HAPPY THURSDAY CO-OPERS!!! It is a bit drearier than it has been…but I suppose we cant hope for summer those summer days, every day, this winter!
Our hunting and gathering excursion!

On Tuesday, Eleanor, Steffi, and myself ventured off island in search of more local products to bring back to our lil’ Co-op. Our destination was the Skagit Valley. We started the gathering with more pickles from Pleasant Valley Farms. We have been really excited to have these pickles. Although there is some stipulation with them not being certified organic, the saying keeps ringing in our heads that “LOCAL is the new organic!” Most of the ‘big name’ companies making pickles are outsourcing to India!!!!! Pleasant Valley takes the cucumbers that are grown right next to them and turns them in to delicious pickles. The sauerkraut is also made with cabbage grown practically next door! Therefore, supporting the local farmers and keeping the profits in our area!!!

Next we gathered ham hocks, sausages, bacon from Silvana Meats (check out silvanameats.com/ ).

We then ventured further down the road to pick up some local honey from a man named Bruce Bowen. Unfortunately we did not get a chance to talk with him in person, but Eleanor had chatted with him earlier in the week; he explained the magnitude of his operation to her. He has 670 hives scattered along the Skagit Valley (this may sound like a lot but he is actually down this year from 1200!!) He explained that his bees forage in the forest and meadows and brush; sometimes toward the mountains, sometimes the valley. They’re like the canary in the coal mine; if they encounter pesticides they’ll die first. He is calling his honey “Mystery Honey” = blackberry, thistle, snowberry, knotweed, honeydew, from fir trees. He also reminded us that wild animals cannot be certified organic (because the are WILD).

After having lunch at the Skagit Co-op..yummm, we headed to Skagit Fresh, to pick up two mixed cases of their yummy locally grown bottled fruit drink. We now have four flavors at the Co-op!!! Check out their website at www.skagitfresh.com/ .

We ended our day at the Golden Glen Creamery. Here we picked up 10 dozen farm fresh eggs!!! I personally am THRILLED to have farm fresh eggs in the Co-op!!! What a difference you will realize when you crack in to a beautiful bright orange yoke!! To quote Alan Weisman, author of “The World Without Us,” today’s society has been bred to a “pale copy of what nature intended.” I personally think this “pale copy” is SO apparent in eating the pale Wilcox eggs! I know I cant go back now, how about you??

All in all, the trip was a great learning experience! It really feels right to see exactly where your food is coming from and we are happy to have the ability to do this for our Co-op members, who trust us to pick the right foods for them.

Stay tuned…there will be many more ‘field trips’ to come!!!!!!
Fresh Bread and Raw Milk

We have fresh bread, just in today, from Bakery San Juan. Make sure to come and get yours!!!! We also have Raw Milk from Heritage Farm this week. This also goes quick!!!!! Make sure to bring your used bottles back in!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great week and weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-Anna Spears
SJI Community Food CO-op