Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bailey's Buying Club - Ordering is now open for July 31, 2009

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Hi Folks,

Maybe I can keep this shorter this week because we do not have so many new exciting foods being offered for the first time. Good. I can't handle that much excitement all the time.  Sometimes food is not exciting, it is just important. Just need the right kinds of foods at the fingertips so that good meals are easy to make.  Matthew made a version of chili today that hit the spot. Chili in July, what next? It is so cool he even baked two pies! Peach, cherry custard pie - in case you're wondering.

Climate Change and the Buying Club
This weather is actually affecting the food on our plates, have you noticed? Have you experienced that before? It's kind of a new feeling when we are used to global shopping at the supermarkets where we can ALWAYS get EVERYTHING that we want.  Stuart didn't have enough sun shining in his greenhouses to ripen the grape tomatoes. How can I complain about that??

I was listening to Gwynne Dyer on Monday night (CBC Ideas) and was sobered again about climate change. I can't see it or smell it or feel it (unless a cold and rainy July IS climate change...) but it is real and serious.  When I feel overwhelmed by a huge and complicated issue like climate change, I find comfort in local food. It is one concrete life choice I can make that will make us stronger and more resilient so that we can handle the changes that are coming.  It feels good to know that if there is an interruption in the flow of global food (due to a pandemic or drought or whatever) we will still have an abundance of good food flowing into our Buying Club every week.  If 50% of KW families ate a diet of 50% local food, we could handle whatever breakdowns (and implosions) that happen in the global food system.  This is my vision -  my goal. 50% of KW families eating 50% local food.  When we get to this, we will notice that the fields will be less corn and soybeans and more a patchwork quilt of vegetables and legumes.  We'll see more greenhouses.  We'll see more local canneries and cheese makers.  We'll be able to find local carrots in April that have been stored in state-of-the-art cold cellars.  I can see it now.

What we are doing as a buying club group is not just cute or nice.  It is not a place to get "niche" items we can't get elsewhere - it is a place to feed ourselves because most of us don't have gardens big enough to feed us.  What is more important than fuelling our bodies, hearts and minds with good food?  We are also fuelling a movement that will affect how our children shop for food when they are adults.  We are fuelling social and economic change by choosing to eat local food. 

Is the Buying Club working for you?
Now, buying local food from Bailey's Local Food Buying Club SOUNDS good but how is it working for you day to day? Week to week?  I don't know about you but I ALWAYS forget to order at least something I need.  I've decided that I need to make a grocery list before ordering, just like I do/did for going to the grocery store.  How is the pick-up working for you?  This Friday we can offer the SELF CHECK-OUT option to all of you! We hope that this will help speed out the checking out for some of you who want to add up your total yourself.  We did all self check-out last year and now we are returning to our roots. We are not Sobey's so we don't have to operate by their rules. We choose to trust our members.  You know that if we lose money due to missing items or math mistakes, we won't survive.  We will still have the regular check-out option for those of you who prefer it.

Local Salad Dressing
No, I haven't found someone selling ready-made salad dressing. Any of you want to start a small business?  What we do have now are the perfect ingredients for easy local salads and dressings. At lunch I made a super easy and popular dressing my friend taught me (you can use any oil and vinegar varieties): Soybean Oil, gurgle of wine vinegar infused with raspberry, gurgle of maple syrup, gurgle of soysauce.  It was a hit on the chef salad!

New Items this Week
This week have new potatoes (at a lower price) coming directly from Lena and John Burkhardt who live near Paul and Saloma Bowman. Lena and John have been leaders in organic farming in the Old Order Mennonite Community.  Antony John of Soiled Reputations is harvesting swiss chard and a tatsoi called Yukina Savoy for us this week.  More peaches, apricots, plums and blueberries and a few raspberries.  Raspberries are harder for us to carry because we do not have a cooler and they perish so quickly. We can only buy from growers who are small enough they will pick our order Friday morning.  It is nearly impossible to find no-spray or organic raspberries due to many pests and diseases.  Ivan and Elmeda Brubacher are growing their raspberries for us without sprays at my request. I've promised that we'll buy all that they can harvest for us at a fair price. Last year they were hit hard by heavy hail. The raspberry canes are still damaged from that hail but Ivan said he'll have a few flats of berries for us.

We have organic blueberries this week from near New Hamburg. The Walkers have a lovely little blueberry patch out there (closest one around) and they've hired a nice young man, Zach, who will pick and deliver them to us. Thanks Zach!

Paul and Saloma are harvesting green beans for us this week! Yum! And Paul has hooked me up with a friend who can sell us uncertified organic carrots! I've been so hungry for fresh-from-the-earth carrots.  We're getting a 10 lb bag which we can go through in a week.  Matthew can eat a pound a day raw.  I hope he doesn't mind me telling you that : )  Four of you can get a half bushel (about 2.5lbs) of it this week if you want to steam and freeze it.

Golden Hearth is on vacation this week but you can still get marvy bread from Rundles (just none that are 100% local).  How did you like the crackers?  Which cheeses did they go well with? After cleaning up the buying club on Friday Matthew and I sat down with a plate of Neil's crackers, chevre goat cheese and a jar of hot cherry jam.  It was so incredibly good it made me feel like swearing.  For some reason it made me want to say "Go-olllllllyeee" just like Gomer Pyle.  Yes, and "Shazam!" It was so good I immediately made a few samples to take to the neighbours. I just had to share the joy.  Matthew and I often have "in-house" dates where we don't go out but ignore the dishes and the clutter and whoop it up and have a good time.  Well, this platter of crackers cheese and jam made this in-house date memorable.  It was better than anything we could've found in any restaurant. That sounds ridiculous when I write it but that is how it felt.

Sale on Organic Beef Cuts
We are offering a sale on organic beef this week.  You can take $2 off of any cut of organic beef (steak or roast) from Vibrant Farms.  Noah is also offering pepperettes for those of you who like to pretend that you are cowboys.  We are offering a couple varieties on the order form and bigger packages of 12 will be available on the spontaneous table along with summer sausage.  I don't need to tell you how awful the meat is from the factory farms, I'll leave that to  Michael Pollan and Food Inc.  I WILL tell you that this is beef you can feel good about eating. The steer spent many happy days grazing on a farm near St. Agatha and was slaughtered and processed at a licensed local facility.  Speaking of good meat. Have you seen the brochures from Traditional Foods on the Spontaneous Table that tell you why their meet is good for you and the land?  The animals are GMO and drug free and fed natural products and supplements. They treat their animals humanely and do not use factory farming methods.

Food Inc
Are you going to see Food Inc? I'm trying to get there Saturday night if I can get the order form ready in time.  Maybe I'll see you there.  Anything that sparks conversations about where our food comes from is a good thing.  If it is entertaining at the same time - bonus!

In solidarity of love for the farmers and this land,
Bailey's Local Foods

P.S. Food Inc is a MUST SEE! You know I'm a converted foodie and yet it has strengthened my convictions. It made me laugh and made me cry. I was crying for joy at the end. Joy that we are on the cusp of turning this big ship around.
P.P.S. We can use your green quart boxes, jars from preserves and egg cartons (from eggs you bought at Bailey's) again if you return them.

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