Every mamas desire is to make sure her family is healthy and well. I am no exception to the rule. And with a family size of 7 total, I was in need of making sure I could purchase at a great price organic certified and local produce. Little did I know, that all the years of running from store to store to buy groceries was getting \wearisome and with more babies on the way a bit more challenging. I never in my wildest dreams consider a Co-Op/Buying Club to fill “my bill” As you read on, the story continues as we leave from one state to another and start Co-Oping all over again. I caught the Co-Op bug and it has never left. As my children have grown up, they are now more than ever excited to know where food comes from and how important it is to eat the best!
I was approached by a dear friend of mine to take over her small Co-Op of a few goods friends and start my own. RIGHT! There was just no way I could take on such a task. Finally, with much thought I, consulted with my husband and ultimately, prayed about it. I had no idea how to begin and having observed how much effort she invested into it, I felt I was not equipped to handle the responsibilities of such an undertaking. With the responsibilities are being a wife and mother I convinced myself this was not meant for me. Yet I knew the need to feed my family the best wholesome food that was nutritional dense for growing bodies , I layed down my agenda and pursued the undertaking in prayer. I considered what the Bible says in Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me.” Encouraged, my journey began.
I contacted a wholesale organic distribution company as well as local farms requesting they make a delivery to my home for friends and family to pickup our group order. I did my best to convince them there was a need here for organic produce and wholesome food in our area. Raw dairy was also very much in demand, since the majority of the high desert was purchasing raw milk an hour or plus away. . They refused. I persisted. They reasoned that the demand, as well as the gas prices, didn’t warrant the establishment of a new delivery route. Having done all I could, I committed my plans to the YaHuWaH and waited.
Finally, things started to change. Interest was sparked. Not just one farm decided to make the trip to the high desert, they all did! I was stunned! The telephone was a means of communicating with a variety of farms and health food advocates. The internet was also another device close to my hip..lol
Everything we needed to set a Co-Op in motion came together: from people donating refrigerators, books for our member library, pens, paper, and even building supplies to convert our garage. Our garage was no longer being used to keep our cars, but a way for friends and family (no members), to pick up their orders of produce shares, local meat,l raw dairy products and more. Members donated their time and labor to help support this effort. Soon I developed a wonderful rapport with many farmers, businesses, and related organizations.
in 2012, we moved into a building of our own. The building is owned and driven by the members who volunteer their time. We pool our funds together and members pay “rent” from a small fee from the produce shares they order. We now have a large following of members who participate and pick up organic and other wholesome, nutritional and local and organic food twice a month. C o-Op is full of life: members network with each other and we’re supporting local farmers and are making a positive contribution to our local community. With YaHuWaH’s strength and blessing, we are looking forward to many more years of a Bountiful Harvest.
The exciting 5 years of Bountiful Harvest/Living Baskets Co-Op came to a close in the Spring of 2012 when our doors closed on our members of over 150
Currently at 2018, Years have passed and our family went to a grieving process after the passing of our 5th child a boy.. Many years of needed healing and strength where needed to bring closer to this traumatic time in our lives. The healing process to this day is still a part of us with Mama Bell dealing with health issues due to the stress of the death and just life in itself Much has happened in those 5 years that brought me to my current health which is slowly healing. I am on a journey to recovery and ready to start a new adventure in building up a co-op again. Our family thrives on eating a wholesome clean diet with organic and local fruits and veggies included This co-op is vital to my families health and mine Hence New Beginnings Co-Op . The name say is all and is so appropriate for the new season in my families life and mine
Winter 2018 We will be leaving, after the sale of our home and passing the baton to a dear young lady to continue New Beginnings Co-op High Desert. Many of the families who are with New Beginnings Co-Op High Desert can continue ordering wonderful cases of organic fruits and veggies
Spring 2018 Soon to start,which I am soooooooooooo excited about is New Beginnings Co-Op Northern Idaho community Much is in the early stages of the development of this co-op and I will keep you posted and I figure it all out myself!
We are truly appreciative to each and every one of you who I believe has been handpicked to join our group and a community of fabulous families who truly have a passion for health and local farms and food. We share a common ground and in the times we are venturing into, communities are an asset. We need each other.
Cheers and Shalom to all.
Mama Shalom Bell
The history behind our family community Co-Op’s!
Bountiful Harvest Co-Op 2006-2013
Living Baskets Co-Op 2010-2013
New Beginnings Co-Op 2017-present High Desert