Update from the Chair

The path bears fruit.

Hello members,

Here we are at the end of August already with the harvest upon us.  I thought it high time to share what has been happening over the last months at our fledgling co-operative.

The new board has met twice since the annual general meeting and will continue to do so once a month on the first Tuesday. The meetings are at once focused, informative, jovial and delicious as we go through each meeting’s agenda attending to the business of the co-op. About halfway through each meeting we break to enjoy scrumptious potluck food to carry us through the rest of the evening. Members are welcome to attend these meetings (please contact  us to ensure enough seating), the minutes of which are posted on our website.

One of the new Skookum projects is the “Abundant Pantry Bulk Buying Club”. Wendy Pelton, the project coordinator, and Barry Bookout have been working hard to bring this into existence and I am thankful for their dedication. Their volunteered progress is very encouraging and appreciated as they build a solid framework with which we, as members, can engage in. Many hours have been spent setting up an on-line ordering system and engaging in meetings aimed at fitting the BBC into our community in a way which will enhance local businesses rather than compete with them. The on-line ordering system we’ll soon be able to test with a trial “guinea pig” run involving just a few people, the aim here being to iron out as many bugs as possible before inviting all Skookum members to begin filling their pantries. Once the trial run has happened and the system is ready to go I’ll keenly share the news.

There are some outstanding challenges to be resolved with regard to the BBC AND I AM NOW APPEALING TO YOU, THE MEMBERSHIP FOR ASSISTANCE. Is there a member who is versed in accounting principles, or at least good with numbers, who would undertake overseeing the accounting for the BBC, and whom Wendy can ask for advice on financial issues. Also, while negotiations for supply are ongoing, there might be a need to transport our order from the delivery site to our distribution site. Are there members with a van or truck who would undertake this task which initially would happen every two months. Please remember that the more we can do for ourselves the better off we’ll be.

Skookum Gleaners, formerly ‘The Fruit Tree Project’, is up and running again. There is a small and dedicated group of volunteers meeting every two weeks organizing and doing their best to overcome the many obstacles to making this a successful undertaking. My thanks to those folks for their ongoing efforts. Although this is again not a great fruit year, there are some places where fruit has set with abundance. If you see a fruit tree bearing fruit, please ask the owner if he or she knows about Skookum Gleaners and direct them here if they are interested (phone (604) 485-4366 or email gleaners@skookumfood.ca. Also, we have made an application to the City of Powell River’s ‘Grants In Aid’ program for funds towards this project and hopefully this application will bear fruit this year.

It’s harvest time, with ripening tomatoes, beans, peas, beets, potatoes, carrots and more. Much of this food needs to be stored for the winter either canned, pickled, or dried. Perhaps in a root cellar and certainly some form of pantry. Last year, there was a canning event and an apple pressing event which Skookum members were invited to attend. I would like to encourage any member with interest and willingness to share these skills to undertake an event while there is food to preserve. These events have always been enjoyable and provide participants with knowledge and nutrition while enhancing friendships. We, the board, are here to assist you in making your event a success. Please contact us with your ideas and let’s make it happen.

Remember that the Skookum cider press sits awaiting a call for use. Visit our project page for details at: http://skookumfood.ca/our-projects/skookum-cider-press/.

The vitality of our co-op depends on you.  If you have ideas, projects, skills and knowledge to share, please do so.

I wish you abundance this harvest season.

Pete Tebbutt
Chair, Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative