Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bailey's Buying Club - Ordering is now open for July 17, 2009

Click to log-in and order.

Whew! That was MAYHEM! A state of rowdy disorder. I soooo appreciate those of you who took it in stride and enjoyed talking with the people near you in line. When I apologized to one of you for the long line, you said "Nah! This is great. It's a hub of community energy!" Thank you for that positive angle! I also want to thank the Kind Soul who cleaned up the glass my son Foster broke at the kids' snack table. You are an angel.

Why are we working with Traditional Foods

Let me tell you about Traditional Foods and why we are still working with them even though they are disorganized and were so late yesterday. Noah and Bruce (sitting on the back of the pick-up truck on Friday) are part of a group of farmers working together who all use an agreed upon "natural" method of farming which means EXCLUDING vaccines, hormones, GMO in the feed, and antibiotics and INCLUDING a program of natural supplements for soil and animals (think of it as fish oil and flaxseed supplements that we might take). They are in a time of transition as they find a new driver and someone to coordinate the sales, inventory and deliveries. I want to work with them because they are a group of small farmers working together that can provide us with more than any one farmer can do alone. From Traditional Foods we can get beef, pork, chicken, eggs, mesclun mix and maybe flour and natural chicken feed (for backyard hens) in the future. Buying from them means we are encouraging cooperation which leads to stronger small farms and stronger rural communities and a more secure local food system. If you know someone who would be interested in being a driver for Traditional Foods, email me. This person needs a van or truck with a hitch and needs to be available most of the day on Fridays. It would be a great way to get to know these farmers. I have pamphlets from them for you to pick up next week.

I also have a soft spot for Amish farmers since I grew next door to an Amish community in Indiana (my dad taught in an Amish school for 23 years). I want to see Amish farmers succeed despite the push for the convenience of technology and the "bigger is better" mentality of the current agricultural system. Another neat thing about Traditional Foods is that they get their eggs graded at a facility that employees people with developmental challenges. We want to support businesses that hire people with all sorts of different abilities. I'll post pamphlets about this egg-grading program on the church bulletin board next to the kids' snack table. I'll also put up the two articles about Bailey's Local Foods that were in the local papers in case you didn't see them. The Record article is online at and the Waterloo Chronicle article can be found at

How can we make this model work?
If any of you are able to come after 4:30, that will help because it is pretty calm and quiet from 5-7. If you are able to pay with cheque, that is handy for us. Cash is okay too, we just prefer cheques. To speed things up and decrease confusion, we'll put a volunteer by the fridges and freezer who can hand you what you are looking for. If you'd like to volunteer for this role a couple hours here and there, let us know. If you'd like to volunteer for another role, let Rachael or I know too. Such as playing the piano during pick up (there was a grand piano there yesterday!), setting up, check-out, and cooking us meals. Just kidding. Sort of. If you want to bring us supper on Friday, we might have to kiss you.

A Profit and Learnings
The good news is that Rachael and I were able to pay ourselves the week of July 3! We had 200 orders July 10 (started with 95 on May 29) so the gross profit was high enough to leave enough of a margin to cover expenses and pay Rachael and I for some of the time we have worked. We are learning how to improve this model each week. Yesterday we learned that we need to only use one unit of measurement for peas (not pounds, quarts AND litres) and that more room was needed for people to scoop out their litres of cherries. We also learned that it worked better to have the cheese in the coolers instead of the fridge.

Awesome video clip on local food
A buying club member passed on a link to a powerful and snazzy little video that is part of the Eat Real, Eat Local campaign by Hellman's (of all companies). But hey, if large corporations give us a cute and powerful tool that works to convert people to the importance of eating local food, let's use it! I showed it to my kids (1, 3, and 7 and they loved the animations) This is the kind of tool that is handy for book clubs, Sunday school classes, workshops and other places you may be discussing the importance of local food.

Meal ideas
Okay, meal ideas for this week. Well, with this cool weather we've been having, it makes me want to simmer a pot of soup. I've got a pot of chicken broth (from leftover bones of supper last night) into which I'm going to throw some lentils, peas, and dill. I'm into simple meals, can you tell? For supper I'm going to make a fake lasagne with lots of local basil, hamburger, cheddar, kale, green onions. No tomato sauce, just slices of tomato on top. I have local noodles from last year that I'll use. We're still working on finding someone who will make us noodles from local flour. I DID find local semolina flour from Arva Flour Mills! So that brings us one step closer.

Features this week
Noah recommends trying the ham steaks on the grill. He says that they are ¾ inch thick and uncured. He also recommends the stewing beef used as "kebabs". Traditional foods has 10 more chickens at the sale price of $2.50/lb. Noah has lowered the beef patties price by $1 to encourage you to try them. Ingredients for some products can be found at We are adding information as we get it.

Peas shelled and ready for your freezer!
I'm sorry this email is getting sooo long but I HAVE to tell you about this window of opportunity to put enough peas away for winter without needing to shell them! The woman who delivers us the fruit from Palatine has a connection with an organic farm that has a pea sheller. So they grow the peas, shell them and all we have to do is throw the bags in the freezer. They come in BIG 10 pound bags. If I have time I'll put them in four smaller bags but I didn't have time for that last year and I could just give the bag a whack and enough would come loose to pour into the pot for supper. They do make an interesting foam on top when boiled (kind of like when you boil beans but less) but it rinses off and did not slow us down in eating them several times a week. We never know how long these peas will last so get them while you can. I had five bags in the freezer last year and we ran out in February.

Some of you were asking for bulk shelling peas. We have not connected with a farmer who has enough for bulk sales. We may be able to get large boxes from Pfenning's.

We have feta now!! Millbank is able to deliver feta from Shepherds Gourmet! Just in time for the tomato and cucumber salads. See their website for more details on the feta

Flour update and London
We'd like to buy flour from Arva Flour Mills more often but it is a long trip for a trunk full of flour. If you are going to London anyway and are willing to help out by picking up a small load of flour, let me know. I need a couple days notice to place an order. We've updated the Oak Manor products to show you which are local at this time. In the Fall more of them are from within 100 miles but when the supply runs out Perry has to go further afield to find organic grains. The oats are from northern Ontario right now.

New cherry price
We guessed that a litre of cherries was one pound but it is actually 1.5 lbs. So we need to raise the price a bit. Consider the first week a "special" on cherries. I have a quick tip for pitting cherries from a buying club member: Freeze cherries with pits intact. Once thawed, push the flat edge of a chef's knife over top, and the pits slip right out. I asked for more details on how Eva and Rene of Palatine manage their orchard. I had understood that they farm without chemical sprays but they do use them on occasion. Here is a description from Mary Jane who delivers the luscious fruits to us:

Eva and Rene do farm as organically as they can. But that does not mean no sprays. Even organic farmers have to use sprays. Eva and Rene do use fungicide and pesticide, but so do organic farmers. It is just that under organic convention the fungicides and pesticides are less toxic such as sulphur and neem oil (which Eva and Rene use heavily). Rene will start with the least toxic form of spray first, and move up if need be. They do leave themselves the option to use 'regular' fungicide if absolutely necessary (Since he eats his own fruit he really tries not to). They never use a 'pre-pick' fungicide that the other farmers use, which is meant to follow the fruit into the stores and storage...

For pests they use something called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Same principle as above....they check to see that they have pests before spraying. They do not do preventative spraying. They will start with the least toxic spray to address that particular pest. They also use pheromones (which is not a spray) to 'fool' the little guys and disrupt their cycles! Most of these sprays that he uses also would be acceptable under certified organic!

Fertilization is also organic. They do not use chemical fertilizers that deplete the soil.

Why sometimes no honey or maple syrup?
If we don't meet our minimum of $100 in orders, we don't place an order with the farmers who provide us this sweet liquid gold.

Okay, it's after 11 PM. Time to send this and go to bed.
Keep up the good eating ya'll,
Bailey's Local Foods

P.S. We can use your strawberry boxes and egg cartons again if you return them.

Is this your first email from us?

You are receiving Nina's messages because you are a member of Bailey's Local Food Buying Club.
If you do not wish to receive Nina's messages in the future, please uncheck the Nina's messages box associated with your email address in Account Settings at

Click to log-in and order.

No comments: