I attended the co-op's earth day event on Saturday and had a good time. There were a bunch of local vendors, music, food and goats! Later on, a friend had to burst my bubble about how great the event was. He said the Co-op did not let Los Poblanos Organics or Winnings have space at the event. Now, I thought this festival was supposed to celebrate earth day and all of the local places we frequent. I guess the Co-op thinks Los Poblanos is now a competetior, even though if it were not for Los Poblanos, the Co-op would not have had some of their great produce over the last few years. Anyways, It is upsetting that they can't have some community spirit in this type of event and they feel the need to exert some kind of control. It will only backfire..... As a member of the Co-op, I'm going to write a letter and find out what's going on over there? I encourage you all to do the same if you feel the same way that I do.

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Los Poblanos has a bad reputation in the community supported agriculture, or CSA, uh, community for not being willing to pay what area farmers believe is a fair price for locally-produced produce. So, though you might not know it, most of the fruit and veggies they distribute in their popular "boxes" are trucked in bulk from farms as far off as California, and LPO volunteers remove the stickers.

Not saying its bad, but it sure as hell ain't local.

The Co-Op does get its produce from actual local farmers, hence their higher prices.

Next time you're at a grower's market, ask a local farmer what they think of LPO.
I am familiar with LPO's practices, but hey, the Co-op gets organic apples from Washington State, maybe even produce from (god forbid) further away than that. Yes, it would be great if LPO would produce more local food and if the Co-op wants a leg to stand on, then they should only have produce from New Mexico. My point is that they should have allowed them to participate because they are a local business, plain and simple.
This is a very interesting discussion. I'd love to see somebody from the Co-op or LPO weigh in as it's obviously rather unclear for many of us what's going on. Perhaps part of it is the local vs. organic debate?
I'm a long-time LPO member and have always respected Farmer Monte for his honest in the organic vs. organic-and-local vs. local-but-not-organic discussion.

His weekly newsletters often candidly address the issues being discussed right here and his reasoning has always seemed very rational to me. And picking up my LPO produce box every week is a personal joy of mine. Plus, the chard in my life has increased ten-fold since I've been a member, and that can't be a bad thing.
I have gotten LPO's boxes on and off over the last couple years and have no problem with the inclusion of non-local produce. In fact, I prefer having a wider variety--with purely local vegetables I get sick of chard real fast! As much as I recognize the environmental issues of trucking in produce from other locations, I just don't think it's realistic to expect to eat **only** locally-grown produce. I like the fact that LPO gets their non-local produce from other small, non-industrial farms.
El Heffe, write your letter, but for speedier response, I'd recommend calling the Nob Hill front desk and ask for Robyn Seydel in the office. She's in admin and is instrumental in putting the whole event together. She is also an extremely lovely person who would be so glad to talk to you. I can't imagine their motivation was anything other than logistical, but you never know. Let us know what you find out!
I can't contribute any information about who was invited or not invited, but I thought yesterday's event was great. The co-op is to be commended for putting together such a fun, informative community event in the spirit of Earth Day.
No one has to pay to put up a booth at the Earth Day event. As far as I know, interested parties contact Robin with their interest in having a booth there. What happens after that is out of my knowledge range.
there seemed to be fewer tables this year, but that might have been because we arrived later in the day. I know we missed the nob hill grower's market folks. I wonder if there's a space issue? one of these years, the co-op's going to have to empty at least one parking lot to make room for everyone who wants to participate and/or enjoy. we could barely get to some of the tables in the mid-afternoon crush. regardless, I'd be interested to hear a response about the absence of these two businesses.

on another note, we had a nice afternoon at the event, but the highlight was talking silver bike boulevard with ben "bikeabq" savoca. (despite that wierd moment of dissonance when the online and real worlds collide.) I have to say, the icepick is charming.
Wow. I love it. People getting fired up about food. This would not have been the case 10 years ago. I love it. Thanks Alexis for the heads up on this topic.
1. The Co-Op never uninvited (sorry for the double negative) LPO to the earth day. This is a super busy time of year for us and so did not make the trip. But it was definitely not on any malice from the Co-Op.
2. I am not a dictator. I am a father. I look after LPO like I look after my son. I believe in people, give them the benefit of the doubt. But will defend LPO like a mama bear defends her cubs. If that rubs some people the wrong way, well...as Jessie Jackson said once "Charge it to my head and not to my heart."
3. As far as the bad reputation in the CSA community....are you kidding me. LPO distributes more local Organic produce than any store in the state. And we do all that without giving our employee silly buttons to wear reminding you to buy local. I personally think that it is cool that we can sell more local produce than Whole Foods. That is David v. Goliath baby. Why does that deserve a bad rap?
4. Lastly do not assume that just because you are paying a higher price for produce that the farmers are getting it. Sounds good. But there are a lot of offices that money passes through before the farmer gets it. And our local farmers love LPO because we take all their produce, and not just the Grade A stuff that only makes it to the grocery shelf. Our members are educated and support local farmers more than any store around here.
Nice try though Statler.....
Monte, thanks for the clarification. I didn't get around to calling the co-op, which is fine. I'll harass my friend for passing on the bad info. I was a subscriber a few years back before you got the storefront. I liked the produce and vowed to return, but I got busy and never found my way back. Looks like I will though.


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