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Weekly Newsletter – 5/26/10

FRESH AND LOCAL: Produce deliveries have shifted a bit. I pick up Nootka Rose produce at the dock on Tuesday mornings and Steve brings a refresher when he comes over on his boat on Thursdays. I will pick up Blue Moon produce at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. Guard says he’s out of burger so the co-op may run out briefly; the fresh meat is ready at IGFC in Bow tomorrow, but he may not get over to pick it up right away. My hunting and gathering activities are slowed way down now because my car requires yet another repair so expensive that I am trying to figure out how to start over with a different vehicle. Anna has a nice car though, so we’ll be on our way soon looking for more honey and salumi and bottles of Skagit Fresh. Matt Marinkovich’s fish straight from S.E. Alaska will be available at Compost It tomorrow mid-morning—ask for the fish taco recipe!

FORAGED LOCALLY: It looks like we have our very own local gatherers now: Ryan Browne and Albert Strasser. Granted it’s most fun to forage one’s own wild foods, but it’s sometimes hard to find the time or else the sites are on protected or private property. Yay wild! Look for items in the cooler in the next few days.

LOCAL EGGS: While we were waiting for the truck to arrive this morning (late—a substitute driver who nearly took out Tina’s car and a nice tree by the office when he was trying to leave), Katy Hover arrived with a gross of her lovely organic eggs! So for now we will have all local eggs from Moss-on-Earth on Waldron and from LaCrover Farm right here. How lucky!

REFLECTIONS: I’ve been passively observing something for a long time that made no sense to me until I was lying awake at dawn Sunday morning, and with the golden dawn came the light! When I putter about the co-op I notice newcomers going directly to the back side of the center aisle to study the items there to see what this funny little store has to offer. I, of course, am entirely focused on the fresh and local goods that I’ve made my specialty and sometimes on the bulk nuts and fruits that I and others spend hours packaging, so I always wonder to myself “what the heck is she looking at that for?” I finally figured out that lots of people are interested in the packaged groceries; farm fresh produce and local pastured meats and milk and eggs grown by farmers we know and Jersey milk in bottles are mere accessories in their lives. Wow, I thought; we’d better spruce up the displays and improve the signage—we’re being judged by our backside!

Co-op member/owners who know and appreciate food products in cans and jars and boxes and packages would enjoy developing that neglected part of our enterprise to create a more appealing and complete selection. In researching those items we’d like to stress GMO-free products, country of origin, responsible packaging, and so on. We also need “serving suggestions” and recipes! It’s pretty obvious why we need to spread to a larger space.

BOTTLE SOLUTION! Our neighbor Chinmayo offered a lovely solution to the increasing milk bottle dilemma: The unwieldy and difficult to manage deposit/return/exchange “system” seems to be impossible to manage as the number of empty crates on top of the coolers grows way beyond deposits of record. So, says Chin, the glass bottled milk should have a single price for both the bottle and its contents, and then, at an appointed time—say Sunday afternoons at four when I collect the full crates for return—people who are so motivated could arrive with their clean empties so the co-op can buy them back. Or, they could be sold back during open hours when someone’s available to record the transaction and dispense the cash—or even by appointment if need be. Sometimes little children like to collect deposit bottles and get some pocket money as a reward. It worked like that in the old days. Please bring back any bottles you don’t plan to keep and be prepared to see new posted prices by the milk and a new routine next week! Be glad we are doing our part in keeping milk cartons out of the garbage stream.

At your service! — Eleanor