WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Can you help these readers with produce co-ops and downtown parking?

Posted January 27, 2011

I received 2 questions from readers today and I bet you have some great suggestions! One needs some advice on local produce co-ops and the other is starting a new job in downtown Raleigh and needs to find some frugal parking...if there is such a thing!

From Amanda regarding produce co-ops:

A friend of mine at work mentioned that he and his wife are a member of a food (veggies/fruit) buying co-op in Raleigh. It is my understanding that a couple of people go to the Farmers Market and purchase items in bulk, member families have already ordered based on their shares. I think this is a home-school based group, but they are too far from where I live. Do you know of any food buying co-ops in the RTP/Durham/Morrisville areas?

My experience: I have purchased from the Raleigh Farmer's Market in the wholesale section before. There are some very good deals when you buy in bulk. I actually spoke with a friend today and we are going to start sharing some bulk produce from the Farmer's Market again. I have not purchased from a co-op for various reasons, but many folks with whom I have spoken have had good experiences with them. There are co-op pick-up sites and co-ops that deliver all over the Triangle. For those who have any recommendations for local co-ops, please post them here. As always, I also recommend growing a garden in the summer and fall and freezing produce.

From Dot regrding parking in downtown Raleigh:

I am starting a p/t job Fri downtown Raleigh off Salisbury St near Wilmington also. Since I am p/t, it will really hurt to pay to park only to work 5 or 6 hrs. I only have 2 p/t jobs so I'm feeling the stretch. I didn't know if you might have any smart ideas on how to save money as far as parking goes downtown or any advice on how to obtain it.

My experience: None. Never worked downtown. I usually park in a parking deck when we attend functions at Meymandi or park at meters when we go to museums. My only suggestions would be to find someone to carpool with (if there is anyone with your schedule) or parachute in. Probably not gonna happen for either, though. I am sure Dot would definitely appreciate your suggestions on frugal parking downtown.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!


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  • jegerer Jan 28, 2011

    McLaurin Parking has other lots lower than the decks all over downtown, you may consider parking just outside of downtown and catch the R-line (free, runs every 15 mins), one other option raleighparking.com, very economical in the warehouse district

  • drswayney Jan 28, 2011

    Forgot to add that we buy the "small box" for 50 points a week for $25 and it works well for our family of 3.

  • drswayney Jan 28, 2011

    I work downtown and I have no advice for you - the company I work for subsidizes our parking so you might want to check into that where you will be working. It is just EXPENSIVE to park downtown!

    As for produce co-ops, our family uses www.carolinagrown.org. They do more than just produce and they deliver to your house weekly! You buy a "size" of a box which gives you points to spend each week. They have some organic produce as well. They also sell beef, chicken, pork, lamb, turkey, bison, dairy, grains, fruits, veggies, honey, jams and jellies, etc! You don't have to order every week, your card will be charged and your points will be added and will just accumulate. We get all our milk from here now. Hope this info helps!

  • fouroakstwins2 Jan 28, 2011

    Wanted to pass on a service I've used for two weeks now. It's called Go Local Produce. Each week they deliver a variety of fruits and vegetables to your door! The cost is $25.00 per week. You can opt to only receive every other week if you don't go through fruits and veggies like I do! You can also opt to receive more of one thing and less or none of a specific fruit/veggie you don't like or eat. You just gotta let them know prior to delivery day. I can't beat the price when buying the items from the grocery store compared to their price (plus they bring it to me)! I've been very happy with the quality or else I wouldn't recommend it!

    If you decide to try them out please tell Ned or Jacob that you heard about them from Mary P. in Angier. Below is their website and the second link is their facebook page. They have pics listed for you to see what they bring!


  • aloralavoy Jan 28, 2011

    I second the Papa Spuds recommendation. I've been using it for two years and have been very satisfied. It's a very flexible option, with excellent customer service.

  • mooseandT Jan 27, 2011

    I get veggies delivered by Papa Spuds - www.papaspuds.com

    Probably not the cheapest way to go, but wonderful quality, local products (not all, but most) and I love that I can pick the items. They also have meats, dairy, breads, etc. It is worth it for me to have them at my door. Saves me a trip to the Farmer's Market or searching a bunch of grocery stores. Plus much fresher. Lot of organic stuff too.

  • rdmcswai Jan 27, 2011

    For parking, you should look into park and ride lots! I used to use them when I lived far away from campus. You can also park in the Cameron Village area and ride a CAT bus downtown. They don't run on the best, strictest schedule, but work! Good luck!

  • Oxymoron02 Jan 27, 2011

    For parking .... I got nothing, sorry.

    For produce, I highly recommend checking out Local Harvest.
    While you say it is a co-op, Amanda, it sounds like a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture. There are several that have pick ups at the farmers market. Many just let you buy a share, and then weekly you get a box full of what's in season, whether you're a fan of that veggie or not. Others let you buy in but pick week to week what you want from what's in season. At least one CSA, don't ask which because I don't remember, just gave you credit at their farmer's market stand monthly (read it didn't carry over if you didn't spend it this month) but you got a discount off regular retail.

  • ashleeregister Jan 27, 2011

    The Produce Box is a delivery service that provides fresh, locally-grown produce. There are two sizes of boxes, and you can decline the weeks when you're not interested in what produce is being provided. www.theproducebox.com

  • t0tAlChA0s Jan 27, 2011

    I would be the one out there measuring my own car...11 1/2...ooop, dang, have to move the car...get out, measure again...11 3/4"...yep, perfect! lol