WHAT’S NEW: New voice in the newsletter: I want to take a crack at this and give Anna-the-Manager a break for a while. We’ll see how it goes—bear with us!

WHAT’S FRESH: As Chief-Instigator-and-Hunter-&-Gatherer, I can report that best:

We continue to get regular produce deliveries from Waldron Island—Tuesdays from Steve and Linnea at Nootka Rose and Thursdays from Rebecca at Blue Moon. How lucky we have been to have continuous fresh seasonal greens this past winter and early spring! This week in addition to tender spring buds and tips, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and chard, we’ll have lettuce, arugula, radishes, a leafy Asian green mix, baby bok choy, and broccoli raab. Amanda Smith’s been helping with pick-up, wrapping, displaying, and pricing. Here’s to your health!

My car’s been on the fritz so I’ve been marooned, but I replenished Mike Sundstrom’s burger and soon I’ll get over to Guard’s farm again for some other beef and lamb cuts. Next week I’ll get chickens and pork products from Skagit River Ranch.

There’s one more bag of Sundstrom flour if anyone wants to bake in honor of the “Island Farm & Feast” May 15 & 16, a weekend of farm and food activities on San Juan Island. States Inn & Ranch has provided us with their crackers made of this local flour. Kim’s planting again, so there will be more next winter!

If you want parmesan cheese, try the “Cheese Club” posted on the fridge. And—heh—I’m making little forays into the world of cured meat now too—a cagy way to exchange food! Do you know about Salumi in Seattle? Ask me!

I’ve found an excellent source of honey in Skagit—if you’re a person who avoids putting refined sugar in your cookies or tea, you might want one of those gallon tubs for $35.

UPDATE: Thank you everyone for returning your milk bottles (don’t ask about all the shenanigans I go through to get you that milk and take away your bottles!). Remember to refund yourself for the deposit on your next shopping receipt, or if you replace it with a new bottle, simply cross your name off the old sheet and write the new deposit on this week’s sheet, bypassing the monetary transaction. It’s o.k. if you don’t return the bottle ever; the deposit becomes your purchase—everybody needs at least one of the cute little pint bottles for a bouquet of spring flowers on the window sill!

SUGGESTIONS: Although the old white board in the back still works for requests, if we don’t have something you want, please put a suggestion in the payment box where Anna will order it if it looks like something others would want. Sometimes if you want something you need to pitch in and hustle for it. Someone wrote “Can we please get fresh salsa—Maloula’s?” To which we say, you go set that up—it would make lots of people happy and it’s your co-op! Someone questioned the cellophane bags as having a strong smell. We’ve bought from three different, carefully chosen vendors; they always take about two months and a dozen phone calls before we get them; and they all turn out to be sent out by the same disorganized woman who distributes them through a home business. We need you to find what’s best! And to the person who wrote “Please, dried “naners!” I say, if you want ‘em, you have to promise to get your food handler’s card and wrap them, because Anna and I won’t do that any more—they’re impossibly sticky.

REMINDER: If you haven’t tried “wholesale” ordering, check the instructions on our website. I think almost a third of the co-op transactions are done that way. You don’t always have to commit to an immense amount of something to save money this way.

HOWL! Here’s what happened today: on the UNFI palette there were eight big cases of green Organic Valley juice which Anna didn’t order and nobody emailed that they ordered them—they snuck in after she thought she had closed the order so she didn’t see them in the “basket.” Poor Anna-the-Manager, who always keeps her cool, lost it; we have no room to put eight big cases in our full coolers and and they’ll spoil while she awaits a return order from UNFI to send them back on next week’s truck. After she had fretted about an hour I said “Couldn’t you call UNFI and explain this dire situation and then I can drive the juice over to Whidbey Bank where Michelle-the-driver parks the big truck and she can take them today?” Anna did, and called Michelle who didn’t answer her phone. I took the cases over there, found the truck running noisily but nobody in sight. I unloaded the cases all over various shelves and running boards on the driver’s side of the rig. The truck shuddered and went still. I skulked off. I wonder what happened then….

SO! Be sure your order is in by 6 p.m. Sunday, with an accompanying email. Do not randomly throw things in our “basket.” If you do, it will be deleted.

VOLUNTEERS: Every time you volunteer, remember to record your hours in the Volunteer Notebook. When we apply for grants we need to demonstrate participation. And when we get an incentive program figured out, the folks who have put in their time will be rewarded first! As always, we need more help, so please step forward and have fun playing store.

THANKS: Holly and Debbie and Steffi and Jeanne and Geneva have made it possible to host open hours six days a week and they keep the place up while they are there. And thanks to Tina and Kels and Jan and Ellie and all the other people who show up Wednesdays to unload the delivery, sort out your orders, put things in the fridges and freezer and on the shelves. We all want to live in a community that works together to support local agriculture and gather up the most wholesome foods for our families.

WHINE: If you make a mess, clean it up—it’s your co-op! Somebody spilled bulk dish soap on the floor and I slipped in it—aargh.

HELP! Who’s going to Anacortes tomorrow (Thursday) who would be willing to pick up our monthly Azure order? Call Anna!! (724)355-6456!

SMILE: Enjoy the rainbows which happen almost every day lately, and the moon that’s been waxing every night for a week.

Happy eating!
– Eleanor