Welcome to the homepage of the Pittsfield Buying Club.
Here you can find Maine grown grains, fruits and veggies, meats, cheeses and more.
Quarterly, we offer a selection of bulk superfoods from Bonnemine including nuts, seeds, legumes and dried fruit not easily obtained in Central Maine as well as a wide-range of Gryffon Ridge spices and herbs.
Don't miss Pittsfield's own Outland Farm pasture-raised, all-natural chicken; Snakeroot Farm's organic produce;USDA inspected grass-fed Highland beef from Overland Farm in Unity; organic, artisanal cheeses and yogurt from Balfour Farm; grass-fed beef from Top of Maine, and all kinds of Maine born and bred produce and products from Crown of Maine Organic Co-op!
Here's how it works:
We buy healthy, Maine grown food and products (and some bulk and fair trade items, too) to support the health and wholeness of our communities.
We place orders once a month: the buying window usually opens the first Friday of the month (mostly dependent upon Crown of Maine's delivery schedule) and stays open for one week unless otherwise posted. We keep you informed of all of this via email.
To become a member, please email us.
Below you'll see who we work with; we're always looking for more farmers and changing as the seasons progress.
Alongside the Crown of Maine's extensive list of products distributed statewide, and Bonnemine's bulk products, the Pittsfield Buying Club features products directly (PD) from our local farmers. Look for these farms first when you shop (click a link to visit your farmer online):
Pasture-raised, all-natural, whole chickens from Outland Farm of Pittsfield
Grass-fed beef from Overland Farm of Unity
Organic and raw dairy products from Balfour Organic Dairy of Pittsfield
Burgess Family Farm pumpkins and winter squash
Certified Organic herbs and spices from Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants of Brunswick
High Lonesome Acres
natural and chemical free beans, potatoes, and homemade goodies
Hormone-free chevon and beef as well as goats milk soap from Leeman Family Farm of Etna
O.A.T.S. Anytime tarts
Seasonal produce from Snakeroot Organic Farm of Pittsfield
Top of Maine all natural, non-confined, Certified grass-fed beef and pork
We also order bulk products from the following distributors:
Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative of Vassalboro
Equal Exchange coffee
Remember: We're a club in the strictest sense. No one gets paid to do any of this - we do it because we like Maine food and want to support the livelihoods of people here!
Want to order stuff you don't see on the list? Email your ideas, and we'll see how we can make the club work better for you. Our power comes from working together!
if you're interested in buying in larger quantities than listed.
A Quick HOW-TO for Buyers:
1) The ordering window opens the first Friday of every month (we send an email to confirm this) and it stays open for one week. Your best bet for getting what you want is to order within the first 24 hours of the posting, check back, and help others fill splits.
2) You choose your items from the list of available products once the buying window opens. Don't worry if the amount you've chosen does not "fill" a split. We take care of that before ordering.
3) When you choose items from the list, there is no "submit" button. What's in your "basket" is what will be ordered.
4) Sometimes, you don't get everything you ordered depending upon whether or not a split is filled or if an item has run out-of-stock (remember, this is a seasonal venture and availability comes and goes).
5) Pick-up and pay day is approximately ten days after the buying window opens on a Tuesday and is usually at our coordinator's house. We do this every month in Pittsfield (location TBA and determined by the size of the order) and we keep you informed of everything via email.
And now, a couple F.A.Q.'s:
What does it cost to be a member?
The buying club is a volunteer-run club in the most informal sense. No one gets paid. We take help when we can get it. That said, it does cost a little to run the club (think packaging, postage, refrigeration, and this fancy software you are reading right now, etc.).
To cover these minimal costs we charge the following:
1) $12 annual fee.
This fee goes directly to the Internet Farmers in Portland, a two-man show, who charge $1 per member per month. This fee is charged to the buying club for your use of the software, meaning, we are charged for you to look at the offerings each month, not solely if you buy. Thus, if you find yourself not interested, do let us know you no longer want to be a member.
2) 5% club fee.
We add 5% to your order to cover club costs. This goes into a checking account for the club. FYI, this charge amounts to an annual "profit" of approximately $100 per year, which will eventually buy us some refrigeration.
Why didn't my order arrive?
There are several reasons your order or a portion of your order may not arrive. Here are the most common reasons:
1) The item you want may be out of stock, it may have been on sale as a limited quantity and sold out, or the item may have been at the end of its season.
2) Your order, combined with other member orders of the same item, did not "fill a split." Usually, this applies only to Crown of Maine offerings, not PD or "Producer Direct" items. This means, for example, that perhaps 20 of 40 pounds of flour were ordered. The software automatically rescinds these orders if they do not meet the 40 pound minimum.
3) If you ordered a PD - "Producer Direct" - product that didn't arrive, that usually means there were too few items ordered to deliver that order when considering time and cost of transportation.
Why does the schedule keep shifting?
Generally speaking, we open when we receive Crown of Maine's spreadsheet of available items. To this, we add our producer direct items (PD), so keep your eyes on your email. Nevertheless, we 1) open the first Friday of the month, 2) close the following Friday, and 3) pick-up/pay the following Tuesday. Again, you'll always know who, what, when and where via email.
Call Holly at 487-2706 or email us
to sign up.