We ate, we met, we celebrated

Jacqueline Huddleston, Designated Chef, explains the wonderful main courses she prepared. Mmm, mole poblano.

On Tuesday May 5, 2015, the members of Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative got together for our Annual General Meeting. As we usually do, we celebrated with food and socializing before the business part of the evening. Former director Jacqueline Huddleston prepared a wonderful chicken mole poblano, vegan-friendly enchiladas, and a make-you-own-taco bar. As well, members of the board of directors prepared some sides and salads, so there was quite a spread of delicious Mexican-themed food to go with the date (Cinco de Mayo).

Our members and friends enjoying a Mexican feast before getting down to the business of the cooperative.

After eating and socializing, the Annual General Meeting took place, at which members heard about Skookum’s finances and a summary of activities during the past year. You can read all about what happened last year in the Report from the Directors (PDF).

After reviewing the activities of the past year, the membership present acclaimed four new directors to serve on the board alongside Dan Glover & Edward Sanderson.

Dolores de la Torre tells the crowd about the historical significance of Cinco de Mayo.

Jill Amatt, Deanna Parsley, Vanessa Sparrow, & Barbara Trottier all stepped forward, and since there weren’t more candidates than open positions on the board of directors, these four members were acclaimed and will henceforth be serving on the board.

Jill will take over as Treasurer; Deanna will serve as Secretary; Vanessa will work with Dan Glover on our year-round events calendar; and Barbara will be the board’s liaison to the Skookum Gleaners project.

Please join us in thanking outgoing directors Laura Berezan, Chris Matheson, David Parkinson, & Pete Tebbutt for their service; and in welcoming these four new directors.

Posted in 2015, AGM | Comments Off on We ate, we met, we celebrated

Come out for Skookum’s ‘Cinco de Mayo’ AGM on Tuesday May 5, 2015


It’s Skookum’s sixth Annual General Meeting and we’re making it one to remember. Mark your calendars now so you won’t forget!

tileTUESDAY, MAY 5 (cinco de mayo), at the United Church (Trinity Hall) at the corner of Michigan & Duncan, kitty-corner from Powell River City Hall.

Come straight from work and help set up if you like, or show up at 6:00 PM for food and socializing, with the AGM proper starting at 7:00 PM.

tile3It’s a Mexican fiesta this year, with complimentary (and muy rico) main courses provided by Skookum member Jacqueline Huddleston (tacos, mole poblano with cheese on the side, vegan enchiladas with cheese on the side, & flan) with side dishes provided by your Board of Directors.

We will have Tattler reusable canning lids (the last batch on offer) and they are on SALE, plus we’ll also have Powell River Dollars on hand to exchange for you.

tile2There are some big changes coming, what with a number of new directors coming on this time around, so please make an extra effort to come out to our AGM this year. Remember that a Skookum membership is a lifetime membership, so no need to renew it. Just bring your appetite and your ideas! We’ll feed you and regale you with news and updates on the past year’s activities, including a look at how our The Abundant Pantry project is progressing (deadline for the new order is coming up on May 10th), and more…“mi cooperativa es su cooperativa.”

Posted in 2015, Abundant Pantry, AGM, Annual General Meeting, Canning lids, cinco de mayo, Tattler | Tagged , | Comments Off on Come out for Skookum’s ‘Cinco de Mayo’ AGM on Tuesday May 5, 2015

Skookum Members’ Autumn Social: Potluck on October 19 at Sycamore Commons

Members are invited to gather at the upcoming Skookum social on Sunday, October 19 from 4:00 – 6:00.

Held in conjunction with the Sycamore Commons Project, the social will be at:

Sycamore Commons Gardens
on the grounds of St. David and St. Paul Anglican church
6310 Sycamore Avenue, Townsite.

Continue reading “Skookum Members’ Autumn Social: Potluck on October 19 at Sycamore Commons” »

Posted in 2014, members' social, social | Comments Off on Skookum Members’ Autumn Social: Potluck on October 19 at Sycamore Commons

Order Deadline Extended to Wed. Sept 24! –Skookum’s 2014 Rancho Vignola bulk order is ON!

Skookum’s 2014 Rancho Vignola bulk order is ON! It’s a great way to stock up on dried fruits and nuts for the whole year. And if you ask anyone who has participated in past orders, they’ll probably tell you how great the quality and freshness of these products are.

The advantage to you, as a Skookum member, is that you can order as much or as little as you want, without having to worry about the $500 minimum order. And we’ll be setting up a splits page, like the one we use for the Abundant Pantry orders, to help you split cases or bags with your fellow members.

Here are the basic facts:

  • Rancho Vignola makes their full product list available only once per year, when the nuts and fruit are at their freshest (they do a spring order too, but not everything is available);
  • The final deadline for our order to go in is Monday September 29;
  • The final deadline for members to get their order and payment in will be Wednesday, September 24 (extended from Monday September 22)
  • 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 and the other 5¢ to Skookum;
  • We will also try to benefit from the 2% discount by paying for the order by October 15, so we will be asking for prepayment.

What you should do as soon as you can:

  • Take a look at Rancho Vignola’s price list (emailed to you as a member; not a member of Skookum? Become one right now)
  • Browse though the product descriptions at http://www.ranchovignola.com/products.html
  • If you have questions, please contact us as soon as possible at skookum@skookumfood.ca;
  • Otherwise, print out the attached price list, mark the products you wish to order, and 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 me with the list of products you want and a final tally. I’ll verify the total amount and get back to you);
  • Get the order form and payment (by cash, cheque, or e-transfer, cheques & e-transfers strongly preferred) to me in person or to Kingfisher Used Books at 4468 Marine Ave. in Powell River no later than 12:00 noon on Monday September 23. No money means no order! (E-transfer payments do not need to accompany your order, but must be transferred to Skookum’s account before Monday September 22.)

As we have done in past years, we will verify the final tally for each member’s order when we receive the goods. Some members will receive a refund in case the final amount comes in less than anticipated. Some members may end up owing a little more, although this is less likely if we’ve done our jobs correctly.

We will soon be arranging a splits page, 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: WE WILL NOT MANAGE YOUR SPLITS. We cannot deal with one member paying for half a case and another member paying for the other half. It’s complicated enough without that. So all splits will be between members, with one member ordering and paying for the entire item to be split.

(We will not manage splits, but we will do my best to work with members to consolidate orders for better prices. We did some of this last year and it worked well; e.g., several members ordered five-pound bags of almonds, so we consolidated those into a 25-pound case and everyone saved a little money.)


Posted in Rancho Vignola | Comments Off on Order Deadline Extended to Wed. Sept 24! –Skookum’s 2014 Rancho Vignola bulk order is ON!

Gleaners gotta glean!

Skookum Gleaners is up and running for summer 2014. So far we’ve sent teams of pickers out to pick cherries three times, apples twice, and plums once. Here are a few photos from the recent pick of gorgeous yellow plums in Westview:

If you want more information about how to get involved, check out the Skookum Gleaners page on this website. You just need to become a member of this cooperative and get yourself signed up as a picker. So simple! The pickers get a share of the crop, as does the owner of the tree. Eventually we plan for a share to go to Skookum to get processed and sold to recover costs, but for now we’re donating that share to food pantries and other agencies in the region that serve people in need.

For more information, please get in touch with us.

Posted in plums, Skookum Gleaners | Comments Off on Gleaners gotta glean!

Get involved with Skookum Gleaners

To everyone in and around Powell River,


Take your pick! Pick your battles!

Skookum is getting the Skookum Gleaners project up and running again for the summer of 2014. The purpose of this project is to pick, preserve, and share as much fruit (and nuts) as we can manage, in order to reduce food waste & bear incidents, to help monitor the threat of spotted-wing drosophila, to spread skills and knowledge about fruit-tree care & food preservation, and to get together and have fun.

We’re happy to announce that the Anglican Church of St. David & St. Paul in Townsite, home of the Sycamore Commons permaculture project, has given us permission to install The Big Dehydrator in their kitchen and do some processing there. We plan to do a lot of dehydrating, as well as some workshops in canning, cider-pressing, making vinegar, and whatever else our members are interested in. This project is all about bringing people together, sharing the bounty, transferring skills, and many other good things.

Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. If you’re not a member of Skookum but would like to participate, please join (here’s how). It’s easy and affordable: only $20 to become a member, and that $20 actually buys you a share in our cooperative. We have no annual membership dues, and if you ever choose to withdraw from membership, we will refund your $20. What a deal!
  2. If you would like to be on the list of pickers and have opportunities to go out picking fruit, please fill out the form here.
  3. If you have fruit or nut trees (or berry bushes; but no blackberries, please!) that need picking, please fill out the form here.
  4. If you have skills you’d like to offer, please let us know. Maybe you’re a whiz at making fancy fruit leathers; maybe you know all there is to know about making plum wine… or apple butter… or pear brandy… we want to hear from you and so do your fellow members! Get in touch with us.
  5. In order to keep costs as low as possible, we’re on the lookout for some equipment to help us pick and process fruit. So if you have any (three-legged) orchard ladders in good condition, picking bags, garbage cans with lids, cutting boards, chopping/paring knives, aprons, etc., or anything else you are willing to loan or donate, please contact us.

You’ll be hearing more from us as the season progresses. But if you want to get involved, now is the time!

Posted in 2014, Skookum Gleaners | Comments Off on Get involved with Skookum Gleaners

Skookum Gleaners is back!

Our lovely logo, designed by rabideye (AKA Giovanni Spezzacatena)

Back in 2010 and 2011, the newly-formed Skookum took on management and support of the Skookum Gleaners project, which had formerly been known as the Powell River Fruit Tree Project. Member Anne Michaels was the coordinator, and we put together a team to support her and get some picks and other fruit-tree activities going. In the end, it became difficult to give Anne the support she needed, and regretfully the Skookum board decided to shelve the project after the 2011 fruit season.

The good news is that this project is back. David Parkinson has decided to take on management of the picking activities and is also working on coordinating some fruit-processing activities involving Skookum members.

Plans are evolving, but the general idea is to make picking opportunities available to Skookum members, and to plan some group processing activities using one or more church kitchens in the region (to keep costs down for participants). David is hoping to generate some revenue through sales of processed fruit so that the project can become more self-sustaining. But the main idea is as always: to save more food from going to waste; to reduce bear incidents; and to share food-preservation skills and food.

You’ll be hearing more as time goes on, but for now here are some ways that Skookum members can help:

  • By donating picking equipment (ladders, baskets, etc.);
  • By offering up fruit from your trees or from your neighbours’ trees, if it looks as though they won’t be using all of their fruit;
  • By making a vehicle available for picks;
  • By sending us your great ideas and suggestions;
  • By volunteering to help process fruit.

Saving fruit that would otherwise go to waste, processing it for longer-term storage, and distributing it into the community is the kind of project that a cooperative is perfect for. Eventually it would be nice to see this summertime project evolve into a year-round series of opportunities for our members to produce, preserve, and share more food amongst themselves.

Stay tuned for more news and more opportunities to pick fruit and get together with others to preserve the fruit.

Posted in 2014, projects, Skookum Gleaners, work party, workshop | Comments Off on Skookum Gleaners is back!

Out with the old board and in with the new one

The wonderful buffet prepared by Jacqueline Huddleston.

The wonderful buffet prepared by Jacqueline Huddleston (at right).

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!

Posted in 2014, AGM, Annual General Meeting, members' social | Comments Off on Out with the old board and in with the new one

Our Annual General Meeting will be Tues. May 13 at 6PM


Our members are urged to attend our Annual General Meeting.

Potluck supper will start at 6PM. Skookum is providing two hearty main dishes, and members are encouraged to bring a side dish, salad, or dessert. If you can’t manage to bring a dish, bring an appetite; there will be plenty of food.

The AGM will start at 7PM.

Five (5) board positions are up for grabs including three 2-year terms and two 1-year terms.  The event will take place at The United Church Trinity Hall (at 6932 Crofton at Duncan — kitty corner to City Hall)

We will have Powell River Dollars for sale as well as Tattler Canning Lids (see prices here).

We hope to see you all there!



Posted in Annual General Meeting, Canning lids, food security, food sovereignty, potluck, Powell River Dollars, Skookum, Tattler, the co-op model | Tagged , | Comments Off on Our Annual General Meeting will be Tues. May 13 at 6PM

See you at Seedy Saturday on March 8!

seed_savers_logo_largeHey there Skookies-

Powell River’s ninth annual Seedy Saturday is coming up this Saturday (March 8, 2014). Please note the new earlier hours: doors open at 9:30 AM and the event goes until 2:30 PM.  Admission is $2 and the Farmers’ Institute is happy to accept Powell River Dollars. Kids 12 and under get in for free, so bring the whole family! This is the annual event that kicks off the growing season in the region, and anyone who’s been there in the past knows that it’s both fun and educational. Inside, approximately six seed vendors and 20 community groups are participating.

Skookum will be there with an info table and Tattler BPA-free, indefinitely reusable home canning lids for sale:

Price List ( remember that your purchase also supports Skookum… for more info on the lids visit http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/ )

Our prices cannot be beaten– do some research and see for yourself.

  • 50 wide lids and rings ….. $40 each
  • 50 regular lids and rings ….. $35 each
  • 24 regular lids and rings …. $17 each
  • 24 wide mouth lids and rings.. $20 each
  • Regular lid+ring sampler pack.. (6 lids+rings) $4 each
  • Wide mouth lid+ring sampler.. pack (6 lids+rings) $5 each
  • Regular rings (8 per pack) ….. $2 each
  • Wide mouth rings (8 per pack). $2 each

More on the Seedy Saturday event this weekend… there will be lots to do for kids as well!

Workshop schedule:

10:00 AM to 10:45 AM

  • Kevin Wilson:Three ways to start seeds
  • Margaret Cooper & Jo-Ann Canning: Surviving the invasion of the Spotted-Wing Drosophila (you will recall we had a blog post on this here)

11:00 AM to 11:45 PM

  • Julia Adam & Rob Hughes: Soil Health: The foundation for thriving plants
  • Leonie Croy: Saving seeds that sustain us

12:00 PM to 12:45 PM

  • Rosie Fleury: Gardening with poultry
  • Doug Brown: Should or shouldn’t I keep bees?

1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (BIG EVENT!!)

  • Carolyn Herriot (Evergreen Theatre): At 1 p.m. best-selling author Carolyn Herriot will be presenting on “How to Save Seeds to Grow Local Food” in the Evergreen Theatre at the Recreation Complex. Her talk is to help energize everyone into growing more food, saving seed and getting involved in the Farmers’ Institute Seed Bank . For more information about the event, please contact Wendy Devlin at (604) 483-9268 or visit http://prfarmers.ca/pr-seedysat/.




Posted in local food economy, Powell River Dollars, Reusable, Sale, seedy saturday, Skookum, Spotted Wing Drosophila, sustainable, Tattler | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on See you at Seedy Saturday on March 8!