Tammy Barr, a local resident, enjoys eating organically and personally knows the advantages of eating this way. Barr had rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, until she began researching what she could do to help her pain.

“I learned about the health benefits and I began eating organically. Soon the RA cell counts in my body dropped. Today I am RA cell free,” Barr said.

Barr has noticed the number of people in Brownwood who enjoy eating organically for their own health and also the health of their children. There is only one problem for these people who choose to eat organically in Brownwood; there are not any grocery stores in the area regularly stocking a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables, Barr said.

“I have been trying for years to get the organic produce in stores to stick,” Barr said.

“Wal-Mart and Kroger always have organic lettuce, and Kroger has some products such as organic strawberries and leeks, but it’s hard to find all types of organic produce.”

To solve her and others’ dilemma, Barr is becoming a host for Health Source Co-op to help get organic produce to the Brownwood area.

“I used to drive all the way to Fort Worth to organic food stores or to Stephenville to the health food store there because there was just not a lot here,” Barr said.

Health Source Co-op is an organization assisting people in getting organic produce where it may not be available. The co-op mainly serves the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and is expanding to Oklahoma, Colorado and South Texas including Stephenville where Barr first learned of the co-op.

Barr’s job as host will be to order the organic food for her customers and divide it because the food will be trucked to her home still in the produce’s individual box.

Each of the minimum 20 customers is required to order at least one share costing $50. Deliveries are made every two weeks on Tuesdays.

Customers who are interesting in signing up for a share will pay a yearly fee of $25 and commit to at least a six weeks time period in which there will be three cycles of deliveries.

“We are planning on doing this production, year-round and I can get it started as soon as I can get 20 customers,” Barr said.

The food that comes in an order includes items such as, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, apples, mangos and many other kinds of fruits and vegetables.

“Since we are planning to do this year long, it will vary what you get by season,” Barr said.

Other perks to signing up for a share of organic produce are recipe tips for items like beets and cabbage that people may not know how to use. This provides a use for every fruit and vegetable a customer purchases within their share.

“Some people think that a share of produce is a lot of food, but because they never go to the store to just buy produce all at one time, they may not realize how much they are buying anyway,” Barr said.

In addition to the recipe tips, customers can enjoy food storage tips as well as preparation tips to get an even healthier diet. Half shares are available to customers not wanting or needing an entire share, provided they can find a friend to also purchase the smaller amount. Smaller extra vegetable and extra fruit shares in addition to a regular share are also available.

Although better health is the main advantage of eating organically, there are people who have noticed a difference in the amount of energy they have because of eating organically. There have even been cases when a taste difference is noticed. Organic food is not just a food, but it become a way of life.

Interested customers may visit The Honeybee or Nature’s Medicine in Brownwood to pick up an application for a share. For more information on purchasing a share of organic produce, contact Barr at 646-2168.