In this issue you can read about food access, meet Hummingbird, our new food connection, try our recipes for warming gingerbread and Shiitake Miso Soup, learn about the amazing world of mushrooms and get inspired to make a green smoothie.
Port Townsend Food Co-op, 414 Kearney St., Port Townsend, WA, 98368
Open Every Day 8am-9pm
Phone: (360) 385-2883
January 29th, 2016 by Rachel Williams
Hello Fellow Cooperators. I’m afraid we haven’t had a lot to report in the last few months. Evolution is a slow process!
In August the Evolutionary Road Crew assembled a Facilities Work Group to assess potential sites and options for our store, including, of course, our present location. The work group was comprised of General Manager Kenna Eaton; Board Assistant Rachel Williams; board members Janet Welch, Peter Bonyun, and Henry Werch; and several member-owners with experience in building and/or design—Nora Petrich, Randy Welle, Malcolm Dorn, and Perry Spring.
The work group spent the fall exploring options, including physically walking proposed sites, talking to the city and property owners, and discussing the pros and cons of each site. We took this information back to the board, which then narrowed the list of options—again, including our current location—for us to explore in more depth. Now we are hiring consultants to help us thoroughly assess the feasibility of these sites for our particular needs. We cannot go into detail about the options due to real estate considerations as well as the fact that some options involve other parties. We know many of you are anxious to see the plans—as are we! But unfortunately, there is no obvious elegant solution, so we must research our options with care.
We’d like to thank Nora, Randy, Malcolm, and Perry for the considerable time, effort, and useful input they have provided to this process. And we’d like to thank all our member-owners for their support of the Co-op and for their patience.
January 18th, 2016 by Mindy
According the Sound Consumer, PCC’s January 2016 newsletter, the FDA received a petition from the Grocery Manufacturers Association asking for genetically engineered (GE) foods to be labeled “natural.” What does “Natural” mean on food labeling? The FDA has created a set of questions for consumers.
To submit your comments click on the FDA link: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm456090.htm
Read the PCC article at http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/sc/1601/tell-fda-what-is-natural.html
January 8th, 2016 by Mindy
Heavy rains are preventing harvest of some California crops. Our farmers will fulfill supplies as soon as weather improves. Read part of the report below from our distributor in Portland, Oregon.Organically Grown Company says,
“Well, we asked for a drought depleting wet winter, did we not? A common theme of humanity seems to be that what may benefit us over the longer term, might also create a few temporary challenges. Water is obviously a resource in high demand in California, but as the primary supply region for the bulk of our winter vegetables, rain can also wreak havoc on the current rhythm of supply and demand. As a stormy week ahead looms, most row crops and leaf items will really tighten up. We may also see some harvest challenges with other crops, including citrus, as fields fill with mud and become difficult to navigate. There also continues to be some cooler weather afoot, with occasional freezes and slow growing also having an impact. While we tend to estimate that the current challenges should clear up in about two weeks, the truth is the weather variable may play a large role this winter and the supply squeeze for some items may continue. The only unanswered quandary would be is whether or not that’s something we’re hoping for or….? Beyond all of that, there’s still plenty of food in house to highlight, it’s just a matter of shifting focus to what’s abundant. A wide variety of citrus still exists, and on the veg side, the harvest will go on and hardier items will likely show some resilience and recover.”
December 17th, 2015 by Rachel Williams
We’ve two new activities starting in January 2016: Chew on This! and Co-op Talk.
Chew on This!
First Saturday of each month between 3 and 5 pm
Third Tuesday between 11am and 1pm
Twice a month board members will be dispensing samples at the Co-op, highlighting items from bulk, produce, and/or the deli. We’ll provide recipes so you can recreate these tasty treats at home. Stop by to taste our tempting tidbits, and to talk food and co-ops with your board members.
In January, we’ll feature grains and/or beans from Nash (who farms in Sequim) and Hummingbird Wholesale (a small regional distributor based in Eugene). In February, we’ll dip into Nash again as well as try the black garbanzo beans from Timeless (which provides us with organic beans and lentils from Montana). In March, we’ll celebrate the start of gardening season with kale and pea shoots (unless, of course, we see something else we must try in produce!).
Also twice each month, board members will be in the alcove to talk with owner-members about topics pertinent to the coop and our community, from food accessibility to cooperative history to emergency preparedness to alternative ways to shop (what do you think about online shopping, for example). We’ll have a specific topic each month, usually one related to the next board meeting, but feel free to stop by to talk about other coop matters as well. (We’ll also tempt you to talk with us with samples of chocolate or cheese, or some other irresistible treat.)
February—Board Recruitment (Who do you think would make a great board member?)
March—Co-ops in Our Community (Do you know all the new and old co-ops in the county?)
December 17th, 2015 by Rachel Williams
Please welcome our new board members, Catherine Durkin and Owen Rowe.
For the past four years, Catherine has worked at Midori Farm, and if you shop the Wednesday Farmers Market, you’ve probably already met her. We are excited to get a farmer’s perspective on the board. She is passionate about food access and about the availability of local, organic food, plus she has a keen interest in health and nutrition education. In addition, she was part of an eating cooperative at college and is a member of the Jefferson County Local Food System Council, so she understands collaboration and working cooperatively within a group. You can see she will be a perfect fit for the Coop!
Owen may be familiar to you, as he volunteers in many places around the community, including the film festival. He is current the Program Manager for Jefferson Community School and is a member of the Port Townsend Arts Commission. He is a man of many talents and interests, from software development to literature, from program management to psychology. And while he excels in analysis and detail, Owen also enjoys collaborative visioning and project planning, which will be invaluable in the months ahead. We look forward to his input as we chart our future.
Why New Board Members Now?
Current Board Member Henry Werch is moving to Portland and so will be retiring from the board in January 2016. In order to fill the gap that he leaves, as well as encourage new board recruits, we decided to temporarily expand the board to nine members, which is the maximum number allowed in our bylaws. With a unanimous vote, the board can add new members, who then serve until the next board election. So we posted the openings on the board’s bulletin board at the front of the store and on our website. Owen and Catherine attended board and committee meetings, and we are delighted they decided to apply. At our November 2015 meeting, the board voted unanimously in both cases to invite them to join the board. If they like the work, they can run for a full three-year term in May 2016.
We are thrilled to have them join us!
December 16th, 2015 by Mindy
Each class is $40 – fee includes a kit with everything you need.
MOZZARELLA CLASS – Sat. Jan. 23 – 10am – noon
Cheese starter kit (retail $27.99) that makes 8 batches of cheese, each weighing 1-1.5 lbs.
Classes held at The Food Co-op Annex, 2110 Lawrence St., Port Townsend
(Class limit 20.)
Get your tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com
December 1st, 2015 by Rachel Williams
At our November meeting, the board was very excited to learn that the Co-op’s purchases from local farms increased by 21% in the last year!
We added new local products, plus some of our farmers were able to extend the season for a few fruits and veggies—for instance, raspberries. Plus, we now have more local egg producers (Finnriver and Lamb Farm), so now you don’t have to rush to the Co-op on Monday to get local eggs before they are all gone. (Although, of course, egg production slows down in the winter, so we still might run out.)
Our efforts in organic sales have also been paying off, as we saw a 5% increase in organic sales.
Thank you, Member-Owners, for supporting your local farmers, producers, and food co-op!
The board also learned that the new Centsibles program—which makes a whole range of products as affordable as possible—has been a success. Sales of Centsibles products have increased 14% since the program began early this year—black beans and coconut milk increased 100%!—which means a lot of us are taking advantage of these prices.
The Co-op recently added another program to help us stretch our food dollar—Co-op Basics—which will result in lower prices on the Field Day brand. This opportunity comes to us through the efforts of the National Cooperative Grocers, which is a co-op of around 150 food co-ops, including ours. By standing together, we get better prices.
We are now able to offer local Yukon Gold potatoes, Delicata squash, and carrots, as well as Washington onions, as part of the Centsibles program! How cool is that?
You can read about this award in full here, but I just have to mention this amazing statistic: The typical grocery store leaks about 1000 pounds of refrigerant gases into the atmosphere per year, but the Co-op only leaks 12 pounds.
Yes, just twelve.
Hummingbird is a smallish distributor from Eugene, Oregon, that focuses on organic foods sourced with integrity. They consider the sustainability of the farming practices along with the nutritional value of the foods. Among other new bulk items, look for organic pumpkin seeds grown in Canby, Oregon.
October 13th, 2015 by Kathie
The Port Townsend Food Co-op has earned the GreenChill 2014 Achievement Award for Best Emissions Rate from the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership. This award goes to the partner with the lowest corporate-wide refrigerant emissions rate of all the 11,000 partners which includes well-known retailers such as Target, Whole Foods Market, Hanover Co-op stores and many others.
Refrigerants used by supermarkets are harmful to the environment when emitted into the atmosphere; some harm the ozone layer, and most are very potent greenhouse gases. Refrigerants that are commonly used in supermarket refrigeration systems are anywhere from 1,800 to 4,000 times worse for climate change than carbon dioxide.
“For comparison, our emissions rate for 2014 was 2.6 percent or 12 pounds of refrigerant, said René Tanner, Facilities and Maintenance Manager for The Food Co-op. “A typical supermarket leaks 1,000 pounds into the atmosphere annually. That is because we do in-house preventative maintenance on our refrigeration equipment and catch things early before they become a large problem. We also work with a responsive refrigeration contractor, Mayda Mechanical LLC.”
The EPA’s GreenChill Partnership works with supermarkets to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change. The Partnership helps supermarkets transition to environmentally friendlier refrigerants; reduce harmful refrigerant emissions; and adopt greener refrigeration technologies and environmental best practices.
For more information on the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/greenchill. Anyone may use the EPA’s climate change calculator for references to put the climate impact of refrigerants into context. It calculates equivalency results for passenger vehicles, gallons of gasoline, forests, etc. Find it at http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html.
To learn more about The Food Co-op’s environmental efforts, please read the store’s recently published 2014 Sustainability Report.