We Sold Lots of Cider!

We had great success at the Fall Fair this year! Skookum made over $900 selling freshly pressed apple cider, and we gained new 5 memberships over the weekend, and we continued to promote our Co-op to many interested individuals.

A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to our dedicated volunteers who helped in many ways. We could do this event without you!  Most of you were choppers, and we chopped and chopped and chopped until ALL of our apples were chopped at about 1:30 on Sunday!  At that point, we had about 40 jars of cider just sitting, waiting to be sold for the rest of the afternoon. We were able to pass along of all the mash (what is left after all the juice is pressed out) to local farmers to feed their various livestock.

THIS is really what Skookum is all about.  Taking excess food from the waste stream, and making good use of it!
As we approach 350 members, we are really starting to make an impact in the community.  Please continue to tell your friends all about us, and encourage them to become members as well.  Together, we really CAN make a difference!

THANK YOU once again to all of you who contributed to such a successful weekend!

Jill Amatt, Treasurer

Help with the Fall afFAIR (Sept 19/20) + The 2015 Rancho Vignola Order is ON

Pete and admirers
Pete and admirers

September 19/20th is the weekend for the smaller version of the regular Fall Fair (renamed FALL afFAIR), up at the Farmer’s Market grounds.  While the hours will be shorter, we will still be there in full form with our Cider Press. This event is a chance for us to press apples to cider, show people how to do it, and raise funds for your cooperative.

If you volunteered last year, fear not!  We have your contact info and will be in touch soon.  If you would like to volunteer, and did not do so last year, please reply to Jill at funktifyd(at)gmail(dot)com

Many thanks to our Treasurer, Jill Amatt, for taking on the rather large job of wrangling the gear & volunteers needed to press cider at the Fall afFair this year, which is happening from 12:00 noon to 3:00 PM Saturday September 19 & Sunday September 20.

We still need a volunteer or two for the following times:

  • Saturday, 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM;
  • Saturday, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM;
  • Sunday, 10:00 AM to 12:00 noon; and
  • Sunday, 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM.

If you’re up for some fun, please go here and sign up: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1oo1TXRRq9Sef5--1v5el9oh_uOssDaPbOJtuZmkRxM4/edit?usp=sharing.

 
If you’re not volunteering, come on by the press and get yourself a delicious cup or bottle of fresh apple cider.

We will also require the usual list of items that we have needed to borrow from members in the past.  If we have borrowed anything from you for this event in the past, please let me know what the item is, and if you are willing to lend it to us again.  We do have a list and contact info for this as well, so we may start hounding you down soon also!

We are looking forward to another successful weekend of Apple-y goodness!

Remember to refill your Townsite Growlers all Sept. long with $1 each going to Skookum!

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rancho-vignola-logo-300x132

Members’ deadline for submitting their Rancho Vignola orders is Friday September 25 by noon. You have until that time to get your order to us with payment either by cheque, direct deposit, or e-transfer. You can drop off a cheque at Kingfisher Used Books (4486 Marine Ave., under the bowling alley).

If you want to learn about the products on offer, check out http://www.ranchovignola.com/products.html. As always, there are some new products this time around (organic pine nuts, reg. hemp seeds, organic apple rings, organic diced dried mangoes, organic sun-dried tomatoes, etc.)

Members, check your email for details!

We need your apples + Support Skookum with Townsite Brewery in September

We will be running our usual Fall Cider Press Event this fall. This event is a chance for us to press apples to cider, show people how to do it, and to also raise some funds for your cooperative.

We need apples!
The success of this fundraiser depends on getting a good supply of apples for free. So if you or someone you know has excess apples, we will gladly take them and press them to cider. They do not need to be the most lovely apples, since if there is one thing that cider is good for, it’s getting rid of large quantities of non-beautiful apples!

We need storage!
If anyone has extra space in their garage, basement or shed, please let us know.  We are hoping to be able to stockpile at least 20 boxes of apples.

 If you have extra apples to donate, or if you want to volunteer to help out, please contact Jill  604-344-0017 or apples@skookumfood.ca


Do you want to rent our cider press (members only), click here.


Click the logo to view their website
Click the logo to view their website

Townsite Brewing is donating $1 to Skookum all September long through their Growler Program, so drink responsibly and get your growlers filled to help fund the Skookum Gleaners project, all September long!

Find out more about the Gleaners Project here, and find out more about the Growler program here.

What it means to be a Community Service Cooperative

This is Part 2 in a short series on cooperatives, and specifically on Community Service Cooperatives, because that is the designation for Skookum.

As a cooperative, we adhere to all the rules as described here (there are 171 of them) based on the BC Cooperative Association’s Regulations. This includes the fact that cooperatives are owned by their members (that’s one member=one vote, as opposed to being based on amount invested/donated, making cooperatives very democratic entities), and that each member holds a stake in the cooperative, that can be redeemed at any time. At Skookum, this is represented by your share certificate that costs $20.

The gist of it: What’s A Community Service Cooperative?

  • The purpose of a Community Service Cooperative can be either charitable or to provide health, social, educational or other community services to members, with a responsibility to the wider community. While Skookum is a non-profit cooperative organization, we are eligible via this new Community Service Cooperative designation, to apply to the Canada Revenue Agency for charitable status, if we so wish.
  • Assets collected or donated may only directly support and grow the cooperative (providing members with services and access to information, events, tools, land, supplies etc.), Skookum cannot return profit shares to members (unlike Mountain Equipment Co-0p or First Credit Union), whether on a periodic basis nor upon dissolution of the cooperative.
  • If the cooperative were to dissolve, members would receive their initial share price, after satisfaction of its liabilities and the costs, charges and expenses properly incurred in the dissolution or winding up. Any further assets must be transferred to or distributed among one or more community service cooperative or a registered charitable organization.

Skookum is concerned with increasing the amount of food available locally, regardless of how it comes to people:

  • Grown: any kind of produce, grains, beans, etc.
  • Gathered: wild foods, gleaned fruits nuts, etc.
  • Raised: animals other domesticated food sources;
  • Caught: wild animals, fish, etc.
triplebottom-linegraphic-1
The Triple Bottom Line:
Healthy Community: we intend to produce benefits for the social life of the community, through the strengthening of ties among people, by respecting and honouring the work that people do to feed themselves and others;
Economic Vitality: we intend to produce economic opportunities for people, embedded in a vision of a fair and just economy which pays fair prices and fair wages;
Natural Environment: we intend to minimize waste and destructive practices as we go about our work.

In practical terms, the cooperative’s members are encouraged to reflect Skookum’s commitment to the three pillars of the Triple Bottom Line (social, environmental, economic) by creating and supporting projects that help members to grow, gather, catch, raise, preserve, prepare and share healthful food as locally as possible.

As a cooperative, Skookum is a ‘bottom-up’ organization that relies on the energy and ideas of its membership to address this Triple Bottom Line through engagement at the levels of governance, project management, and participation in the projects or events we develop/participate in.

Skookum has no paid staff, but projects are expected to provide for coordinator remuneration, while addressing our core values and purposes, and providing a percentage toward Skookum operating costs. Recent projects include a member-run bulk purchase of fruit trees, ongoing Tattler lid sales, Cover Crop sales, and The Abundant Pantry Bulk Buying Club (now offering Cafe Justicia fairer-than-fair trade coffee, and always more local products), but also the recent get-together and plans for more informational/fun events like seasonal potlucks, film screenings and guest presentations in the fall/winter to come. We are also planning another round of our yearly ‘Apple Cider Press-a-Thon’ at the 2013 Powell River Fall Fair on the weekend of September 21-22.

We are seeking helpers for this as well as materials to make it work even better, so contact us with how you want to help out or click here and come up with your own Skookum project; check this page out for inspiration.

 

 

Creating a Skookum Cider Press Kit

Skookum's cider press
Skookum’s cider press

Hey there members, it’s time to freshen up the Skookum cider press with some maintenance and repairs (anyone willing and able to help with this, please contact skookum@skookumfood.ca) AND we really need to set up a proper kit of materials that can accompany the cider press as it is loaned out to members, or used for public demonstrations/ pressings such as at the Fall Fair. So far, we have borrowed materials each time we need to do a group pressing, which is great. Problem is, it takes an immense amount of time and coordination to reconstruct the kit from scratch every time. So, if you have any of this equipment to donate to Skookum, then please consider it sooner rather than later. Used is fine, if functional.

Email us at skookum@skookumfood.ca to find out where and when you can drop off the materials. We will post what we have received (and what is left on the shopping list below), and send out reminders periodically.

If you cannot donate the materials or equipment, then please consider a monetary donation to the “Creating a Skookum Cider Press Kit” via PayPal, Debit or Credit card or by cheque (c/o SFPC and mail or drop off at Kingfisher Books 4486 Marine Ave. Powell River, BC  V8A 2K2 CANADA). We’ll go on a shopping spree in late summer and try to complete the list.

We accept PR$
We accept PR$

Of course, we accept Powell River Dollars (PR$) too; just drop off your donation at Kingfisher Books. And thanks! Please remember that your membership dollars ($20 for a lifetime membership and redeemable at any time) represent individual shares in Skookum; you own the cooperative as much as any other member. The funds raised through memberships are kept for the most part in reserve, and are not used to cover expenses.

Equipment needed (prices approx.)

(Click on the big “Grow Our Co-op” button at right to make a donation toward any piece of equipment)

canopyBasic set up:

  •  2 awnings (aka event tents or canopies or gazebos) c. $450
  • 2 tarps: 1 to put underneath the cider press and 1 to cover it up overnight (as for Fall fair) c. $50
  • 3 smaller tables (hand washing station; prep table; pasteurization/double boiler set up table) c. $175
  • 1 large table (usually supplied by the Fall Fair) for front service counter. c. $100
  • 2 water hoses (to bring the water closer to you b/c pressing requires a lot of water) c. $65
  • 2 hose splitters (so you won’t be accused of hogging the communal hose and you won’t have to keep running to the tap to turn the hose on) c. $50
  • 2 garbage cans per day for apple crud (or more if you’ll be doing lots of apples) ; with wheels! c. $65
  • Metal Ramp (to allow the press to be rolled or pushed up into a flatbed truck or vehicle) c. $250

waterSanitation:

  • Large hands-free water container with “tap” for hand washing station c. $23
  • Plastic buckets for waste water (1or 2) c. $18
  • Bleach, pump soap, paper towels (1 each) c. $12
  • Stout spray bottle for bleach sanitizing solution c. $10
  • Cloth rags $5

Processing apples:primaryferm

  • 2 Large food grade, clean plastic tubs (like primary fermenters) for washing apples pre-pressing. 10 gallons ea. c. $80
  • Some large buckets or Rubbermaid to hold the washed apples (4) $40
  • 2 buckets to catch the cider as it flows from the press $20
  • 2 large cutting boards (wood or hard plastic) $20
  • Various knives including a few paring knives (minimum 4) $60
  • 3 or 4 large stainless bowls to put the prepared apples into $40
  • Funnel and strainer $20

Keeping cider cold:

  • Ice packs (several) c.$35
  • (8-12 large bags of ice– one-time purchase on days of event)
  • 2 very large coolers c.$70
  • Biodegradable paper cups (about 250) available from Aaron Vending:  some small for “tasters” and large for selling cold cider. Napkins. c.$35

burnerKeeping cider hot:

  • Matches or lighter $2
  • Propane gas burners (2) $150
  • Hot plate $25
  • Extension cords (3) $30
  • Large canner for boiling water bath $35
  • Large pot to fit inside canner to keep cider hot w/lid $30
  • Ladles (2)
  • Pot holders (6) $40
  • Stem thermometer $25
  • Cider spice sachets (6) $12
  • Mugs for selling cups of hot cider (must be washed and reused, not possible at all locations) $20

clothOther:

  • Some attractive one-colour tablecloths to enhance booth “eye appeal” 4X: $60
  • Blackboard for noting wares and prices $30
  • tracking sheet
  • Tally sheets on clipboards to keep track of sales
  • Pens
  • Bug spray and sting relief (for bees/wasps; antihistamine) $20
  • Paper bags and ties as wasp deterrents (in a bad wasp year, use lots!) $3

Optional (if for Fall Fair or other demo)

  • Info sheets on upcoming or happening projects
  • Waterproof Displays of whatever relevant kind to enhance booth eye appeal and advertise the coop and its mission, pens, sign up sheets for Skookum and press info.
  • Compact chairs for weary workers to sit on!

Show us what you love to do & win film festival tickets!

Click the picture to take the 3-minute survey and you can win tickets for 2 to the Powell River Film Festival (Feb 19-24, 2013)
Click the picture to take the 2-minute survey and you can win tickets for 2 to the Powell River Film Festival (Feb 19-24, 2013)

As a cooperative, we want to know more about you: what your concerns are, what your skills and interests are, and what you feel you can do to help strengthen our cooperative and the larger community. We encourage each member to commit to initiating or participating in projects, joining a committee, serving on the board of directors, and helping with events and tasks as they arise. No pressure, though. Just take the short ‘n snappy survey now (2 minutes of your time) click here BY THURSDAY FEBRUARY 14 (yes, Valentine’s Day) and we will return the love via a random draw of two pairs of tickets for two, to the Powell River Film Festival (Feb 19-24, 2013)!

If you’ve already taken this survey, thank you! You are automatically entered in our random draw!

Catching (and Wrapping) Up

Happy Holidays and thank you for helping to make local food happen.

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.

January 2012:

  • Skookum held a potluck members’ social event to celebrate 2012, the UN International Year of the Co-op. Read the story here.

March 2012:

  • Bulk seed order from Eternal Seeds

June/July 2012:

  • Skookum held 2 home tanning workshops

August 2012:

  • Bulk purchase of fruit/vegetables and dehydrating work party at the Community Resource Centre

September 2012

  • Skookum’s second Tattler lid bulk order
  • Bulk purchase of Sausagemaker dehydrators
  • Skookum was at the Fall Fair, pressing cider and raising funds

October 2012

  • Second Rancho Vignola Fruit and Nut Bulk Order

November 2012

  • Skookum helps the local Farm to School project press apples for James Thomson Elementary School for a second year.

Fall Fair Fabulousness

Pete and ‘the son of Spiderman’, with requisite admirers

Whew! Some 20+ Skookum members and friends were on hand this past weekend for year 2 of our Fall Fair cider-pressing/processing/vending presence, and we provided a very good show indeed! Not to mention delicious fresh, lightly spiced hot and cool cider, sold by the mug ($1) and by the 32-oz bottle ($5).

This Skookum fundraiser raised somewhere in the neighbourhood of $500 after expenses. We would like to thank all the apple donors as well as those folks and organizations (CJMP springs to mind) who let us use their materials and equipment. Very special thanks to Board member/taskmaster David (who organized the whole shebang this year, taking cues/tips from Jax), our president and chief im/presser Pete, Jacqueline herself, Jan (and husband Gary, both working behind the scenes to make sure we had the press, bottles and materials we needed), and former director Sharon!

Members Stacy, Annabelle, Connie, Patricia (and her husband John), Melissa (and her daughter Chelsea), Emma, Lyn, Dan, and many others I met for the first time worked so hard (many on both days of the fair!) and were so generous with their apples and materials/equipment to make the event a success. You can spot some of them on our Facebook page photo gallery (plus videos).

Remember that the press belongs to Skookum members, and as a member you can rent it for just $20/day (see details here).

 

Skookum helps press cider for Farm to School lunch

Skookum's Farm to School cider-pressing task force: Coco Hess, Martin Mitchinson, and David Parkinson

On Monday November 28, Coco Hess, Martin Mitchinson, and I got an early start. We picked up Skookum’s cider press from Jan & Gary’s workshop in Westview, and drove up to Wildwood to press apple cider for the James Thomson Elementary School’s second Farm to School lunch. We spent the morning cutting and grinding apples,— with the help of many enthusiastic kids — pressing those apples into beautiful cider.

This all came about because I had been talking with some of the amazing young moms who have been working hard to create a monthly healthy and local school lunch for the schoolchildren at James Thomson. They put together a fantastic salmon lunch for their kickoff event in October and wanted to feature apples for the November lunch. Once they knew that Skookum had a cider press,once the Skookum board of directors had OK’d the donation of the cider press to this good cause, the plan was in motion. Coco and Marty were the lucky volunteers chosen from among quite a group of Skookum members willing to help out,with some extra assistance and equipment from Jacqueline Huddleston we were off and running.

It was a pretty chilly morning, but we warmed up soon enough, what with all the activity and the kids yelling and running around. Just about everyone got a chance to turn the crank to grind the apples to pulp, to throw chopped apples into the hopper, and to help turn the wheel to press the pulp into cider. We had a gas stove and double-boiler so that we could pasteurize the cider for safe consumption. One after another, classes came outside, did their turn at the press and then headed inside for a short video and discussion about healthy juice and sugar content.

The next day I was lucky enough to be able to go to the meal where the kids were served rainbow pasta with local vegetables, yummy coleslaw, bread baked with hand-milled flour by Nancy’s Bakery in Lund, and of course a little bit of apple cider for everyone. It was so lovely to see all the schoolchildren enjoying a delicious and healthy meal with local ingredients. I talked to a few of them and they all raved about the apple cider.

Thanks to Leta, Francine, and all the other parents who worked so hard to make this meal happen. And thanks for inviting Skookum to be a part of it. Special thanks to Coco and Marty for taking half a day out of their busy lives. And of course, thank you to all of the schoolkids of James Thomson who helped make cider.

For more information on the James Thomson Farm to School program, you can check them out on Facebook.

Pressing Matters! Skookum Celebrates Co-op Week 2010

The Community Presses On!
The Community Presses On!

It was a beautiful, sunny October morning, crisp as the apples we were pressing into delicious cider during Skookum’s Co-op week celebratory Community “Press-Off”, outside the Community Resource Centre, as part of the weekly Saturday Winter Market. The concept was that both members and non-members could drop by, wash and press their apples into incredibly delicious cider, and pay by donation. Many people brought their own bottles and jars, but we had some sterlized bottles on hand if needed. The Skookum Cider Press is normally only available to members, and for a daily fee for use.

Skookum board members and other volunteers helped to make this event a fun time, and it even raised some $70 toward the Cider Press fund. But most importantly, we helped community members produce a great, locally processed food, from local produce. Of course, the event also showed off our cider press and increased our visibility in the community. Six quarts of juice also returned to the CRC, from apples picked through Skookum Gleaners!

It’s hard to say how many apples we collectively pressed, but I figure that at least 40 quarts of juice and a whole lot of pomace resulted from the 3-hour pressing. We plan to turn most of our own apple juice to apple cider vinegar, but some people were planning on freezing their bottled juice (making sure they were 25% empty and with a loosened lid), and others planned on adding champagne yeast to make hard cider. Apple juice will keep about a week in the refrigerator, but those who attended enjoyed immediately sipping the free samples as they watched cider being pressed on this gorgeous day.

The first pressing’s the sweetest!

We even got some help with the cider press clean-up from some energetic nearby youth engaged in a car wash fundraising event for the new Youth Resource Centre; it is set to open in a month or so, right next door to the CRC.

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped out in various ways!