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:
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.
Hey there members, it’s time to freshen up the Skookum cider press with some maintenance and repairs (anyone willing and able to help with this, please contact email@example.com) AND we really need to set up a proper kit of materials that can accompany the cider press as it is loaned out to members, or used for public demonstrations/ pressings such as at the Fall Fair. So far, we have borrowed materials each time we need to do a group pressing, which is great. Problem is, it takes an immense amount of time and coordination to reconstruct the kit from scratch every time. So, if you have any of this equipment to donate to Skookum, then please consider it sooner rather than later. Used is fine, if functional.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where and when you can drop off the materials. We will post what we have received (and what is left on the shopping list below), and send out reminders periodically.
If you cannot donate the materials or equipment, then please consider a monetary donation to the “Creating a Skookum Cider Press Kit” via PayPal, Debit or Credit card or by cheque (c/o SFPC and mail or drop off at Kingfisher Books 4486 Marine Ave. Powell River, BC V8A 2K2 CANADA). We’ll go on a shopping spree in late summer and try to complete the list.
Of course, we accept Powell River Dollars (PR$) too; just drop off your donation at Kingfisher Books. And thanks! Please remember that your membership dollars ($20 for a lifetime membership and redeemable at any time) represent individual shares in Skookum; you own the cooperative as much as any other member. The funds raised through memberships are kept for the most part in reserve, and are not used to cover expenses.
Equipment needed (prices approx.)
(Click on the big “Grow Our Co-op” button at right to make a donation toward any piece of equipment)
Basic set up:
2 awnings (aka event tents or canopies or gazebos) c. $450
2 tarps: 1 to put underneath the cider press and 1 to cover it up overnight (as for Fall fair) c. $50
3 smaller tables (hand washing station; prep table; pasteurization/double boiler set up table) c. $175
1 large table (usually supplied by the Fall Fair) for front service counter. c. $100
2 water hoses (to bring the water closer to you b/c pressing requires a lot of water) c. $65
2 hose splitters (so you won’t be accused of hogging the communal hose and you won’t have to keep running to the tap to turn the hose on) c. $50
2 garbage cans per day for apple crud (or more if you’ll be doing lots of apples) ; with wheels! c. $65
Metal Ramp (to allow the press to be rolled or pushed up into a flatbed truck or vehicle) c. $250
Large hands-free water container with “tap” for hand washing station c. $23
Plastic buckets for waste water (1or 2) c. $18
Bleach, pump soap, paper towels (1 each) c. $12
Stout spray bottle for bleach sanitizing solution c. $10
Cloth rags $5
2 Large food grade, clean plastic tubs (like primary fermenters) for washing apples pre-pressing. 10 gallons ea. c. $80
Some large buckets or Rubbermaid to hold the washed apples (4) $40
2 buckets to catch the cider as it flows from the press $20
2 large cutting boards (wood or hard plastic) $20
Various knives including a few paring knives (minimum 4) $60
3 or 4 large stainless bowls to put the prepared apples into $40
Funnel and strainer $20
Keeping cider cold:
Ice packs (several) c.$35
(8-12 large bags of ice– one-time purchase on days of event)
2 very large coolers c.$70
Biodegradable paper cups (about 250) available from Aaron Vending: some small for “tasters” and large for selling cold cider. Napkins. c.$35
Keeping cider hot:
Matches or lighter $2
Propane gas burners (2) $150
Hot plate $25
Extension cords (3) $30
Large canner for boiling water bath $35
Large pot to fit inside canner to keep cider hot w/lid $30
Pot holders (6) $40
Stem thermometer $25
Cider spice sachets (6) $12
Mugs for selling cups of hot cider (must be washed and reused, not possible at all locations) $20
Some attractive one-colour tablecloths to enhance booth “eye appeal” 4X: $60
Blackboard for noting wares and prices $30
Tally sheets on clipboards to keep track of sales
Bug spray and sting relief (for bees/wasps; antihistamine) $20
Paper bags and ties as wasp deterrents (in a bad wasp year, use lots!) $3
Optional (if for Fall Fair or other demo)
Info sheets on upcoming or happening projects
Waterproof Displays of whatever relevant kind to enhance booth eye appeal and advertise the coop and its mission, pens, sign up sheets for Skookum and press info.
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.
Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative is happy to co-sponsor (with Transition Town Powell River) the feature documentary, To Make a Farm (Canada, 2011) On Saturday February 18, 2012 at the Powell River Film Festival. See below for details, and a clip from the film.
Synopsis: Starting a farm from scratch takes more than just imagination, but it’s a good place to start. Often considered a way of life from the past, today there is a movement of young people without farming backgrounds taking up this challenging profession. To Make A Farm follows the lives of five such young people through their first seasons on the land, as the joys and disappointments of bringing life from the earth become a quiet manifesto for social change. Documentary filmmaker Steve Suderman searches his own family history in farming to wonder if the mistakes of the past can be avoided this time through.