A GATHERING DAY: On Thursday, Anna and I were joined by Linda Degnan-Cobos for our (it turns out) monthly outing to fetch things. Linda contributed her burly truck, which was a good thing, because we loaded it higher than the gunnels. I won’t talk about the Hyak, other than to say that between 6:30 a.m. when the truck got in line for the ferry and 11:30 p.m. when we finally closed the co-op door, we had spent seventeen hours on this effort, three hours actually moving as fast as possible through Skagit to collect the goods, twelve and a half hours either waiting for ferries or traveling on them (it, that is = Elwha), and an hour and a half unloading, stocking, pricing, breaking down boxes. Needless to say, in our desperation to get the gathered items back to Friday Harbor, we spent no time sightseeing or taking pictures or chatting with interesting people or even finding something to eat or drink. I had brought three boiled eggs which we ate in the truck and Linda bought some cookies at Bread Farm in Edison while we picked up Salumi; we ate those on the beach next to the ferry lanes. (Anna actually joined baby Findlay’s clever parents, Amanda and Ryan, over a pizza they ordered delivered to the terminal waiting room!) Oh, the trouble we’re willing to go through to avoid food from the big trucks and trains and airplanes—slow food indeed, with the Hyak testing our mettle!


Eight cases of Vincent Family Cranberry and Cranberry-Blueberry juice from Bandon
Eight cases of Skagit Fresh (blue, straw, and raspberry; blackberries aren’t ripe yet!) Greek yogurt from Samish Bay Creamery; baby Ladysmith wheels; aged Gouda
Salumi—about a dozen “sticks”
45 packages of Skagit River Ranch sausages: Hot Italian, Sweet Italian, Andouille
A case of very meaty Skagit River bacon
Lots of lovely pork chops and spareribs, from the same piggies
Fifteen pounds of the prettiest and freshest mushrooms I ever saw from Twin Sisters
Organic Pickles and Sauerkraut and Kosher dill spears from Pleasant Valley Farms
An AZURE order that included limes, avocados, coconuts, cheese, and ginger (sorry, that stuff traveled plenty on big trucks—but that’s the only thing!)

I’m sorry to say that now, a week later, a lot of the goodies are already gone, but they were wonderful!

CONCLUSION: As we left the co-op it was foggy, so I drove Anna home very slowly, and then to my home very slowly. I pulled in the driveway to find my barn in flames!

MORELS: Can you believe Friday we had fresh foraged morels for only $20 a pound? With all those fungi in the cooler I had a big puzzle putting the Saturday produce away. Another Linda who does the Saturday open hours figured it out really well; immediately shoppers came along and pulled it out as fast as they could! (Weren’t those cherries good last week btw?) All of that is long gone, of course—a wisp of a memory now. My daughter who’s visiting helped pick up Tuesday’s produce from the dock, and she wrapped, stocked, and priced it all before I even got done scratching my head and wondering where to put it all—I’m pathetic.

WEDNESDAY’S UNFI TRUCK: Last week I noticed those of us who unload and stock regularly have unwittingly developed some useful dance moves to navigate the co-op in a crowd—as we approach each other full tilt in an aisle, we execute a quick swivel to slide past, arms raised high if we’re carrying a box, and in the mood it can turn into a full twirl. I taught our first “move” to someone today, and she got it right away. Stepping over crouching bodies will be the next move to master—grand jete anyone? Arabesque? We unloaded a huge pallet in record time. Some newcomers who come to help are frightened away by the apparent bedlam, but seriously, we won’t hurt anyone!

VOTE: Here’s news on the vote about moving into a larger space: There will be a paper ballot available in the co-op during the week of August 25 to September 1. On August 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. the two sites, one at Star Storage adjacent to Surina Business Park where we are at present, another at the Bakery San Juan building, will be open for members to view. A Board member and another person will be available to answer questions. Upon request, an absentee ballot can be emailed to people who are out of town; the ballot should be printed, filled out, signed, and mailed to the San Juan Co-op at 50 Malcolm Street within the voting period. Remember, there is only one vote per household. Look for a special notice which will be available soon regarding the move on our website, on your email, and in the co-op.

I’m still having fun playing store!

– e.