A fresh look at Skookum

Ah, the promise of spring is in the air as those earliest tree buds and flowers pop, it’s a good time to take a fresh look at what Skookum does and can do, with your help.

We are a network of regular folks sharing the knowledge, skills and supports to grow, gather, raise, catch, preserve, prepare and access local, healthful food.

We chose the non-profit, cooperative model because we feel that a network of ‘members helping members’ under our collectively-owned, democratic umbrella is the best way to make local food happen for our members and the larger community. Our actions include raising public awareness of topics related to personal food sovereignty via member-run workshops, events and gatherings, projects, presentations, work parties, film screenings, group buying clubs (like our own The Abundant Pantry bulk food buying club, our Tattler reusable canning lids, Eternal Seed and Rancho Vignola fruit/nut bulk purchases), that all aim at strengthening our network of engaged citizens, while increasing our individual and collective self-reliance when it comes to good, healthful food, as locally-sourced as possible.

One great way anyone can learn how to grow at least some of their own food is through attending Seedy Saturday this coming Saturday! Drop by and see us at Seedy Saturday on March 9 at the Powell River Recreation Complex (10am-3pm) at 5001 Joyce Avenue, for a chat.

Click to find out more...
Click to find out more…

 

If you want to help out with public events like this above (the Newcomers’ Social is coming up April 23, for example), or come up with our own events like hosting a film screening or guest speaker… let us know, and we’ll help you make it happen.

Also, for you writers/bloggers out there, please feel free to send us your pithy prose on how Skookum works its way into your food-related solutions (how you learned to can, dehydrate, etc.) ; we’d all love to hear from you. Just send us your writing via email to skookum@skookumfood.ca, and we’ll handle the rest.

Have a more concrete project or workshop or event idea and want Skookum to help you run it? You can contact us to submit a short proposal via email to skookum@skookumfood.ca, and we’ll get back to you. For ideas on what a project can look like, visit our past projects page.

Let us know what your interests are and how you’d like to help make your cooperative even better, take our on-going Members’ Skills Survey.

A Few On-going Projects

We just completed a bulk order of more Tattler reusable BPA-free canning lids (on sale to members soon), as well as a Rancho Vignola clearance order for our members only, and as you can see below The Abundant Pantry is ready for the next order…

Keep the evening of Thursday May 2 free, as this is the date of our Annual General Meeting (more on this shortly).

Click above to get the acorn rolling...
Click above to get the acorn rolling…

For you lucky The Abundant Pantry (TAP) Members: Your March bulk food order cycle closes this Sunday, March 10th, at 11:00 pm, so now is the time to become a member of TAP and to shop for the best prices and food quality, while stocking up your pantry. Find out how to become a member here.

 

Catching (and Wrapping) Up

Happy Holidays and thank you for helping to make local food happen.

It’s been a very busy Fall for Skookum so far this year; and as we head into 2013 it’s ‘whiplash time’ as we look back to see what we accomplished, and forward on how we can do more and better. 2012 was the UN-designated Year of the Cooperative and we are working on airing a 5-program series on cooperatives on CJMP 90.1 FM Community Radio before year end. Keep your ears (and eyes, as we will be promoting it) peeled.

You may remember seeing some pictures on our Facebook page  from our last event of 2012, as several of us helped press apple cider for James Thomson Elementary School’s Farm to School program. We had another successful Abundant Pantry order (next order will be mid-January 2013, check the site in January to order), and we’re just about ready to distribute over 500 lbs of dried fruit/nuts/confectionery from our second Rancho Vignola order that just came in.

Skookum is more than bulk buying, though, and we’d like to increase our workshops and other hands-on projects in 2013. That said, one great reason to have a cooperative is to be able to generate some buying power as a group, and in doing so, also help the community and the cooperative grow and increase self-sufficiency.

Buying seed together.

Last year just after Christmas, I started thinking about and then planning a bulk seed order. A dozen or so members got together and I coordinated an order from our local Eternal Seeds company, who gave us a 20% discount overall if we collectively bought 10 packets of any of their seeds (about 5% was allocated to Skookum and the coordinator). This year, the feedback indicates that we need to order earlier than the February 14th deadline we had last year, by at least a month.

If anyone out there would like to manage the seed order (and the project can be as different as you like), please drop us a line or fill out a short proposal here. Deadline for a proposal or indication of interest in managing this project is EXTENDED to Dec. 30, 2012. The deadline to order should be by Jan 14, 2013.

Below we have a list of our completed projects for 2012, and in addition to these, we have an on-going Abundant Pantry bulk food order every two months. All our past projects are listed on our past projects webpage.

January 2012:

  • Skookum held a potluck members’ social event to celebrate 2012, the UN International Year of the Co-op. Read the story here.

March 2012:

  • Bulk seed order from Eternal Seeds

June/July 2012:

  • Skookum held 2 home tanning workshops

August 2012:

  • Bulk purchase of fruit/vegetables and dehydrating work party at the Community Resource Centre

September 2012

  • Skookum’s second Tattler lid bulk order
  • Bulk purchase of Sausagemaker dehydrators
  • Skookum was at the Fall Fair, pressing cider and raising funds

October 2012

  • Second Rancho Vignola Fruit and Nut Bulk Order

November 2012

  • Skookum helps the local Farm to School project press apples for James Thomson Elementary School for a second year.

Goin’ Squirrely

Did someone say “nuts”?

Skookum is all about projects that serve our cooperative, and that benefit the co-op as well as the wider community, too. It’s members helping members to grow, pick, prepare, preserve, store, and share in the bounty of food.

The accent these early autumn days is on ‘store’ and ‘preserve’. With a mega-load bulk purchase of Tattler BPA-free reusable lids (drop by our table at the Fall Fair Sept 22-23, 2012 to buy a sample pack or extra rubber rings; help out with our apple cider pressing event there or donate apples to this Skookum fundraiser: Click here) and Excalibur dehydrators in, several small Skookum work parties where members processed, canned and dehydrated fruits and vegetables, and yet another Abundant Pantry bulk food purchase period under our belts, it’s time for the once-per-year order of this season’s freshest dried fruit, nuts, seeds, plus delicious and decadent confectionery from Rancho Vignola.


  • Rancho Vignola makes their product list available only once per year, when the nuts and fruit are at their freshest;
                          • The final deadline for our order to go in is September 27, BUT the final deadline for members to get their order and payment to us will be 12:00 noon on Monday September 24;
                          • 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, 2.5¢ to Skookum, and another 2.5¢ to the benefit of the community.

What you need to do:

  • Take a look at Rancho Vignola’s price list click here.
  • If you have questions, please contact David 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 David with the list of products you want and a final tally. He’ll verify the total amount and get back to you);
  • Get the order form and payment (cash or cheque only) to Kingfisher Books at 4468 Marine Ave. in Powell River no later than 12:00 noon on Monday September 24No money means no order!
  • We have a a splits page (click here), 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: The coordinator WILL NOT MANAGE YOUR SPLITS; all splits will be between members, with one member ordering and paying for the entire item to be split.
  • Any questions? Please get in touch with David ASAP at skookum@skookumfood.ca

As always, members are encouraged to propose and run projects! Interested in running your own Skookum  project? Submit a quick proposal here.

Just the facts.

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