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.

Welcome to Splitsville, at the Abundant Pantry project

A tad squirrely
Winter’s Coming… Going a tad squirrely?

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.

It’s easy.

  1. If you are already signed up as a TAP member… move to step 2 (if not, click here)
  2. You shop online anytime you want (up to 11:00 PM on Sunday November 10 for this next cycle)
  3. Check out the existing splits offered or enter your own invitations to split an order
  4. 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 bulkbuying@skookumfood.ca

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 bulkbuying@skookumfood.ca.

Skookum Co-op Week Event

We had around 50 people come out on a foggy night in Powell River BC’s Cranberry neighbourhood for our guest speaker Tom Shandel’s film screening and discussion. We were very lucky to have Tom’s experience and insights into the co-op/credit union world.

We thank First Credit Union and their representative Tara Chernoff for their support on what was Credit Union Day (Oct 17), and all our participating members, especially Aaron Mazurek and family for hosting Tom Shandel and his partner, as well as to Jacqueline Huddleston for putting out an appie extravaganza and for her general tireless work for our cooperative.

Many thanks also to Jan Burnikell who is also always there as a constant support. Kudos also to our Skookum guest speakers/co-organizers David Parkinson (Secretary, Past-President), Laura Berezan (Treasurer), and to all those who showed up with equipment and assistance in setting up/tearing down, and driving us around to get this event happening.

We do have an audio recording of the event, that needs to be edited. Skookum has a copy of the film we viewed, plus 2 other versions that relate directly to Social Co-ops (elder care, drug rehab co-ops, especially), and to the Emilia-Romagna, Italy model. This DVD and another title by Tom Shandel will be made available to members through our Skookum Bookshelf (our lending library that you should really check out and even contribute to…) at Kingfisher Books on Marine Ave., shortly.

If you missed it… here is the dynamic slideshow that preceded the event, click here.

Tara Chernoff ‘s very relevant and timely reference to a Tyee article on 5 Things we Don’t Know About Co-ops, and you can read it right here.

And here is a version of the film (but not exactly the one that played last night) here in two parts:

Part 1: http://youtu.be/0UtRO24C_IA

Part 2: http://youtu.be/ThmIy0aqRBQ

A Cooperative Primer

cooperation
Better Together.

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.

The information below was culled from the British Columbia Cooperative Association website (we maintain membership in the BCCA) and from the Canadian Cooperative Association.
 

Types of Co-ops 

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

coopstuff
Click above for a list of some popular Canadian cooperatives.

 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.

As a Community Service Co-op, Skookum’s Memorandum of Association includes all of the following non-alterable provisions:

  1. That the co-op is a community service co-operative,
  2. That the co-op will not issue investment shares,
  3. That the co-op’s purposes are charitable or to provide health, social, educational or other community services,
  4. That upon dissolution, the co-op’s property must be transferred to another community service co-op or a charitable organization,
  5. That no part of the property of the co-op is to be distributed to members while it is in operation.

Want to start your own cooperative? Here’s a guide: placeholder

Guide for “Cultivating Co-ops” http://farmfolkcityfolk.ca/PDFs_&_Docs/Cultivating_Co-ops.pdf

 

 

Time to Can? Tattler Lids and Rings Available to Skookum Members

Tattler Time.

Tattler Time.

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);
  • Wide-mouth lids
    • 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).

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We also have more cover crop seeds available so plant sow them as soon as you harvest a crop (like for e.g. garlic), to increase soil health and to keep weeds down.

William Dam seeds: 547 Peas 4010 and Oats 50/50 Mix Organic ($3 for a half-pound bag; shipping and tax, plus 10% going to support Skookum,  included in price.)

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.

Survey Results

surveyTop 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 bulkbuying@skokoumfood.ca.

Sunday March 24 11AM-1PM: Skookum presents Cafe Justicia at the CRC

bags_photoIf you missed Leocadio Juracan’s visit with us last year in May you might be interested in attending our next Skookum mid-day Social on Sunday, March 24, coffee-themed potluck 11AM, presentation noon to 1 PM at the Powell River Community Resource Center         (4752 Joyce Ave.)

JusticiaPostersmall
Click for large poster

11AM is the starting time for those able to participate in the coffee-themed potluck luncheon or we’ll see you at 12 noon if you’re coming just to hear Leocadio and Francisco’s  talk. Feel free to bring a guest or two  as we can accommodate up to 60 at this location. Don’t forget to bring cash if you want to buy coffee (we are trying to get unroasted beans too, for you DIYers). Please let us know if you can attend. There will be a small fee of $2 to offset the cost of renting the CRC. 

Click here for some ideas on cooking/baking with coffee.

Leocadio is the driving force behind a Mayan indigenous NGO called the CCDA based out of Guatemala whose concerns are social justice and agrarian reform. The Comite Campesino Del Altiplano or CCDA now owns 3 beneficios and are exporting organic beyond fair trade coffee exclusively to Canada. Cafe Justicia is a high elevation, shade grown, organic coffee produced in the Highlands of Guatemala by indigenous campesinos. Individual local cooperatives operate through the CCDA to process and market their coffee, thus avoiding many of the middlemen keeping the people in poverty. The CCDA is also very active in restoring civil rights and educating communities, providing medical care facilities, some micro financing, schools and libraries, educational scholarships, and the redistribution of lands for agriculture and homes for the landless poor. For more on the CCDA and their work see: http://www.justuscoffee.com/producers/our-growers/ccda-guatemala

The coffee, Cafe Justicia is marketed from Vancouver by BC CASA (more about them at: http://cafejusticia.ca/ ) and we are getting very close to being able to distribute their outstanding product through The Abundant Pantry our own bulk buying club.

Leocadio will be in Powell River on Sunday, March 24 and we’d like to invite you to come hear him speak, share a potluck themed around coffee and taste some of their fabulous brew (you’ll also be able to buy some if you can’t wait for the next TAP order. The event, spoken through Steve Stewart as interpreter is most interesting. Steve established BC CASA in the 1980s  to support positive social change in the Americas. From the outset they had a strong connection to the CCDA and helped introduce the coffee to Canada in early 2000. He has been a good friend to Leocadio for many years and the translation flows accordingly. This year Leocadio is bringing Francisco Coz as an added guest, an elder of the organization; Francisco was born in 1947 and he began organizing peons on the coffee plantations in the 1970s, like Leocadio he is a Kakchiquel Maya and lives in the village of Nueva Vida in Solola province.

Thanks,

Jacqueline Huddleston