A Note to Co-op Members

We hope you all had a good week and are in good health. As you know eating a diet rich in nutrients from fresh organic produce, paired with other lifestyle choices like adequate sleep, exercise, and good relationships are a great way to ensure a happy healthy life.

We are happy to be working with you to build community as we source our organic food together. Food is our common bond, as we all have to eat. But eating organic and working together takes the process of community building further. We get so much more.

By sourcing our food organically we get clean food for our bodies and a cleaner environment. We get safer working conditions for those who toil to grow and transport our food as they are not subject to the poisons used to grow conventional food. The wildlife is better off as well. Further, by cooperating to make this service happen, we make lower cost, less waste food available to more folks who otherwise would not be able to afford this food. This is a way for many who would not consider buying organic to try chemical-free food.

So thank you for the manifold ways your membership is helping create a better world for all of us.

Check out our co-op website at www.ourfarmcommunity.com to learn how we have taken the community action idea to new levels with a cooperative farm and a no-cost fundraiser program for local charities, non-profits and community groups. It can also be no-cost way local businesses, medical professionals and others to partner with us to feed our community healthy local food at lower-than-retail prices and help themselves – all at the same time. This program is an easy win-win-win formula for personal success and global transformation.

[We have a quick note to tell you about a substitution in this week’s box. We could not locate affordable winter squash so we have chosen organic garnet yams. We are placing the same weight of product, 2 lbs more or less, as was listed for the winter squash. We hope this does not pose any inconvenience. FYI sweet potatoes are not nightshades. All nightshades are in the solanaceae family and sweet potatoes are in the convolvulaceae family.]

Thanks again for your time and attention. Have a great week!

Week 2 Co-op Box (Ideas and Inspiration)

Hello all,

We’re on our second week of the food co-op and are happy to be welcoming several new members and neighborhoods to this program. Below are a few recipes that make use of the vegetables (and fruit) found in your box this time around. We’re hoping this will provide some inspiration for those in need of new ideas. Again, please feel free to share your cuisine creations with us, too!

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Co-op Introduction & Meal Plan and Recipes for 1st Box

The Food Co-op is back! We’ve organized this program as a way to save our community money on fresh, local, organic produce this winter. It’s cold, and our farm isn’t producing many leafy greens at this time – but other farms in our region are (due to tunnels, better weather). We want our community to have access to a good nutritious spectrum of food without poisons. When we buy organic food wholesale, as a community, we reduce the price significantly. So this is what we’ve done. By joining this food co-op, you will receive a weekly box of twelve organic produce items sourced from organic farms in the region. Membership commitment is on a monthly basis, and vacation credit is available if you let us know in advance. The boxes are set, and rotate on a 4-week schedule. Please be aware that your box will always be diverse! This program is designed with your health in mind and there will always be a good selection of vegetables and fruit to get you through the week. Check out the co-op’s website at ourfarmcommunity.com for more information and to register.

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you are already a co-op member. Thank you so much for being involved and helping us make pesticide-free produce affordable for all! Please continue to spread the word to your neighbors and friends… and don’t forget to check out whatsonmyfood.org for a list of all the pesticide residues found on conventional food. We strongly believe that everyone should be able to consume food devoid of these harmful residues. Our food co-op is one way in which we combat the harm that is prevalent in the food industry.

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End of 2013 Season

Happy New Year!

We want to express our warmest wishes to you all for a happy and healthy new year. Hopefully you had an enjoyable holiday season. We have used the last month to repair equipment, rest and plan for an exciting year ahead.

First we want to express our sincerest thanks to you for your support of our community farm.  Because of our collective efforts we accomplished much this year and continued important work to provide for the food and health of our community while also safeguarding the health of the land and wildlife.  Your participation in this project sets you apart; you are the few who actively made a choice to improve life for yourselves, others and your community and environment.

There are many rewards in this project, most notably the fresh chemical-free, GMO-free food we enjoy each week.  But our farm produces so much more. It is a place of education and hope. We are a teaching farm, sharing our skills and values with the many volunteers who come to toil with us. We are a local grass roots engine of economic rebirth, we are inventors and innovators developing machines and systems that help sustainable agriculture survive and prosper in the years ahead.

Please have a look at our farm community’s scrapbook of sorts – pictures, captions and explanations of our just completed season. Enjoy!

It all starts with a dream. We have many choices in this life, we have chosen to work together to create a local ecologically based farm for our community. Hard work and vision are the necessary ingredients needed to start the journey and community support sustains it. Together we make a farm spring forth from the land.  The season begins with indoor grown starts. Our short main growing season means we use season- extending techniques to help give us fresh food for as long as possible during the year.

It all starts with a dream. We have many choices in this life, we have chosen to work together to create a local ecologically based farm for our community. Hard work and vision are the necessary ingredients needed to start the journey and community support sustains it. Together we make a farm spring forth from the land. The season begins with indoor grown starts. Our short main growing season means we use season- extending techniques to help give us fresh food for as long as possible during the year.

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2013 Season Welcome

Our community is comprised of people like you, who want to enjoy farm fresh naturally grown food without pesticides or man-made fertilizers and picked at the height of ripeness and flavor. In recent years we have expanded what we offer our members to include: locally milled and whole grain products, dried beans, prepared foods, sprouts, herbal medicines, a farm school, building classes, summer camp, farm dinners and more. Sign up for our summer wholesale farm club and get your choice of super fresh locally grown produce and more at great prices. Join our winter food co-op and join our many members as we buy pure naturally grown and organic food in bulk and save.

By cooperating together we get more than just great food; we get to support good stewardship of the earth, the creation of good local jobs, and do so much more. For us, it is about choice and empowerment. We get to choose what kind of agriculture we want and how our food is grown. On our farms, in our mill, kitchens, shops, studios and farm house, we create, learn, teach, share, eat and connect with each other and with those who come to visit, work and learn. We are intentional about what we are doing here, about what we want from our life and are aware of the effects we have on the world.

We can and do make a difference with our choices and work. It is a homegrown plan to make things better; to create clean, pure food and services by us, for us. We welcome your support; join the farm and share in the benefits that go far beyond receiving a weekly share of fresh, naturally grown food at modest prices. Because we strongly feel clean fresh food is a requirement of all people we have programs to make membership affordable with payment plans and even honor food assistance programs. For more information on membership please see our Farm membership section below.

Check out our website to have a look at the services and projects that we cooperatively offer. Maybe you have always wanted to learn how to grow a garden or build an affordable home using local materials? Maybe learning more about herbal and alternative/natural medicine or whole foods cooking interests you? Maybe you have some special knowledge you want to share with others? Our farm community desires to be a place where these needs can be met. This year we will host a community bulletin board and calendar to assist desired connections. Please check back often to see what programs and opportunities are being offered and consider, if so inclined, offering one of your own.

By working together we can do great things.

We are continually honored to be able to serve our community, to be entrusted with growing their food, doing so in a way that heals the Earth, and sharing what we know with those who come to learn. We are grateful to the support we have received from our members past and present and to the community at large. We are also grateful to the many others who make our farm community possible. Special thanks go out to the Emter family that has been so kind to let us farm their land. We thank the businesses we serve, like Organics-to-You and Peoples Co-op who regularly buy our wholesale produce; they are our partners in feeding good food to the community. Thanks go out to the wonderful people who run the farmers markets we attend and to those who run/have run markets anywhere; your hard work has allowed local agriculture to grow. We must also include our suppliers and customers and all the amazing folks who have worked here as employees, interns and volunteers. And of course we have a deep gratitude to our family and close friends. The efforts of all of these people have helped us become a community in the truest sense of the word. Thank you all!

Last year we embarked on a more formal change in direction. For many years we functioned as most farm enterprises do, as a family farm. Several years ago we started hosting guest workers and enjoyed the sharing and interaction those visits provided. People came to stay with us from around the globe and it was exciting to meet and engage with them. It was great to observe the near universal enjoyment of working together to grow food in a sustainable way and then sitting down together to share good conversation and the food we grew together. These visits showed us that ecologically sensitive farms have more to offer than just fresh, local, chemical-free produce; there is something special in this life on the land.

With these experiences fresh in mind we made the decision to encourage our community members to experience a closer connection to us, our farm and the Earth. We want more than a farmer-consumer relationship with those who buy and consume what we grow and process. We began this effort last season by hosting educational and social events at the farm. We hosted work parties, field-to-table dinners and farm tours. Going forward we hope to continue this outreach and will be developing programs that we hope will draw more folks to our farm. We want to share the knowledge and pleasure of working the land – creating what we need together to live a more self-sufficient, healthful and fun-filled life. Have a look at the classes and programs we will be offering throughout the year and make a plan to visit our community farm, you’ll be glad you did!

Ecological Farming: This year, we will continue our work of providing jobs, education and food grown without man-made pesticides or fertilizers at a “Beyond Organic” level of safety and environmental sensitivity. As we strive to find better and more responsive ways to live sustainably on the Earth, we plan to explore the development of a certification that reflects a “beyond organic” standard of environmental stewardship. We will also continue our development of inventions, like our Eco-winder, to make small scale farming viable and sustainable.

Below you will find links to the programs we will be offering this year. Please note that we have added a NE Portland distribution location to our newly organized Food Co-op so now most close-in quadrants of the city will be served by our low-cost, pure and natural food service. We look forward to seeing you at the markets, stands and farm this year. Have a happy and healthy 2013!