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  • ronscabin <kathcart@okmedia.net>
    Hi all- I m Kathy Carter-White in Tahlequah, checking in. We live on 5 acres between the Illinois River and Lake Tenkiller and have a small garden and some
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 27, 2002
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      Hi all- I'm Kathy Carter-White in Tahlequah, checking in. We live on
      5 acres between the Illinois River and Lake Tenkiller and have a small
      garden and some family (allotment) acres for wild gathering in
      Cherokee County, OK. For Cherokee Nation, one of my work projects is
      Cherokee Small Farm Group... a loosely organized non-group of about 40
      folks who do some type of production from the land. Small Farm tries
      to help folks put sustainability into their land use, because it
      supports Cherokee culture and thereby supports tribal sovereignty.
      Out here, Ron & I grow Cherokee tomatoes, gourds, and some of our home
      food. (I make soap and quilts and hand-dye fabrics, but except for
      possibly my goat-milk soaps these are probably not kindred products).
      Our farm production is very small, but I would like to make available
      these wonderful Cherokee tomatoes, and I save seeds and share those
      with Cherokee tribal members anywhere. I'm thinking that because of
      fungibility and access to other produce in the summer, and because
      they are marvy when dried, I'd like to sell dried Cherokee tomatoes
      and dried basil in vacuum sealed containers. This would be easy to
      display. I live prohibitively far away, but would like to buy a
      monthly or annual membership for a relative in Edmond. I'm glad we're
      starting early, so producers have time to plan for extra production
      before time to buy seed. Oh, and I can help anyone in this area with
      dehydrating. Plus, we've got a lot of research on value-added product
      ideas in our Small Farm library, and I'm volunteering to do look-ups
      on preservation methods, etc. that will help folks extend food
      availability into the winter months. Lance Daugherty with the Ag
      Census (which is going on now) tells me that the Oklahoma Food Policy
      Board is surveying Oklahoma public school kitchens to see if there is
      a desire to buy fresh-produced Oklahoma foods. I'm anxious to see the
      results of the poll, and just speculating here, perhaps this central
      market could be a clearinghouse for supplying that need. USDA has
      Co-op startup loans, but we're better off looking for market research
      feasibility study monies in grant form. I will report back on that.
      Kathy
    • JJDILL1@aol.com
      Hi, I am Jackie Dill from the Stillwater area. We live on a 40 acre farm. I am very excited about Robert s idea. Over the last few years we have been growing
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 27, 2002
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        Hi,
        I am Jackie Dill from the Stillwater area. We live on a 40 acre farm. I am very excited about Robert's idea. Over the last few years we have been growing organic vegetables on our farm and are planning a large greenhouse this spring. We hope to market some of our produce this year.  I will have free range turkeys, chickens and ducks this year also.  I am a responsible wildcrafter. I collect wild herbs and plants for teas and medicinal uses. I am planning on starting a line of teas.  I dehydrate mushrooms each year and next year will attempt to transfer wild oyster mushroom spores to my own hardwood logs. I am Choctaw/Cherokee and much of what I do has been passed down. We are trying to supplement our small income as my husband is disabled and it requires me to be with him at all times. Robert's idea is just what we have been looking for. I also make baskets and use natural dyes.  I may try too market some of my baskets.  Jackie
      • Summer Coyote <branewme@yahoo.com>
        Hi We are Ed and Barbara Martindale from good ole Muskogee. We at this time live in town but do have a green house opperation and gardens in which we grow all
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 27, 2002
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          Hi
          We are Ed and Barbara Martindale from good ole Muskogee. We at this
          time live in town but do have a green house opperation and gardens in
          which we grow all of our own vegetables and herbs. I was interested
          because of my relationship to living in town, the fact that we are
          retired, and our management experiences. There are some great spots
          here now that are empty and waiting for someone to be inventive in new
          business.
          I am an old farm gal who does know and understand food production
          from beef, pork, chickens, feed crops, and vegetables. Ed is the
          extravert in our family who works very well in the sales field,
          advertizing, and just getting out there being with people while I do
          great in the background work. LOL ok Shy old farm gal.
          I also do much canning, sause making, sewing, leather work, and loom
          beading. If we added sections for such things as nonfood items I think
          they would Have to be hand made here in Oklahoma by our members only
          to work. I see too much of this starting and ending up being venders
          with cheep um um ( not to get in trouble here but) tourist trade junk.
          IT is great to see this starting and we are willing to do our small
          part to see it work all over our state.
          Thanks Ed and Barbara
        • Robert Waldrop
          Kathy, Jackie, Ed and Barbara, Thanks very much for your introductions. I d like to encourage everybody topost something similar, your background, what you
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 27, 2002
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            Kathy, Jackie, Ed and Barbara,

            Thanks very much for your introductions. I'd like to encourage
            everybody topost something similar, your background, what you are
            looking for, what you can offer.

            I'd like to invite everybody to be thinking about these questions:

            1. what is the market for an Oklahoma Food Retail Cooperative
            (hereafter, just plain old cooperative, to save some keystrokes?
            Remembering that given that we are in start up phase, there are two
            markets we have to consider: the consumers, and the producers. Good
            producers with great products will help get consumers, and consumers
            will help bring in the best producers.

            2. What opportunities would such a retail cooperative system offer to
            the community and to individual households? (Note that while Oklahoma
            City is what I have been thinking would be the first of these to open,
            I see this as
            something suitable for many areas of the state, Tulsa, Muskogee,
            McAlester, Lawton, Weatherford/Clinton, Enid, and Bartlesville also
            come to mind. Whoever puts the producers, consumers, and resources
            together will obviously be able to open a store.)

            3. What challenges are involved with doing this? One person who
            responded privately indicated he had considerable experience in
            organic retail, and said, "you would be surprised at how high the
            overhead can be." While it is fine for our minds to soar to the sky
            and beyond, it is important that our feet remain rooted in the
            realities on the ground. This will work if the producers can make a
            profit and the consumers can get a good product at a fair price. But
            between where we are now (a few people on a listserv), and a store
            that opens up, there are many challenges. What are they?

            4. What resources are necessary for this to happen? e.g., a place to
            do business, licenses, a cooperative charter, producers and
            processors, equipment, etc.

            5. What resources are available? People, persons, communities,
            products, processors, ideas, grants, equipment, networks, etc..

            6. Given the challenges enumerated in answer to (3), what do we do
            about them besides pray? If we can't figure out a way to meet or
            finesse a particular challenge, then we remain dead in the water.

            7. What kind of a timeline is practical for this?

            Feel free to listen or post, but I encourage everyone to add your
            ideas, especially if the only reason you aren't conversing is because
            you think your idea is to small or insignificant or barely relevant.
            The rule of St. Benedict requires the abbot to listen to all the
            monks, starting with the youngest. I mention this only because when a
            group gets together to do good work, everybody indeed is in important
            and has something to contribute. Presumably people who sign up for
            this listserv are "more than casually interested", so let's all pitch
            in and get this job going.

            Kathy, I really appreciate your post and your enthusiasm, and
            especially your offer to check on grants. I can certainly do a lot of
            writing, but I am a bit clueless about the grant process and what's
            out there. Anything you can contribute to this would be most
            beneficial. And about your fabric arts, it seems to me that fabric
            goes right along with food, and if you are looking for a market for
            your incredibly beautiful quilts, I would think this would be a
            perfect fit. Although the focus is on food first, the general concept
            of "Cooperative General Store". I suspect Ed and Barbara are right
            that non food items should focus on Oklahoma made products.

            Jackie, thanks for your notes on what you are doing. Naturally raised
            turkeys would be great! Plus some Oklahoma teas! One idea I had is
            that as this develops, people may work together to do products. e.g.,
            one person might have 2 items for a tea or salsa and another have
            other ingredients.

            Ed and Barbara, management experience!!! I need to confess something
            to everybody up front, and that is that I am notoriously bad at
            forecasting (a) how much something will cost, and (b) how much time it
            will take. I have many strengths, but those two are not among them,
            hehehe. Whenever I am trying to figure out something for my
            household, once I add everything up and determine a bottom line
            figure, I always increase it by 25% just because of my track record of
            underestimating expenses. So management experience is really vital
            because good managers can make a business, while bad managers can kill
            it before it ever gets started.

            And Kathy, Ed, and Barbara, note that y'all are practically neighbors.

            Note: every few days, depending on the traffic, I will post a summary
            message that enumerates the ideas presently being discussed, along
            with a reminder for new folks just subscribing to read through the
            message archive.

            Thanks to everybody.

            Robert Waldrop, OKc
            -----Original Message-----
            From: ronscabin <kathcart@...> <kathcart@...>
            >Hi all- I'm Kathy Carter-White in Tahlequah, checking in. We live on
            >5 acres between the Illinois River and Lake Tenkiller and have a
            small
            >garden and some family (allotment) acres for wild gathering in
            >Cherokee County, OK. For Cherokee Nation, one of my work projects is
            >Cherokee Small Farm Group... a loosely organized non-group of about
            40
            >folks who do some type of production from the land. Small Farm tries
            >to help folks put sustainability into their land use, because it
          • Sally Sims
            Hello, I am Sally Sims. I live north of Maysville (about 50 miles south of OKC) and run a business in Pauls Valley ( 20 miles se of here). We have 50 acres
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 27, 2002
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              Hello, I am Sally Sims.  I live north of Maysville (about 50 miles south of OKC) and run a business in Pauls Valley ( 20 miles se of here).  We have 50 acres of workable land and have been looking for a way to use it and possibly make a living.  At the present it is mostly pasture.  We have a few cattle, chickens, horses. 
              I am interested in this idea.  We have a crafts market in Pauls Valley that works off the same concept.  It does very well.   We have no Farmers Market close by.  I have always felt that we needed something in this area.  We have several people in our area that sell excess garden produce.  How nice it would be to have all under one roof.  Will be watching for more information.
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Friday, December 27, 2002 10:21 AM
              Subject: Re: [okfoodret] Checking in

              Kathy, Jackie, Ed and Barbara,

              Thanks very much for your introductions.  I'd like to encourage
              everybody topost something similar, your background, what you are
              looking for, what you can offer.

              I'd like to invite everybody to be thinking about these questions:

              1.  what is the market for an Oklahoma Food Retail Cooperative
              (hereafter, just plain old cooperative, to save some keystrokes?
              Remembering that given that we are in start up phase, there are two
              markets we have to consider:  the consumers, and the producers.  Good
              producers with great products will help get consumers, and consumers
              will help bring in the best producers.

              2.  What opportunities would such a retail cooperative system offer to
              the community and to individual households?  (Note that while Oklahoma
              City is what I have been thinking would be the first of these to open,
              I see this as
              something suitable for many areas of the state, Tulsa, Muskogee,
              McAlester, Lawton, Weatherford/Clinton, Enid, and Bartlesville also
              come to mind. Whoever puts the producers, consumers, and resources
              together will obviously be able to open a store.)

              3.  What challenges are involved with doing this?  One person who
              responded privately indicated he had considerable experience in
              organic retail, and said, "you would be surprised at how high the
              overhead can be."  While it is fine for our minds to soar to the sky
              and beyond, it is important that our feet remain rooted in the
              realities on the ground. This will work if the producers can make a
              profit and the consumers can get a good product at a fair price.  But
              between where we are now (a few people on a listserv), and a store
              that opens up, there are many challenges.  What are they?

              4.  What resources are necessary for this to happen?  e.g., a place to
              do business, licenses, a cooperative charter, producers and
              processors, equipment, etc.

              5.  What resources are available?  People, persons, communities,
              products, processors, ideas, grants, equipment, networks, etc..

              6.  Given the challenges enumerated in answer to (3), what do we do
              about them besides pray?  If we can't figure out a way to meet or
              finesse a particular challenge, then we remain dead in the water.

              7.  What kind of a timeline is practical for this?

              Feel free to listen or post, but I encourage everyone to add your
              ideas, especially if the only reason you aren't conversing is because
              you think your idea is to small or insignificant or barely relevant.
              The rule of St. Benedict requires the abbot to listen to all the
              monks, starting with the youngest.  I mention this only because when a
              group gets together to do good work, everybody indeed is in important
              and has something to contribute.  Presumably people who sign up for
              this listserv are "more than casually interested", so let's all pitch
              in and get this job going.

              Kathy, I really appreciate your post and your enthusiasm, and
              especially your offer to check on grants.  I can certainly do a lot of
              writing, but I am a bit clueless about the grant process and what's
              out there.  Anything you can contribute to this would be most
              beneficial.  And about your fabric arts, it seems to me that fabric
              goes right along with food, and if you are looking for a market for
              your incredibly beautiful quilts, I would think this would be a
              perfect fit.  Although the focus is on food first, the general concept
              of "Cooperative General Store".  I suspect Ed and Barbara are right
              that non food items should focus on Oklahoma made products.

              Jackie, thanks for your notes on what you are doing.  Naturally raised
              turkeys would be great!  Plus some Oklahoma teas!  One idea I had is
              that as this develops, people may work together to do products.  e.g.,
              one person might have 2 items for a tea or salsa and another have
              other ingredients.

              Ed and Barbara, management experience!!! I need to confess something
              to everybody up front, and that is that I am notoriously bad at
              forecasting (a) how much something will cost, and (b) how much time it
              will take.  I have many strengths, but those two are not among them,
              hehehe.  Whenever I am trying to figure out something for my
              household, once I add everything up and determine a bottom line
              figure, I always increase it by 25% just because of my track record of
              underestimating expenses.  So management experience is really vital
              because good managers can make a business, while bad managers can kill
              it before it ever gets started.

              And Kathy, Ed, and Barbara, note that y'all are practically neighbors.

              Note:  every few days, depending on the traffic, I will post a summary
              message that enumerates the ideas presently being discussed, along
              with a reminder for new folks just subscribing to read through the
              message archive.

              Thanks to everybody.

              Robert Waldrop, OKc
              -----Original Message-----
              From: ronscabin <kathcart@...> <kathcart@...>
              >Hi all- I'm Kathy Carter-White in Tahlequah, checking in.  We live on
              >5 acres between the Illinois River and Lake Tenkiller and have a
              small
              >garden and some family (allotment) acres for wild gathering in
              >Cherokee County, OK.  For Cherokee Nation, one of my work projects is
              >Cherokee Small Farm Group... a loosely organized non-group of about
              40
              >folks who do some type of production from the land.  Small Farm tries
              >to help folks put sustainability into their land use, because it





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            • paulb
              For my farm friends receiving this message by bcc: Okfoodret is a new e-list discussion group dedicated to finding means for producers to retail their
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 29, 2002
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                For my farm friends receiving this message by bcc: Okfoodret is a new
                e-list discussion group dedicated to finding means for producers to
                retail their products to consumers. Although just launched less than a
                week ago by Robert Waldrop who has a network of producers and willing
                consumers in the Oklahoma City area, there have been some great postings
                with ideas about retail food cooperatives to this e-list. One idea
                advanced by Robert and expounded on by others is to use a vacant store
                building like a K-Mart to set up food stalls for producers to rent or
                consign goods to. Other food coop ideas have been put out there.

                The biggest problem facing any effort by producers seeking to retail to
                consumers AND for consumers seeking producers to purchase from is
                getting them together. How can they learn about each other? Startup
                is tough. Word of mouth is slow, etc., etc. Let me suggest an idea.

                Many willing farmer/producers have a problem with distance from farmers
                markets, food malls, whatever. The least complicated arrangement for
                a farmer producer and customers is a direct subscriber service. I
                would like to see a website devoted to just listings of willing
                producers similar to what Robert Waldrop has on his website so that
                producers can post their contact information and available products. Is
                should be designed so that consumers can type in a product or a zip code
                to match up with a producer. THEN that consumer would "subscribe" with
                that producer, making arrangements directly between the two for amounts
                and delivery dates and points. This website could be linked and
                networked through e-lists, allowing producers and consumers to find each
                other more easily. It certainly would have to have disclaimers that
                nothing is guaranteed -- it is only a service.

                Anyway, consider attending the meeting in Weatherford on Saturday,
                January 11, to discuss these ideas. PLEASE respond to paulb@...
                if you plan to attend so that I can reserve a lunch for you.
                Registration at the door is $10 per person and that includes lunch.

                Paul Barby
                Woodward, OK


                *********************************************************

                Annual Meeting
                The Foundation for Family Farms
                Saturday, January 11, 2003
                Upper Lounge, Student Union at SWOSU
                Weatherford, Oklahoma

                Learn about selling directly to consumers.

                10:00 a.m. Welcome -- Linda Martin, President
                Minutes -- Ronnie Wyatt, Secretary
                Treasurer's Report -- Paul Barby, Treasurer
                Call for Nominations to fill Director Positions

                10:15 a.m. Report on Campground Program and other legal matters --
                Jeannine Hales

                10:30 a.m. Perspectives from the Ag Media -- Candace Krebs

                10:45 a.m. PANEL DISCUSSION: SELLING TO CONSUMERS
                Robert Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House -- Consumer coop
                David & Tami Buss -- Lamb producer
                McLemore Family -- Peanut producer
                McGehee Family -- Vegetable, pork and beef producer
                Skelton Family (not confirmed) -- Beef producer
                Kay Lytle -- Soaps and homemade products for consumers plus rare poultry
                breeds
                Rep. Clay Pope -- Legislative response during discussion Candace Krebs
                -- Media response during discussion
                Jeannine Hales -- Legal response during discussion

                12:30 p.m. Box Lunch -- may continue discussion during meal

                1:15 p.m. Harlan Hentges, Oklahoma Agricultural Legal Foundation

                1:30 p.m. Summarize ideas and potential legislative proposals with Rep.
                Clay Pope

                2:30 p.m. Adjourn

                Outcome expectation: Develop and expand networking with a central
                directory/listing of willing producers and ready consumers. The mission
                of the panel will be to help producers anticipate the "do's" and
                "don'ts" for selling directly to consumers.
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