It’s been a very busy Fall for Skookum so far this year; and as we head into 2013 it’s ‘whiplash time’ as we look back to see what we accomplished, and forward on how we can do more and better. 2012 was the UN-designated Year of the Cooperative and we are working on airing a 5-program series on cooperatives on CJMP 90.1 FM Community Radio before year end. Keep your ears (and eyes, as we will be promoting it) peeled.
You may remember seeing some pictures on our Facebook page from our last event of 2012, as several of us helped press apple cider for James Thomson Elementary School’s Farm to School program. We had another successful Abundant Pantry order (next order will be mid-January 2013, check the site in January to order), and we’re just about ready to distribute over 500 lbs of dried fruit/nuts/confectionery from our second Rancho Vignola order that just came in.
Skookum is more than bulk buying, though, and we’d like to increase our workshops and other hands-on projects in 2013. That said, one great reason to have a cooperative is to be able to generate some buying power as a group, and in doing so, also help the community and the cooperative grow and increase self-sufficiency.
Buying seed together.
Last year just after Christmas, I started thinking about and then planning a bulk seed order. A dozen or so members got together and I coordinated an order from our local Eternal Seeds company, who gave us a 20% discount overall if we collectively bought 10 packets of any of their seeds (about 5% was allocated to Skookum and the coordinator). This year, the feedback indicates that we need to order earlier than the February 14th deadline we had last year, by at least a month.
If anyone out there would like to manage the seed order (and the project can be as different as you like), please drop us a line or fill out a short proposal here. Deadline for a proposal or indication of interest in managing this project is EXTENDED to Dec. 30, 2012. The deadline to order should be by Jan 14, 2013.
Below we have a list of our completed projects for 2012, and in addition to these, we have an on-going Abundant Pantry bulk food order every two months. All our past projects are listed on our past projects webpage.
Skookum held a potluck members’ social event to celebrate 2012, the UN International Year of the Co-op. Read the story here.
Bulk seed order from Eternal Seeds
Skookum held 2 home tanning workshops
Bulk purchase of fruit/vegetables and dehydrating work party at the Community Resource Centre
Skookum’s second Tattler lid bulk order
Bulk purchase of Sausagemaker dehydrators
Skookum was at the Fall Fair, pressing cider and raising funds
Second Rancho Vignola Fruit and Nut Bulk Order
Skookum helps the local Farm to School project press apples for James Thomson Elementary School for a second year.
Skookum is all about projects that serve our cooperative, and that benefit the co-op as well as the wider community, too. It’s members helping members to grow, pick, prepare, preserve, store, and share in the bounty of food.
The accent these early autumn days is on ‘store’ and ‘preserve’. With a mega-load bulk purchase of Tattler BPA-free reusable lids (drop by our table at the Fall Fair Sept 22-23, 2012 to buy a sample pack or extra rubber rings; help out with our apple cider pressing event there or donate apples to this Skookum fundraiser: Click here) and Excalibur dehydrators in, several small Skookum work parties where members processed, canned and dehydrated fruits and vegetables, and yet another Abundant Pantry bulk food purchase period under our belts, it’s time for the once-per-year order of this season’s freshest dried fruit, nuts, seeds, plus delicious and decadent confectionery from Rancho Vignola.
Rancho Vignola makes their product list available only once per year, when the nuts and fruit are at their freshest;
The final deadline for our order to go in is September 27, BUT the final deadline for members to get their order and payment to us will be 12:00 noon on Monday September 24;
They will ship to us in November or thereabouts;
We need to make a minimum order of $500; Shipping is free
Skookum will be adding 11.11% to each member’s order, so that of each dollar spent, 5¢ goes to the coordinator, 2.5¢ to Skookum, and another 2.5¢ to the benefit of the community.
What you need to do:
Take a look at Rancho Vignola’s price list click here.
calculate the total price. Don’t forget to add 11.11% at the very end (i.e., not for each item individually, but on the final total; If you prefer, you may simply email David with the list of products you want and a final tally. He’ll verify the total amount and get back to you);
Get the order form and payment (cash or cheque only) to Kingfisher Books at 4468 Marine Ave. in Powell River no later than 12:00 noon on Monday September 24. No money means no order!
We have a a splits page (click here), as we do for The Abundant Pantry Bulk-Buying Club. [For example, a member might want to order almonds but might not want the whole ten pound case (which has a better price than smaller units)]. If someone else wants to split that amount, then one of them can order it and then the two members can arrange to split it between them later.
To be clear: The coordinator WILL NOT MANAGE YOUR SPLITS; allsplits will be between members, with one member ordering and paying for the entire item to be split.
It’s been in the works for a while, and it’s still a work in progress, but Skookum is very proud to announce that our members-onlySkookum Community Bookshelf (a lending library) is now open, and living in Kingfisher Books: 4486 Marine Ave. Tel. 604.414-4573
The lending library shelves are right across from the cash register. Memberships to Skookum can also be purchased at this location.
Bookstore co-owner Sharon Deane–a former director of Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative–spearheaded the project a while ago and has been instrumental in compiling our burgeoning collection on:
“anything on Organic gardening, fruit raising, subsistence farming, livestock, foraging, preserving, or cooking with home-raised ingredients”
Sharon is being assisted by Skookum member Melissa Leigh, with the full support of Skookum’s board of directors. The goal is to have an automated system of lending out the books, but that needs some work.
Sharon is looking for donations of books and DVDs on the above topics, from Skookum members and the wider community. Cash donations that will go toward purchasing new materials are also accepted. So, dust off those excellent books you’ve been holding onto, and feel you are helping to spread the wealth of knowledge on all things ‘food’. Plus, as an empty-nester, you can borrow your own book again or visit with it whenever it’s in the store.
We haven’t been able to run this bulk-buying project since July 2010, so if you are interested in BPA-free reusable canning lids shipped from the US. This is a Members-Only project (Not a member yet? Click here to find out how to become one).
Click here to order via a simple online form.
Deadline to order EXTENDED TO MONDAY, JULY 16 at 9AM.
We need to reach a minimum order of 750 regular and 750 wide mouth lids+rings.
More info on the order form here.
If we do not as a group attain this number, there will be no order.
There is no waste like there is with conventional lids (where you throw away the lids each time)
Their Regular Mouth Lids and Rings are 70 mm and the Wide Mouth Lids and Rings are 86 mm.
Metal (reusable) screw-top rings must be purchased seperately but are available in town. Do you have a lot of extra ones? Let me know — we can share them amongst members who need them if/when they pick up their lids (email@example.com)
Kudos to the tanning workshop leaders Jacqueline Huddleston and Hana Turtle Granny for holding an amazing workshop on Saturday June 9th. Many thanks also to the generous participants who donated $83 to Skookum, and to Mark Huddleston for the excellent photography!
At the Skookum AGM in April, our crack team of Event Organizers came up with some great ideas to coax out some of our members own thoughts on worthy projects for the cooperative. Each person attending was given a card with the image of a vegetable on it. Then, when the time came, we split up according to the vegetable image. And, with the tables draped with ‘scraps’ of kraft paper and pens, we got to work. Below is a transcription of those ideas collected that evening.
We welcome even more ideas (and the energy to back it up) from those who attended and from the general membership. Just leave a comment below even if you support one or a few of the projects listed here; we’d like to know.
Annual General Meeting Members’ Table Notes (April 27, 2012)
Slug-killing by frogs/workshop by Colleen (donation by laughter )
Wood-chipper, chainsaw, gas-fired cement mixer
Making fruit vinegars (workshop)
Specific fruit and vegetable selection for PR region (workshop; prepared seed collection for this)
Develop a “Skookum Almanac” with variety of tips, anecdotes, etc. on growing exotic or unusual products
Elder stories about farming, food-saving, growing in the area; invite them and others to record—maybe a lunch event; maybe salmon lunch
Bulk-buying of plants/trees;
Organic pest-control workshop
Apple Cider and Vinegar-making workshop
Active involvement in edible garden Tour
Skookum Marketing board: package food, prepare food, clean food and prep for market
Market stall for co-op members at the Open Air market(s), where people can drop off produce, a few people will clean and prep and one person will sell it
Small-scale member-driven produce sales (via Abundant Pantry or via short-term announcements via email or facebook; i.e. “I have a box of chard” + cost or barter possibilities.
Relationship building with PRREDS; project where they pay for soil analysis in the area to find out what would grow well where; make this info public.
Relationship with job creation entities (Career Link/ Community Futures, etc.) to develop Food Hub (including long-term cold storage facilities for year-round storage needs)
Community cold-freeze; people can buy meat in quantity and rent a small part of a large freezer to keep this
Couple with private company (Reliable Rentals) to ensure they get a certain number of requests for a certain garden-related machine, maybe a renters’ club; benefits include that they would buy and maintain the equipment
Tool share- Nola has rototiller for proposed tool library; share use for other equipment;
Carpentry workshop—how to build stuff (for gals)
Explore possibility to partner with VIU for their asset-based community development: contact Alison Taplay
Turn the cards (our business cards) into stickers or magnets
Silke’s or another retail outlet (? Not sure what this means—buy Silke’s?- Ed.)
Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative held its 2012 Annual General Meeting on Friday April 27. Twenty-eight of our members came out to hear about what happened during the ten months since our last AGM, hear about our finances, and elect several new directors.
Anyone interested in knowing about Skookum’s finances as of the end of our last-completed fiscal year (April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012) can consult our financial statement. The upshot is that we are $1525.94 ahead of where we were at the 2011 year-end. We paid off the remaining balance on the loan for our cider press, so we have no outstanding liabilities. And we have begun to allocate funds to the Community Fund, which stands at $109.06 at the year-end.
Pete Tebbutt delivered the report from the directors, setting out our accomplishments over the past year and some of the board’s identified goals for the coming year. There are so many highlights that you should just go read the report in its entirety!
The membership then voted for new directors. Because we are now on a system of staggered two-year terms, only three directors were required to step down this time around; however, director Sharon Deane also announced her intention to withdraw from the board, so we had four board positions to fill. Luckily, two directors whose seats were up for election — Jan Burnikell and Jacqueline Huddleston — accepted nominations, and two new members stepped forward: Laura Berezan and Rosemary Bjorknas. As there were four nominations for four positions, these candidates were declared elected by acclamation. Congratulations and welcome to our two new directors; and welcome back to Jan and Jacqueline.
We made it through the AGM in under an hour, and then turned to the evening over to our Event-Planning Team, who organized us into tables and got us talking, eating, making connections, and thinking about what Skookum might do in the future.
Thank you to all the members who came out and brought delicious treats to share! And thanks to the Event-Planning Team (Stacy Fitzgerald, Jacqueline Huddleston, Jean Mackenzie, Alison Taplay, & Connie Thurber) for helping with setup and cleanup.
Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative is holding our Annual General Meeting on Friday April 27, starting at 7:00 PM, in Trinity Hall at the Powell River United Church, located at 6932 Crofton St., Powell River, BC (at the corner of Michigan Ave. and Duncan St.). The meeting will be followed by a social time with refreshments.
At this meeting, the board of directors will report on progress since the 2011 Annual General Meeting, including presentation of the year-end financial statement. Members will elect directors. Membership share certificates will be available for members who do not yet have theirs.
In true cooperative fashion, we are inviting members to bring a small potluck donation of sweet or savoury finger food (Skookum will subsidize the cost of beverages & hall rental; we are suggesting a $2 donation to help defray these costs). We are also suggesting that the musicians among us bring their instruments along. The rest of us can bring our dancing shoes!
We hope that all our members will be able to attend our 2012 Annual General Meeting. We allow proxy voting for any member who cannot attend and would otherwise have to travel by air or water to attend this meeting. If you need to fill out a proxy form, please download one from here or pick up a hard copy at our registered address (Kingfisher Used Books: 4486 Marine Avenue, Powell River, BC, CANADA V8A 2K2).
Please note that the board has decided not to provide printed copies of the agenda and financial report at the meeting to save both printing costs and paper. If you would like to have a copy of these documents at the meeting, please print them and bring them.
The agenda for the meeting is available as a PDF here.
Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative is happy to co-sponsor (with Transition Town Powell River) the feature documentary, To Make a Farm (Canada, 2011) On Saturday February 18, 2012 at the Powell River Film Festival. See below for details, and a clip from the film.
Synopsis: Starting a farm from scratch takes more than just imagination, but it’s a good place to start. Often considered a way of life from the past, today there is a movement of young people without farming backgrounds taking up this challenging profession. To Make A Farm follows the lives of five such young people through their first seasons on the land, as the joys and disappointments of bringing life from the earth become a quiet manifesto for social change. Documentary filmmaker Steve Suderman searches his own family history in farming to wonder if the mistakes of the past can be avoided this time through.
We’re happy to introduce a new project open to Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative members only. It’s a bulk seed-buying club that will start off small with a selection of some 30 seed types from a local provider, Eternal Seed. As you know, the more seed one buys, the cheaper the cost, but seeds don’t keep too well past a couple of years… so stocking up is not a great option. If we buy together, it’s better in many ways:
It’s less expensive to buy seeds this way (if you still have too many seeds, you can donate/barter them at Seedy Saturday, or share with neighbours/friends);
With a percentage of the cost of buying seed through this project, you get to support Skookum, the community, and a coordinator for the project;
We can support a local certified organic seed company, Eternal Seed.
If we manage to order 10 packs (or more) of any of the varieties listed here, we get a substantial discount from Eternal Seed. Then we tack on a small percentage to support Skookum projects (5%)the community fund (5%) plus another 15% for the project coordinator. Your seed packet will then cost on average 25% less than buying one packet via a normal retail outlet.
How it works
(Remember, this is MEMBERS ONLY. Not a member, but would like to join Skookum? Click here).
Skookum will not be held liable for the quality of seed or results from use of the seed, although Eternal Seed does have its own guarantee that can be found on their web site; download their catalogue as a pdf file here (please use Internet Explorer for best results). All seed descriptions below are from the Eternal Seed catalogue.
I chose about 30 types of seeds from the Eternal Seed catalogue (see here) ; In picking the seeds, I tended toward earlier, cooler temperature varieties, as well as a mix of good storage crops in a few cases.
10 packs of each of the c.30 seed varieties are offered to Skookum membersonly to purchase (note that you will be able to buy more than just one pack of any one seed variety as well) — first come first served;
The varieties of seeds that do not reach that “10 packet minimum order” threshold by the deadline of February 14 (Valentine’s Day!) 2012, will be dropped;
Click here to see the list of seeds on offer (with prices, descriptions, etc), and instructions on how to order.