It really is worth remembering that one of Skookum’s recurring benefits to members comes through our The Abundant Pantry (TAP) Bulk Food Buying Club that runs every two months. The next deadline is Sunday, November 10 at 11:00 PM sharp. If you haven’t used it yet, you’re missing out on the benefits of gaining access to the best quality organic and conventional foods, at the lowest possible prices.
If you are already signed up as a TAP member… move to step 2 (if not, click here)
You shop online anytime you want (up to 11:00 PM on Sunday November 10 for this next cycle)
Show up on Delivery Day (Thursday November 14) at the set time and location in Wildwood and pay there. Want to help at the distribution location? Ask Wendy, the program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buying in bulk has many advantages, especially with the colder weather on its way…
You save money when you buy in bulk (we have food and non-food items, plus pet food, with some local products too)
You store more and better quality staples for the best price (which means you can often buy Organic food via The Abundant Pantry (TAP), for the cost of non-Organic at the supermarket, or less!
You will tend to eat better, less-processed and Organic food if you have better food in storage!
You generally reduce the need to rush off to the store (saving money, gas, time, effort, annoyance, especially in the winter when it can be an extra chore)
You generally reduce the amount of packaging when you buy in bulk (it depends on what you’re buying, but generally the larger the quantity, the less packaging and the more recyclable the packaging is)
You get to contribute a little bit to Skookum (a very small fraction of your bill is to help pay for the coordination and rental of space)
More importantly, get to know your fellow members; it’s all part of building a resilient community that will benefit us all
…and if you’re worried about having too much of a good thing (i.e. overbuying some products) do we have splits for you! It’s our program’s Splits Page, and it doesn’t end there, you can also use our Skookum members email list (just email members(at)skookumfood(dot)ca) or our Facebook page and let them know you have food to share, either before you buy or afterwards. You can set up arrangements between yourselves.
It happens every two months, with the next order being November 10, so start browsing and check out the 1,500+ products available to you.
All the details are at The Abundant Pantry site. Any questions at all? Contact the development team at email@example.com.
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.
Time for a primer on cooperatives, because apart from knowing you’re a valued member of Skookum and that you gain value from our cooperative, it’s important to know what we are creating together. This little review includes the different types of cooperatives out there, how Skookum bridges several types (while primarily being classified as a Non-profit Community Service Co-op, primarily engaged in the Consumer Co-op model; see below) and what your role is in the whole thing. Consider this part one of a multi-part series on cooperatives. Cooperatives are becoming much more popular, and in future posts, we will discuss why that is.
Co-operatives are unified by their democratic structure, but different co-ops may be set up for different purposes.
Consumer co-operatives: These are co-operatives whose members are their customers; the majority of consumer co-operatives are retail stores. Mountain Equipment Co-op, UFA and the local retail co-ops that are part of Federated Co-operatives Limited, Co-op Atlantic and Arctic Co-operatives Limited are examples of consumer co-operatives. Housing co-ops, carshare co-ops, funeral co-ops and other types of service co-ops are also consumer co-operatives. At Skookum we have ‘Consumer co-operative’ as one of our models for The Abundant Pantry Bulk Buying Club (TAP) and for bulk purchases of seed, trees, Tattler canning lids, and food dehydrators ( interested in heading a project? Click here).
Other models we dip into have to do with community education, with the potential to engage in cooperatively purchased land, tools, and a host of other things that would grow out of our mission, values/principles and purpose statements.
Financial co-operatives: Credit unions and caisses populaires are examples of financial co-operatives. Like consumer co-operatives, the members of financial co-operatives are the individuals or business owners who use their services. Another type of financial co-operative is The Co-operators, an insurance company which is owned by Canadian co-operatives, credit union centrals and like-minded organizations.
Producer co-operatives: These are groups of producers who band together to process and/or market their products. Agricultural co-ops like Gay Lea Foods, Agropur, La Coop fédérée, Organic Meadow, Scotsburn Dairy, Farmer’s Dairy, Northumberland Dairy, Citadelle, Granny’s Poultry and Organic Meadow are examples of producer co-operatives.
Worker co-operatives: These are businesses owned and controlled by their employees. La Siembra (Camino chocolate products), Just Us! Coffee Roasters, The Big Carrot and the Vancouver Renewable Energy Co-op are examples of worker co-operatives.
Multi-stakeholder co-operatives: These co-operatives include different categories of members who share a common interest in the organization: for example, clients, employees, investors and community organizations. Multi-stakeholder co-operatives in Canada include Common Ground Co-operative, which provides employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities; the West End Food Co-op, a Toronto co-op owned by consumers, producers and employees, and the Aylmer Health Co-op, formed by citizens, doctors and health professionals to improve community health services in Gatineau, QC.
Mutuals and co-operatives: Mutuals, which in Canada exist primarily in the insurance sector, are governed by different legislation than co-operatives but operate under a similar business model. Both mutuals and co-operatives are independent associations of individuals who have voluntarily come together to fulfill their economic or social needs through co-ownership in a democratically-run organizations. Source: http://www.canada2012.coop/en/what_is_a_cooperative/Types-of-co-operatives
Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative is a Community Service Co-op
Since April 2007, an amendment the BC Co-op Act means that “non-profit” co-ops can now be incorporated as Community Service Co-ops and have similar status to non-profit societies. The change made community service co-ops eligible for charitable status via CCRA. Skookum has this designation, but at this time we are not seeking charitable status, but this is certainly a possibility for the future.
The Community Service Co-op designation ended the confusion arising from uncertainty surrounding the legal status of non-profit co-ops, while affirming the democratic structure of member ownership and control that is unique to the co-op model.
This post is an excerpt from a permanent page on our site. Find it here.
Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative has Tatter Canning Lids and Rings for sale to members only.
Why Use Tattler Lids, and why buy them from Skookum?
Tattler lids are reusable up to and beyond 20 times over (those conventional rubber-coated metal lids are only recommended for single use; the rubber rings are reusable up to 5 or so times– you can buy they separately from Skookum as well)
They are therefore cheaper to use in the long run (and even ‘medium’ run)
Unlike most canned foods (in metal cans, and those in jars or in plastic most of which contain the chemical Bisphenol-A), Tattler lids do not contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), a very controversial chemical used in plastics industry and banned by some countries using these on baby products.
Unlike single-use lids, Tattler lids are recyclable (they contain only one material: BPA-free plastic and as such can be recycled)
Tattler lids are also excellent for canning high-acid foods that can corrode through to metal lids and throw the flavours off.
Tattler lids are different from conventional canning lids and follow a different procedure for canning. There are instructions on their website and included on paper with each purchase of lids you make from Skookum. Failure to follow their specifications may lead to troubles using the lids.
Tattler lids are not recommended for pressure canning.
Tattler lids can be used for dry food storage as well!
You can buy Tattler lids via Skookum for the best price possible (about half of what you’d pay via Amazon.ca, for example… and no shipping costs! See for yourself here). More information on the lids at the company’s website: http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/
Our prices are as follows; to order, use our contact page and tell us what you’d like, then you can pick them up by arrangement from our Westview neighbourhood location (sorry, we cannot ship the lids, and this is for members only– you can become a member here for just $20 for a lifetime membership).
Remember also that 15% of your purchase price goes to fund Skookum projects, too! It’s a win-win-win situation: you get to buy a product that is not widely available in Canada, you’re encouraged to can local and in-season food, you get to help Skookum fund projects, and you save c. 45% off what you would normally have to pay for the lids!
Here are your choices:
Regular sized lids
24-packs of regular lids + rubber rings .60 ea ($14.50)
50-packs of same ($30);
24-pack wide mouth lids + rubber rings .70 ea ($17.00)
50-packs of same ($35);
Individual extra rubber rings (wide and regular) .22 each in packs of 5 ($1.10 per pack).
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.
To purchase ($3 for 1/2 lb bag), contact us here or email giovanni (at) rabideye (dot) com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.