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Apples to Apples as much as Possible

January 18, 2013

The Wild Ramp Market has an inventory that changes almost daily. Because it is tied to local farms, the Market offers seasonal fruits and vegetables. There also is a seasonal rhythm to egg production, and when animals are processed for meat. Four of our Producers have erected high tunnels and we are enjoying some fresh greens and root vegetables, but the amount available is small compared to the traditional supermarkets at this time.

In the past year The Wild Ramp Market has offered items that I have never seen at Kroger or WalMart. The independence of our small farmers to explore growing heritage varieties enables us to taste flavors our grandparents enjoyed. The supermarket offers typical hybrid varieties, even in the organic section.

So as I compiled price information at the three markets, I saw several factors:

  • The Wild Ramp Market does not have many items right now it did during last growing season and will again in the coming growing season.
  • Neither WalMart nor Kroger offer some items that are available at the Wild Ramp.
  • Organic produce is available at the commercial markets to some extent, but location of origin generally is not available.
  • The supermarkets offer low cost generic alternatives. Some no-name products are similar and are actually packaged by name-brand producers, but others are lower quality. For the purposes of this comparison, generic prices were not considered.

The following chart provides a snapshot of prices during January 16 and 17, 2013. All prices are subject to change, even at the Wild Ramp. Some of the items posted here, such as produce, is not necessarily available at this time at The Wild Ramp, but was included here for price comparison to show that shopping at The Wild Ramp is competitive. (If you click on the photo when reading it on the blog itself and not Facebook, you can enlarge it to see it more easily. The Blog is found at http://www.wildramp.wordpress.comJan prices

What the chart shows is that some items at the Wild Ramp are less, some are pretty equivalent, and some are more than the supermarkets.  Issues of quality, production methods and place of origin are not included in this cost comparison, but you know the Wild Ramp is local.

The map on the wall near the cash register shows Huntington in the center with rings out at 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 miles. The local concept at The Wild Ramp has been to source items for sale in the Market within 100 miles but to stretch out a bit further if a food of quality is identified beyond that. Currently, all foods are sourced within the 150 mile radius. The map will soon have flags or stickers identifying the source location of all foods.buyfreshbuylocal

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2013 4:07 pm

    Interesting comparison – and the variety you have at Wild Ramp this time of year is impressive – blackberries? Summer squash? Wow. Isn’t it interesting that local, small scale, seasonal food is often cheaper than the big box store, that we’re all indoctrinated to believe is cheaper? If you get a chance, read Tracie McMillan’s “The Way America Eats” – an insightful book that covers three main aspects of our conventional food system, and how it fulfills the needs of American eaters, particularly those in lower income brackets.

    • January 18, 2013 4:25 pm

      Ahhh, I was not clear and I need to straighten that out so will revise my post. We do not have everything in stock right now that I posted on the price comparison. I wrote a blog a couple of days ago pointing out that fresh produce that is not in season here is not from here when you see it in the grocery store. I used watermelon as an example and the melons I saw at Walmart and Kroger were marked from Honduras. I talked about having to pick them green and how they take a while to get to us and will never ripen, so the flavor is not right. We have watermelons at the Wild Ramp in season. This winter four of our farmers have high tunnels and we are receiving and selling some greens and some root vegetables. I am betting that next winter we will see more in terms of variety and quantity.

      • January 18, 2013 5:43 pm

        Oh, that makes sense, And I think I just didn’t read closely enough – you do say “in the past year”…

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