On May 13, 2014, Skookum held its Annual General Meeting in Trinity Hall at the Powell River United Church. Once again, we started with a potluck accompanied by a couple of fabulous main courses prepared by member Jacqueline Huddleston.
As always, we heard from our Treasurer Laura Berezan about the year in finances; President Pete Tebbutt talked about some of the accomplishments of the past year, singling out the work done by such stalwart members as Melissa Leigh (volunteer bookkeeper) and the duo of Wendy Pelton & Barry Bookout, who have done so much to get The Abundant Pantry up and running and keep it going.
Sadly, the board said goodbye to Jan Burnikell and Giovanni Spezzacatena, two directors who had been serving since before the cooperative incorporated. We also said adieu to Rosemary Bjorknas and Julia Downs. Then we moved on to the happier task of finding new directors to fill the gaps. Luckily, we had expressions of interest from several members: Tara Chernoff, Dan Glover, Chris Matheson, & Edward Sanderson. With Pete, David, & Laura staying on, these four new directors will bring all kinds of new energy and ideas to your board. So please join us in welcoming these new directors and thanking them for their generosity in taking on the work of helping to guide our cooperative as we move into our fifth year of operations!
Please join us at the Cranberry Seniors’ Centre on Thursday, Oct 17 at 6:30 PM (show at 7:00 PM) for an evening with Tom Shandel, visiting film-maker, producer, writer, and board member of Duncan BC’s Cowichan Co-operative Connections, for a screening of his short documentary film Civilizing the Economy (read on below) and clips from some of his other work, plus a discussion on building and maintaining cooperatives in our region and beyond.
This event is co-sponsored by Skookum and First Credit Union to celebrate Co-op Week (Oct 13-19) and Credit Union Day (Oct 17). Everyone is welcome to attend; arrive early as seating is limited, plus we will have some delicious snacks conjured up by Chef Jacqueline Huddleston. A $5 donation at the door is much appreciated, as this is a fund-raiser for future Skookum projects.
“Civilizing the Economy
The Corporation documentary showed us how bad they really are. But there is an alternative way to organize enterprise better than no-public-liability en-corporations. And it’s been around for years…and built a lot of western Canada. How come we stopped?
Produced for British Columbia Cooperative Association and directed by Tom Shandel, written by John Restakis with strong support by Robert Williams, CIVILIZING THE ECONOMY, narrated by Patrick Watson, shows there’s another way to do business in a more or less free market: COOPERATIVES! CIVILIZING THE ECONOMY explores one of Europe’s most successful economies, featuring three interdependent sectors, private, public/state and cooperatives. ” From: http://shandel.ca/?page=Civilizing%20the%20Economy
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.
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.
We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves! Many thanks to Skookum members Lyn and Kathie for inviting us to their amazing home, and to Jacqueline for the equally stellar barbecued local fish, chicken and burgers. It was a great time and we look forward to more events such as this year-round. If you want to host a Skookum get-together, just let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It’s official! The next Skookum social is an outdoor picnic at member Lyn Adamson’s “Salty Dog” property just north of town (on the way to Lund) on Sunday June 30 starting at 12 noon!
Lyn suggests a BBQ potluck on the beach, a swim or a kayak paddle if anybody wants to.
This is a members-only event (but members’ families are more than welcome) and we ask you to kindly RSVP to event organizer Jacqueline Huddleston via email at email@example.com as it will make planning a bit easier. Bring something to nibble on/BBQ and to share if you can, plus a lawn chair and a beach chair, a towel and bathing suit if you want to take a dip or kayak out.
Plus you can shop for cover crop seeds and Tattler Canning Lids.
It is all set to be a beach BBQ, here is some inspiration: Jacqueline is planning on making grilled local lamb with chimichurri or perhaps maple glazed salmon (if she can’t find local meat) or both!
Due to the public nature of this blog, the full address and directions to the north of town location will be sent via email to members, plus we will add our own markers to make this more obvious.
Hope to see you there (and remember to RSVP Jacqueline, please). This could be a great time to connect with fellow cooperative members and to enjoy a picnic in a waterfront park setting, and this will run rain or shine! It’s going to be a “zero waste event” .
So besides the towel and beach chair please bring your own dishes, cutlery and glassware (there’s a sink to wash up so you won’t have to take them home dirty).
Hope to see you there, it’s going to be fun and delicious!
Let us know (email firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to purchase any cover crop seeds or Tattler lids, as these can be made available to you at this event or by special appointment.
Find out what we have on offer for pick-up at the event 547 Peas 4010 and Oats 50/50 Mix Organic ($3 for a half-pound bag; very few available)
Best green manure for spring seeding. Very effective Nitrogen and biomass builder. 4010 peas are the best leafy forage peas for plowdown, producing over 40″ of green mass in 10 weeks. Oats will utilize available nitrogen, building soil structure, suppress weeds and provide quick growth while the peas fix nitrogen for following crop. Well suited for late summer/ fall seedlings as well. It is best practice to allow three weeks before seeding following crops. Mow down and work into soil at flowering. Seeding Rate: 2-3lb per 1000 sq. ft, 80-100lbs/acre drilled, 100-120lbs/acre broadcast.
Aside from adding organic matter to the soil, cover crops have many other purposes:
They reduce soil loss from water erosion.
They maintain soil surface infiltration, so it does not compact.
Cover crops improve soil tilth (structure).
They scavenge nutrients that might otherwise leach from the field.
They feed and provide shelter for birds, wildlife, and beneficial insects.
They fix nitrogen in the soil.
We also are selling Tattler lids at even lower prices! They’re about half the price you’d pay via Amazon.ca (and 15% of the cost goes to support Skookum). We ask members to limit purchases to 100 lids ea. at this point, to allow more members to take advantage. We offer the lids on a per-order basis, until they run out; there is no planned bulk purchase in 2013/14.
24-packs of regular lids + rubber rings .60 ea ($14.50); 50-packs ($30);
Top 5 Interests indicated by our members from our Skookum Members’ Skills Survey held in late 2012/early 2013
5. (TIE!) Seed-Saving and Cider/Wine-Making
4. (TIE!) Bulk Food Buying and Public Outreach + Facilitation
3. Food Preparation (cooking/baking)
2. Food Preserving (canning, smoking, dehydrating, pickling, lacto-fermentation, cheese-making, salting/ packing in sugar) 1. Gardening!
32 members responded to our recent survey (feel free to respond anytime as well), and we already have some positive action from several members, including:
A generous offer to fix and maintain our cider press, along with a backup option
An offer to host a summertime Skookum picnic on a member’s seaside property (more on this soon!)
And several members said they would keep an eye out for the materials we need to complete the Skookum Cider Press kit (see here for what we need; you can also donate money to the project via PayPal (accepting credit and debit card donations as well, and cheques too– click the PayPal link for more info).
Remember that a big ongoing Skookum project, The Abundant Pantry Bulk Food Buying Club (TAP), is taking orders until Sunday, May 12 at 11 pm. Make sure you get your orders in before this. The next order after this will be in July. For more information, contact the coordinator Wendy Pelton at email@example.com.
Powell River Dollars have come into our community. This exciting initiative is, in my view, a welcome addition to our local economy offering diversity and adding another piece to the foundation of a sustainable community. My thanks to the PR Money Society for their initiative and their efforts!
What does this mean for Skookum?
Since the launch of PR$, Skookum has received many contributions from businesses and individuals who have exchanged their Canadian Dollars for PR$ and directed their exchange towards our cooperative. Thank you to those who have already done this.
Our cooperative has also, recently, been the beneficiary of a substantial donation made by Townsite Brewing through their initiative from the sale of ‘growlers’. The $338 will be put to good use and I thank them for their generosity and participation in our thriving community.
I ask you now to consider dropping in to CMG printing at 4691 Marine Avenue on one of your forays in town and exchanging some of your Canadian dollars for PR$, directing your transaction to Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative. It is also possible for you to earmark your transaction directly to the Permaculture design course within the Skookum account at PR$, in either Canadian dollars or PR$.
By making the commitment to do this, you will be directly aiding the Cooperative, as well as taking the initiative to participate and strengthen PR$ within the community. It is my view that participation in initiatives such as these is essential if we are to ensure our region thrives with sustainable resilience.
Here are some businesses which accept PR$ which have connections to Skookum members. For the full list of businesses and their terms, click here.
On Wednesday January 23 there will be a potluck where we can get together socially. This event will take place at the United Church’s Trinity Hall (Michigan at Duncan, kitty-corner to City Hall) in Powell River starting at 7:00 pm sharp. We’ll provide the mains, you bring the salads, sides and dessert. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.
The members of Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative gathered at Trinity Hall in Powell River on January 31 2012 to celebrate our first public gathering for 2012, the United Nations International Year of the Cooperative. The salad/dessert pot-luck event attracted over 30 of our 101 members. The meal was centred around Jacqueline Huddleston’s delicious risotto and quiche dishes, and graciously emceed by member Alison Taplay. A special gift basket was awarded in absentia to Nansi McKay and Nancy Tyler (members #100 and 101), and presentations by Wendy Pelton, coordinator of The Abundant Pantry Bulk-Buying Project and by directors David Parkinson and Giovanni Spezzacatena provided lots of news about what’s going on with our cooperative.
Here is some of what we talked about:
Alison talked about 2012 Year of the Cooperative, and set up an informal agenda for the evening, ending with a call for ideas on new projects and for helping hands to organize and implement existing ones;
Wendy Pelton gave us a major update on The Abundant Pantry Bulk-Buying Club, which is about to be launched;
The Skookum Community Bookshelf was introduced: this is a Skookum Cooperative initiative by Director Sharon Deane and Melissa Leigh where members may donate books that they feel would be appropriate to cooperative member use to this project housed in Kingfisher Used Books. A dedicated bookshelf will be set up letting only Skookum members borrow these materials. Contact Sharon at the store for more information;
David Parkinson reported on the Skookum Gleaners project. The upshot is that key Skookum members have devoted a lot of time and effort to this community project, to little benefit to the cooperative, while other projects more in tune with our purposes have suffered. The board of Skookum has voted to let this project go, but encourage members to reach out to us if they want to pursue this project outside of the cooperative;
David also briefly introduced the concept of a Community Orchard that may prove to be the evolution of Gleaners. Please reach him if you have an interest in this up-coming project.
A couple of items that got a little lost in the fray, but we’ll pick up on these in future posts and gatherings:
Skookum co-presents the feature documentary film How to Make a Farm) at Powell River Film Festival;
Skookum’s board wants to set up a Project Selection and Development Team to help in selecting viable projects from member proposals, and guide the process;
We want to set up a crack team that will be focused on Fundraising Events, to help fund Skookum projects, and to engage members; contact Giovanni if you are interested.
We’re 99 members strong, and we’re inviting our members to come out and celebrate the International Year of Cooperatives. Please join us on:
Tuesday January 31, 2012 at 6:00 PM
at the United Church Trinity Hall (6932 Crofton Street, Powell River, kitty-corner to Powell River Municipal Hall at the corner of Duncan and Michigan).
Come help us celebrate the spirit of cooperatives, together. Our much-anticipated 100th member will receive a lovely gift basket at this event, so get a friend to become a member now! Here‘s how to become a member. Check out this great bilingual website on events throughout Canada for the big launch on Jan 12, 2012.
SKOOKUM MEMBERS PLEASE BRING:
Your partner and kids
Your thoughts about what you want to see Skookum doing in the coming year,what you can offer in terms of time, talent, expertise, tools, food, land, resources…
A salad, dessert, or other side dish; Skookum will provide the main course (one vegan, one vegetarian) and beverages
A musical instrument if you play one (there is a piano in the Trinity Hall)
Some books for the new up-coming Skookum Bookshelf (full details to come ; these are books you are willing to donate to a Skookum members-only lending library housed atKingfisher Used Books that have to do with growing, picking, preserving, or sharing food. Examples: How to build a greenhouse, How to cook or bake, how to grow veggies, how to prune, etc.
Please let us know if you know you will be attending, so that we can do a better job of planning the food. Just leave a comment on this blog post or email us to let us know how many people will be attending and what food you plan to bring.
Also, please plan to label the ingredients in the food you bring (for allergy/info purposes); we will have small cards on site for this as well.