in the Personal Info and Payment Info.
THIS IS THE ONLY VENDOR THAT YOU WILL PAY DIRECTLY. All other items that are purchased through this website will be paid for at pick up on Tuesdays.
If you have any problems or need help signing up for a produce box please call 770-441-9976 and a Nature’s Garden Express customer service rep can help you.
You offer Raw Dairy? I thought it was illegal.
We do offer raw dairy! The state has banned the sale of raw milk for human consumption through its interpretation of the Georgia Dairy Act of 1980 and also through its adoption of the 2003 version of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance.
The sale of raw milk for animal consumption is legal if the distributor is licensed under the commercial feed laws. The Department of Agriculture currently has several distributors of raw goat milk for pet food under license.
All farms that sell raw dairy is licensed to sell raw dairy for pet consumption.
How do I buy raw Jersey cow milk in GLASS jars?
If you are choosing to receive your raw Jersey cow milk from Cedar Rock Dairy in a glass container, here is information on getting started and your ongoing responsibilities.
Because this is system for milk delivery is ‘new’, I am going to walk you through the initial process step-by-step.
Explanation of System
If you order half a gallon every week you will need 1 Jar Set (3 jars)
If you order a gallon every week you will need 2 Jar Sets (6 jars)
Here are some examples:
I get 1 gallon of milk per week. Sam packages milk in ½ gallon Mason jars. I will need 2 jars for my 1 gallon of milk – that is ONE set. I must have 3 sets so I need 6 half gallon Ball Mason jars.
Mary gets 2 gallons of milk per week. Sam packages in 1/2gallon Mason jars. Mary will need 4 jars for her 2 gallons of milk – that is One set. Mary must have 3 sets, so she will need 12 half gallon Ball Mason jars.
Betsy get ½ gallon of milk per week. Sam packages in ½ gallons Mason jars. Betsy will need 1 jar for her ½ gallon of milk – that is ONE set. Betsy must have 3 sets, so she will need 3 half gallon Ball Mason jars.
Why do we need 3 sets?
Initially, Sam will have all of our sets of jars. He will fill one set for each of us and deliver them. We will use the milk and return the *CLEAN DRY *jars the next time we pick up milk. Sam will have already delivered our milk for the week before you drop off your washed set. So, if we do not have a third set, he would not have any jars to put milk in on the 3rd week. With 3 sets of jars the rotation will work smoothly and there are plenty of jars.
Where can I buy the jars? How much are the jars?
You have a choice.
1. You can purchase jar sets on the market website. These are sold by Cedar Rock Dairy directly. It includes jars, white plastic lids and labels.
2. You can purchase the jars yourself (usually Ace Hardware has them) and Walmart has the plastic lids)
The jars are only sold by the case and there are 6 to a case. Depending on where you can find them, they will range anywhere from $11.25/case to $13.99/case. The plastic lids run around $3.00 for 8 at WalMart and can be up to $5.99 at some Ace Hardware stores. PLEASE WASH JARS AND LIDS PRIOR TO DROPPING OFF. Your jars need to be “milk ready” for Sam to fill.
If you choose to get your own jars:
1. All jars must be ½ gallon Ball Mason Jars
2. All jars must have a flat metal lid and a plastic lid
3. All jars and metal lids will be labeled by us
4. All jars and lids must be washed and dried prior to initial drop off
5. All plastic lids will have the Farmer’s Raw Milk label on the top (as mandated by Georgia Law)
6. All RETURNED jars must be washed and dried. Make sure there is NO butterfat on the sides of the jar. If you see butterfat, it is NOT clean.
Please use caution if you are washing your jars in a dishwasher. Do not dry these jars in the oven!
The type of glass that is used for ½ jars may weakened unless they are air dried! Avoid heat drying in your dishwasher. (I’ve heard the bottoms will get weak and one day you will pick up a jar and the bottom will fall out!)PLEASE BE CAREFUL IF YOU ARE USING A DISHWASHER TO WASH YOUR JARS
7. All jars and metal lids will be labeled when you bring them to the pickup location. We will use a unique colored label to differentiate our jars from other locally grown markets.
Can I just get my milk in a plastic container? How much will it be?
Yes! The cost of a half gallon of milk in a plastic container is $5.50 per half gallon.
How much is my milk if I get it in jars?
The cost of a half gallon of milk in a glass jar is $4.40 per half gallon.
Although you have an initial investment in the jars, they are yours and should you move, or drop from the Market for any reason, the jars are YOURS and will be returned to you. In the long run, you will save money by getting your milk in glass jars.
Are coffees on the market organic?
Our Mexico El Triunfo and Costa Rica La Amistad come to us with organic certifications. All of our coffees are grown with no chemicals and no pesticides. We only carry specialty grade coffees which are the top 3-5% beans available. They are mostly grown by small farms that often can’t afford to complete the organic certification process. Our importers visit the farms and see their growing methods, so they assure us that they are growing with no chemicals.
The other piece of it is that you’ll not see our bags with ‘organic’ on the labels. We have also not gone through the expensive process to be able to do that so they won’t allow us to say our Mexican and Costa Rican coffees are organic.
What if I forget to pick up my items on Tuesday?
No Pick Up, Will Donate Policy- If you do not pick up your items by 6:30pm on Tuesday they will be donated. If you have an emergency and can’t find someone to pick up your items please contact me to arrange pick up.**
It is the member’s responsibility to contact us.
We encourage you to check off the items on the packing list before you leave to make sure you don’t leave without an item. You will still be responsible for payment of anything left behind because I have already paid the farmers on your behalf.
The only other exemption, besides an emergency, are the group buy items.
Why is there a convenience charge to use my credit card?
The credit card processing company charges me 3% and the website developer charges an additional .5% for an increased layer of support. I pass on these fees so I can allow the convenience of credit card payment. I simply can’t absorb these operational costs due to the low margins on our items.