Bloomington Web Master Emily Brown stops by the Bloomingfoods on Sixth Street every morning for breakfast on her way to work at City Hall. During breaks, she often enjoys lunch there as well.
She didn’t realize the store functioned as a cooperative grocery until she spoke with a member about the benefits a year and a half ago.
“This is the first community that I’ve lived in with a co-op that I knew of,” the 30-year-old Brown said.
Two years ago, the idea of picking fresh fruit from a public tree without paying in Bloomington was unheard of. Now, thanks to Amy Countryman, an entire orchard is dedicated just to that cause.
“This is food, and it’s free,” the 35-year-old force behind the Bloomington Community Orchard said. “You should be able to come in and pick apples and take them home just because you can, and because we care about each other like that.”