Where in the World is Annette? Or Enough of the Buys Already!

She is not, in fact, with Waldo or Carmen Sandiago as you might think. She, in fact, is driving the Crazy Bus once more. And her husband thinks she just may have driven it off the cliff this time.

While at the last Permaculture convergence she was filled with the sudden sense that there must be a better way to buy food at affordable prices grown by small, local alternative farmers. Not the ones that have the corner on the farmers markets or the ones that have corporate accounts. But the little guys just starting out using hand methods, feeding the soil and the planet.

The bulk buys are great but she has had to limit the number of consumers and producers in order to manage it all using google docs and a mediocre, late night brain. Because of her limited time she first sold to those easiest to sell to – the ones with disposable income and space to store large quantities of produce, or free to time and knowledge to can it all. Thinking there must be a better way, she backed the crazy bus out of the garage and once again got behind the wheel.

In between trips with goats (think poop in the car) up to the breeder, holidays, sleepovers with friends and book signings, she managed to gather a few other bus riders: a chief partner in crime Jenny Lisk, conductor Liz Kramps and sage Tom Allen. Together they drank coffee, ate butter buns and plotted. The outcome of several weeks of sleepless nights is a grant proposal for a new kind of food cooperative.

Now I know what you are thinking, we have food cooperatives and how many others have come before us and failed? But when crazy is involved, there is no try.

So watch in the next few weeks for details to emerge of this new food cooperative: one which gives preference to urban farmers and local, small, alternative and cottage producers. One which allows you to shop from the comfort of your home and select delivery to a neighborhood depot if you so desire. A food cooperative that strives to keep food at a fair price for producers but also for consumers. A not for profit in action as well as in name food cooperative.

Because food can be local and it can be good and it can be accessible and it can be affordable. Are you ready to hop on the crazy bus too?

25 Responses to Where in the World is Annette? Or Enough of the Buys Already!

  1. I love it! Love, love, love! Let me know if I can help in any way!

  2. I’d love a ride on the crazy bus! Love it and will be looking forward to the next stop…..

  3. Excited to see what you are coming up with… hmmmm…

  4. Jessica McVicker

    Oh my, I’m ready to go for the ride! If small farmers like myself have surplus at various times throughout the year, will this be a place we could bring our extras? I never have enough (veg or time) to keep a market tent open all summer but there are def. times when I have waaaaaay too much, even after canning, freezing, drying, convincing the neighbors to take just one more basket, etc.

    You continue to be a great source of inspiration, Annette! When my husband first brought home (to an appartment) the Seattle Times Newspaper with an article introducing your blog, we had no idea that he had brought home a life changing source of information and possitive/empowering energy. I had been attempting to grow some of our own food on the patio at the time and knew what I wanted for myself and my family, but needed an extra push (and proof it was possible in the PNW).

    Inspired by those living our dream (you included!), my husband and I bought a house with some land and have been growing our own food with great success! We are looking forward to adding chickens to our homestead this spring and hope to eventually purchase a 5-10 acre plot of land nearby and build a tiny, off the grid house for our retirement days.

    Long story short…I am very thankful for the time you take out of your busy life to educate and share with others your successes and failures related to eating local and homegrown!

    Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help out with the Co-op project. I am in the Renton/Issaquah area. :)

    • Annette Cottrell

      Jessica absolutely! Even urban farmers or gardeners can sign up and enter their info! So long as they meet the sustainable producer criteria (organic in practice, yahdi yahdi)
      Wow you’ve come a long way in just two years Jessica! it sounds like you didn’t need much nudging at all.

  5. Awesome! Looking forward to it, and yes my husband is also sure I am on your crazy bus…

  6. Sign me up!

    Ah yes, the “poop in car” syndrome. We suffered same thrice this fall ;)

  7. This is so awesome. I can’t even imagine how much energy you have. I honestly don’t but if there is a small way I can help, I would love to.

    • Annette Cottrell

      Sarah you sell yourself short. :) I would love your help and will be looking for volunteers going forward – ask David to send you the doc I just sent him so you can take a peek.

  8. How exciting! I can’t wait to learn more.

  9. Like Like Like!!!

  10. Annette, I am happy that i found the Coop, then your website, and your book. It seems whenever i have a question you have already figured out the answers. I happily await the information for your next adventure.

    • Annette Cottrell

      Quinn, thank you! It’s been a journey of love for sure. I’m excited to start the food (justice) cooperative and get others involved!

  11. You leave me speechless Annette! Thank you for your energy!!!

  12. I love Crazy Busses! I might be to busy to volunteer (I work full time, homeschool 3 kids, my husband is in school full time, volunteer at my church…) but I can support your efforts by buying! Maybe someday I can volunteer.

  13. Is the crazy bus a little like “The Magical Mystery Tour”?! LOL! Your mind is always working and thankfully all of us can share in the benefit of that. Looking forward to hearing more about this refinement of the cooperative model.

  14. REALLY looking forward to seeing how your plan/vision/crazy unfolds. Thank you for inviting so many along on the ride with you. Doubt you’ll ever know, Annette (and Joshua!), how many lives you’ve influenced. Thank for the inspiration and showing how it’s possible!

    • Annette Cottrell

      Thanks Gretchen!! I’m super excited about this – planning to partner with the Key Peninsula Food Coop and hopefully Kingston Food Shed as well so we can spread it around!

  15. Wow, wow, sounds awesome! I love the idea – it, and you guys, are amazing!

  16. I was going to say that I drive a crazy bus, too… and then I saw our Co-op mentioned! Wheeee! Fresh Food Revolution Co-op (Key Peninsula), meet Crazy Annette!!

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