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Nathan Greene

Every Thursday afternoon, shoppers at Eugene's Growers Market Co-op will find Nathan Greene behind the cashier's counter. "Anyone can become a member -- just show up and shop," says Greene, who puts in 40-50 hours per month of unpaid work as a board member and volunteer coordinator. Founded in 1972, the market offers local organic produce and other natural foods at low prices. Hours of operation are 2:30 to 7:30 on Thurdays and 3 to 6:30 on Fridays. Members volunteer one half-hour per week or pay a 15 percent surcharge. "It may be the only totally volunteer-run co-op in the nation," says Green, who discovered the market shortly after moving from Newport in 2000. Twelve offices above the market at 454 Willamette Street are rented out at low cost to local environmental and social-justice groups. "That's how I got my job with the Walama Restoration Project," says Greene. "I love the work." WRP bids on habitat restoration projects throughout the Willamette Valley. "We do educational programs with schoolkids," Greene reports. "We focus on children as future stewards of the land."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 24 March 2005

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