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Weekly Newsletter – 7/29/10

SUMMER! Berries and cherries and peaches—oh my! And soon there will be ripe sweet melons. Everyone’s been doing a wonderful job cleaning veggies out of the cooler between orders—boy it’s crowded in there when it’s just been stocked. What’s wonderful is that we notice the seasons in a way most of us forgot when we were getting all our produce from the global market in big stores. Each new arrival is exciting as crops wax and wane week by week. Aren’t you getting tired now of opening your mouth way wide to cram a big frilly green bite of lettuce and leaves in there? Welcome the tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers; they spear so much easier for the trip from plate to face. And potato salad with dense, sweet Waldron Island potatoes!

MUSHROOMS: Look for our first adventure in mushrooms at the co-op: portobello and cremini from Twin Sisters Mushroom Farm in Acme, Whatcom County. And there will be~gasp~some very pricey morels from a forager based in Ballard! Even so, they don’t weigh much, so anyone can have them—start looking for recipes in your spare time.

HUNTING & GATHERING: Thursday Anna and I will be joined by Linda Degnan-Cobos and her big truck for a day on the mainland fetching pork products from Skagit River Ranch (our local piggies missed their date with the IGFC truck at Sundstroms’ yesterday), cheese and Greek yogurt from Samish Bay Creamery, Salumi products which are waiting for us in Edison, organic pickles and sauerkraut from Pleasant Valley Farms, the above-mentioned mushrooms, Skagit Fresh juices, and, finally, Vincent Cranberry juice, which has come to rest at last in the NABC storeroom in Mt. Vernon—whew. It seems there is also an Azure Standard order that will be waiting for us in Anacortes—maybe lemons and avocados, exotic but necessary for some of us. Good thing Linda’s truck is big—sixteen cases of farmer grown juice for our thirsty co-op!

PARMESAN: Someone who put her name on the last “cheese club” list hasn’t picked up her share—it’s in a white bag with names on it behind the other cheeses.

KOMBUCHA: The latest update from UNFI is that the reformulated product should be available in mid-August.

CANDY TAX: In addition to personal care, household products, fizzy drinks and bottled water (including those flavored with spice or fruit, such as the newly popular “coconut water”), candy is now taxable (turns out chocolate baking chips, baking bars, and chocolate beverage powder are also taxable—I checked the state candy list):

“What is candy? Candy is a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners combined with chocolate, fruits, nuts, or other ingredients or flavorings and formed into bars, drops, or pieces. Candy does not require refrigeration. Candy does not include any preparation containing flour.”

Tax is already included in the shelf price and items are marked with a star; all you need to do is check it off in the right column on your receipt so the bookkeeping part of us can pay the state.

SPANISH: Poor Anna went speechless the other day when a group of our Latino neighbors arrived to check out our co-op. Now, in order to be more hospitable, she and I are feverishly trying to dust off our shoddily absorbed year of high school Spanish—hers not so long ago but in my case the year was 1955, taught by a woman named Ruth Sawyer who didn’t really know any of the languages she was hired to teach. Tim who staffs the open hours on Tuesday admitted, “Si, hablo un poquito español.” So I’ve annotated our list of open hours to include this convenience and I’ve ordered a phrase book to keep at the co-op. Anyone else? I know there are others….Does anyone have an old boom box so we can play Spanish language lessons and songs and learn while we work? I guess you might hate that since the prevailing note is quiet, except for the roar of the freezer. And if Anna and I succumb to the urge to dance to south-of-the-border rhythms in our two narrow aisles as we stock shelves there could be some crashing and broken glass. Don’t laugh; this is urgent. My son is marrying a Chilean woman in January and I’ve been told I’ll be adding no fewer than a thousand Spanish speakers to my family—or maybe they’ll be adding a few….oh never mind.

BOARD MEETING: August 4; check our website for time and location.

That’s all for now!

– Eleanor
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