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Or give us a call/text at 562.254.2811

Monday, October 20, 2008

Learning the Art of Handmade

In our quest to become more self-sufficient, to be able to make the things we need instead of buying them, I have begun sewing. I've always had a sewing machine, and remember watching my mom sew when I was a kid, but I can probably count on two hands the number of things I've actually made on my sewing machine over the last 10 years.

I've been working hard lately, and really putting effort into developing some sort of a skill with my hands. These items have taken many hours of trying to figure out just what the heck I'm doing. I hope to actually post some stuff up for sale at some point, but until then, I just wanted to share my handiwork's!! It feels SO good to be able to create with your hands, its very rewarding and invigorating.

Quilted, patchwork pillow that matches nothing in my house.

Bird Mobile I made for a friend at work who is having her first baby.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gravies and Sauces....A few more recipes

Courtesy of The Spot:

Mushroom Walnut Gravy

4 cups water
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
2 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
2 Tbsp Tamari
1/2 c mushrooms and/or chopped walnuts
3 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed into 1/4 c water

In a large saucepan, combine the water onions, aminos, tamari, garlic, mushrooms and walnuts. (I might choose to saute the onions first in a little oil) Bring the mixture to a boil. Separately, mix the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water, and slowly add this mixture to the sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens - about 10 minutes.

Savory Sauce

3/4 c almond or safflower oil
3/4 c water
1/4 c Bragg Aminos
1/8 c brewers yeast
1/4 tsp kelp powder
1/4 tsp spike seasoning
1/4 tsp basil
1/8 tsp granulated garlic
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp tamari1 pkg firm tofu, rinsed well.

Blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

We also like the Tofurkey gravy that comes out this time of year. Its pretty good, and Tofurkey is good about using non-GMO soy and canola! Yay for them! a related side note. MorningStar DOES use GMO ingredients in their products, and they do not feel that they need to inform consumers. I asked them, in a letter, why they did not label the GMO ingredients on their packaging. They simply said that GMOs were safe. I responded back by asking why they felt they had the right to make that choice for me (with regard to the safety of the GMO's) - why not label the ingredients and let the consumer make the ultimate decision?

They never responded to that question. Shame on them.

We recommend that you do not buy or consume MorningStar products.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

World Vegetarian Day

....October 1st kicks off World Vegetarian Day, which in turn kicks off Vegetarian awareness month.

As many of you know, David and I are vegetarian, vegan in essence, but not strict - so sometimes we end up consuming a little dairy or eggs that may be contained in something else.

We have chosen this diet for many reasons, mostly - because our personal palettes never quite agreed with the taste of meats. We also do it for ethical, environmental, and health reasons.

I'm sure that most people are aware of the health benefits of becoming vegetarian, but many are not aware of the environmental impact that industrialized meat has on our planet.

Here's a brief listing I picked up while in Seattle last year explaining a few key points of the effects of industrialized livestock on our Earth:


Last year the United Nations and the FOA stated that livestock contribute more to greenhouse gases than all the cars in the world. There are now 20 billion livestock on earth – more than triple the number of human beings!

The world is heading towards a drinking water shortage. It takes 130 gallons of water to produce 2 pounds of potatoes, 520 gallons for 2 pounds of rice, but 26,000 gallons for 2 pounds of beef. Livestock consume 80% of the world’s water supply.

60 million people die of starvation each year. It takes 26-35 pounds of grain to produce 2 pounds of meat or milk. Livestock consumes 40% of the total grain grown worldwide. A vegan needs ½ acre of land for sustenance; a non-vegetarian needs 30 times this amount of land! Starvation can literally be wiped out by wiping meat and dairy off our diets.

Our diminishing forests are seriously threatened by grazing animals. Large numbers of wild animals are killed each year to protect or make room for grazing animals in our food chain. 260 million acres of virgin forest in the world have been cleared for cropland to support a meat centered diet.

Meat is energy intensive. The world’s petroleum reserves would last for only 13 years if all humans were meat eaters, but 260 years if all humans were vegetarian.

Animal husbandry and slaughter result in air, water, and land pollution. The total increase in the number of animals killed for food in the world each year exceeds the total human population.

Death is never a pleasant affair, least of all for the animals killed. 56 billion land animals are killed each year to appease our appetites! (This does not include aquatic animals)They suffer claustrophobic confinement, terrible transport without food, water, or rest, to meet their final bloody end in the slaughterhouse.

We are descendants of primates that are primarily fruitarian, and our anatomy is similar to theirs. There is ample evidence to show that a balanced, non-refined vegan diet is the best for our health.

Whether it is to improve our health, end starvation, save wildlife, conserve water or energy or reduce pollution or to reduce animals’ suffering, perhaps the greatest impact an individual can have is to reduce or stop animal products in their diet.


We are not opposed to eating meat, its just that we choose not to do it ourselves. In toady's market, we prefer not to support an industry that has, for the most part, blinded itself to the cruelty that is inherent. Factory farmed animals come from an industry that has put more value on profit than life itself, or the respect of life.

So, if you choose to keep meat as a part of your diet, there are several good options that we hope people would take advantage of. Store bought, organic being one of them. Free-range if you can. There are options that do take a little more effort, and maybe cost a little more, but can end up being better for your family, better for your conscience, better for the animal, and better for your taste buds. Buying an animal at auction from a family farm and having it slaughtered is one. Seriously. You just need a bigger freezer.

Either way, meat or not - all of our actions have an impact.

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

Here are a few links, one of which is a book I HIGHLY recommend by Jane Goodall.

I haven't got enough good things to say about her topic or her approach. Both are wonderful, informative, and inspiring. She's not trying to convince anyone NOT to eat meat, just trying to provide honest coverage of the subject - the book is much more broad in subject matter though- covering our food supply as a whole, meat is only one tiny portion. Please read the book - it can likely be found at your local library, and I have a copy I can lend out if you'd like. 'Harvest For Hope'

A series of animated shorts, entitled 'The Meatrix':

Animated Short - A little more propaganda-y but not off the mark. 'Backwards Hamburger':

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Whats for Dinner Tonight?

Since this morning, I got 2 giant bunches of swiss chard, a bunch of spinach, a couple handfuls of okra (all organic, all fresh picked today) and we have a several pounds of garbanzos here...I decided to go back and make something I haven't made for a while.

It is classified as a 'soup', but I've always cooked mine it thicker and can be spooned over rice or quinoa. Enjoy.


3/4 lb firm tofu cut into 1/2" cubes (we are using garbanzo beans instead)
2 tbsp hot pepper sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
3 ribs celery chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped (use to taste)
8 oz okra stems removed and cut into rounds
4 oz fresh spinach or swiss chard, stems removed, blanched
5 cups veggie broth
1 1/2 c coconut milk
2 springs fresh thyme
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 sprigs of cilantro for garnish
Juice of 1 lime

Marinate the tofu in the hot pepper sauce for about 30 minutes. Set aside

Heat the oil in a large pot, or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, garlic and chile pepper. Saute for 10 min, or until tender. Add the okra and the spinach or chard and saute 5 minutes. Add the veggie broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer. Add the coconut milk, thyme, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove 2 cups of the mixture, liquid, veggies, and all - and put into a blender. Blend until smooth, being cautious of blending hot liquids. Pour the mixture back into the pan, cover, and cook for 40 minutes more. Add the beans, and simmer uncovered until it reaches the desired consistency.

Serve with cilantro and lime juice over your favorite grain.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Intro to Nutritional Yeast.....


1 1/4 c water
1 c silken tofu, drained, crumbled
1/2 c raw cashew pieces
1/4 c nutritional yeast flakes
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp onion granules
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 c scallions

6 medium white potatoes, thinly sliced
salt and ground pepper to taste

To make the Gruyere Sauce, place the first 8 ingredients in a blender, and process for several minutes or until completely smooth. Stir in onion and scallions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Oil a large deep casserole dish, and arrange in it a layer of potatoes - sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle on some of the blended sauce, then more potatoes, more salt and pepper, more sauce, and so on - finishing with a layer of sauce. Cover and bake for one hour, then uncover and bake about 45 minutes more, or until the potatoes are very tender and the top is golden brown. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.


Prep a flaky pie crust in advance (make or buy)

2 (10oz) pkgs of frozen spinach, thawed
1 c scallions
1/2 lb firm regular tofu, drained and well mashed
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried marjoram leaves

1 1/2 c water
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 c nutritional yeast
4 tbsp tahini
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder

Have pie crust ready, lightly browned
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place the spinach in a mesh strainer, and press to remove as much moisture as possible. Transfer to a bowl and stir in scallions, tofu, basil, and marjoram. Mix well and set aside.

Place the remaining ingredients in a blender, and process several minutes until very smooth. Pour over spinach mixture, and mix thoroughly. Spoon the filling in to the pie crust and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the center of the pie is firm and golden in color. Cool for 15 minutes.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Glowing Inside and Out

We are resuming Co-Op activities.....having returned from a week-and-a-half vacation on Kauai, and Oahu.


And the food was incredible. We stayed with some family friends on Oahu, and their backyard is a Garden of Eatin'!

Fresh Starfuit, Raw Macadamias, Tangerines, Coconuts, Bananas, and a giant vegetable garden. We picked our breakfast each morning, and dined on freshly picked salad each night.

On Kauai, we visited several farmers markets for our local pineapples, apple-bananas, mangoes, dragonfruit, avocados.....and fresh salad mix.

We also dropped by a local vegan/raw restaurant a couple of times, Blossoming Lotus. They also have a sister location in Portland - both come highly recommended from us if you are ever visiting either area!! Here is the website:

We normally eat a lot of whole grains, and fresh produce - so we have an appeciation and love for the power of fresh foods. An understanding that fresh foods truely have more 'life' in them, imparted by the farmers and earth....created through toil, passion, and nuturing.

While in Hawaiii, we practically lived entirely on fresh, local, seasonal organic fruit that we just don't get here in California. Over here on the mainland, the only pineapples, mangoes, and bananas we see are shipped from long distances, over long periods of time, one of others arising from a uniform crop variety, each one the same as the last! Blah!

The taste of the fruits we get here in California are nothing compared to their true nature - and its was an amazing experience to quite literally notice the difference immediately.

I wish I could put into words the incredible energy we felt from this food. Each fruit looked itself, but was saturated with more color, taste, and life than the lowly varieties we see here in California! There is a true energy and power contained in fresh foods, and sometimes only by comparison of apples to apples (or pineapples to pineapples in this case) are you reminded, quite vividly, of those savory qualities that industrialized food lacks.

Hawaii's fruits have left us glowing inside.

Speaking of glowing inside, we also happen to be glowing outside - after soaking up some rays, and reading while doing so. Here is our beach reading list:

Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World by Stone and Barlow

Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating by Jane Goodall

Hopes Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe & Anna Lappe

Monday, September 1, 2008

Our Mission:

1. Provide a source of high-quality, fairly priced food to our community

2. Establish bonds with members through shared objectives

3. Promote global, consumer, and ecological awareness

4. Promote cooperative principles and spirit

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I've felt that there is no place on this blog for me to discuss my political preferences one way or the other - and while I do have strong political opinions, this is not the forum with which I wish to express those opinions.

Today, however, I really feel that I need to break my silence on the political track.....and here's why.

Many months ago, a friend of ours lent us that documentary series "Planet Earth"...I think it aired on Discovery Channel....but can't be sure. There was an episode, maybe about the Arctic, and a portion of that episode focused on the Polar Bear.

With climates rising on Earth, the ice packs that reign the Arctic through the better part of the year are breaking up, receding, and melting earlier in the summer season than in years passed. The Polar bears rely on the sea ice for their main food supply, fish and seals. They have always had to swim between ice slabs, but now, with those slabs melting quicker and earlier, the bears are forced to swim for many, many days without rest, shelter, or food before they reach another slab or shore. Many are drowning, because they simply cannot swim far enough or long enough, and others, who may make it to shore are desperate for food energy after swimming for days without a meal.

This episode in particular documents a bear in the later situation, and it has stuck with me since seeing it. It brought to to my knees, to tears - and still today, thinking about it does the same.

After an extended swim, which lasted many days, the weathered, weakened, and hungry bear finally arrives on a shore inhabited only by walruses. Normally a bear would not see this animal as a meal. The Walrus' can be deadly to a bear, with long, sharp tusks, and a thick leathery hide; a Polar bear is no match for a Walrus. This bear, however, desperate for food, attacks, again and again, trying in absolute desperation to eat. The walrus' attack back, and after many attempts with no success, the bear had become seriously wounded, with deep puncture wounds to a leg. The bear hobbles off, unable to use one of its limbs. Defeated, and mortally wounded, the bear simply curls up on the shore next to the walrus' to await a untimely, heartbreaking, and unavoidable fate.

To see an animal is such distress is unbearable. To know that our selfish actions, as co-habitants of the planet, can have such profound and detrimental consequences in far reaching corners of the earth hurts my heart. That is why, when I read this today, I felt that it neccessary to provide a dissenting opinion - contrary to that of the new VP Candidate Sarah Palin.

Big Oil and Other Interest Groups Join McCain VP Palin's Lawsuit to Reverse Polar Bear Listing
Jeremy Elton Jacquot, Los Angeles on 08.31.08
Business & Politics

After getting past the initial shock of hearing about John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, I quickly honed in on two particularly salient aspects of her environmental views: her belief that climate change is not man-made and her opposition to the polar bear's listing as a threatened species. Now while I may not yet know much about Palin's overall record in office (what little there is), I thought these positions were telling -- especially given the McCain campaign's strenuous efforts to play up its candidate's environmental bona fides.

Which is why I'm sure the McCain campaign won't be too thrilled with the news that the American Petroleum Institute (gee, what a surprise) and several other industry groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers (yup,
these guys) and the National Mining Association, are joining the Palin administration's efforts to overturn the polar bear listing, as the WaPo's Kari Lydersen reports.
Polar bears are doing just fine, thank you very much:

Palin's team and the industry groups have complained that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to list the polar bear would create an "Alaska Gap" by only subjecting the state's businesses to onerous greenhouse gas limits. Other states would be able to skirt such controls since they wouldn't have to make conservation a priority. A fair contention, perhaps, but this is where the lawsuit's argument really breaks down:

On Aug. 4, the state of Alaska filed a lawsuit opposing the polar bear's
listing, arguing that their populations as a whole are stable and that melting
sea ice does not pose an imminent threat to their survival. The suit says
polar bears have survived warming periods in the past.

Lawsuit seeks to reverse decision by Bush administration:

It's one thing to argue that the listing would impose burdensome regulations on your state; it's quite another to argue that, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, polar bear populations are not being harmed by climate change and that they have survived such incidents in the past. The important thing to remember here is that the decision would only list the polar bear as a threatened species (not endangered), and that it is being proposed by the Bush administration.

The easiest way to circumvent all this legal tussling would be for the federal government to actually impose greenhouse gas emission limits nationwide -- or, at the very least, allow individual states to do so themselves -- effectively negating the industry groups' argument that the listing would unfairly target Alaska. Of course we all know what the likelihood of that ever happening is.

  • Two-thirds of the world's current polar bear population could be lost by the middle of the century because of shrinking sea ice, according to a 2007 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study.

  • In 2004, an aerial survey of the northern Alaskan coast documented dead bears floating in the sea. Scientists surmised that the bears drowned because the shrinking sea ice means they have to swim longer distances to shore or between ice slabs. No bear drownings were seen in any other aerial surveys conducted between 1987 and 2003, according to a U.S. Minerals Management Service report.

  • The survival rate for cubs that live in the southern Beaufort Sea region in northern Alaska dropped significantly in recent years, according to a 2006 U.S. Geological Survey study.

  • Pregnant polar bears in northern Alaska have become much less likely to den on the sea ice. The proportion of dens on sea ice was 62 percent from 1985 to 1994, but dropped to 37 percent in 1998 to 2004. The reason: melting sea ice, according to a 2007 USGS report.

  • In the most southerly populations, polar bears already appear to be in trouble. In Canada's West Hudson Bay, the population declined 22 percent between 1987 and 2004, according to a 2007 USGS report

  • Since 2002, many polar bear populations in Alaska have shown increasing signs of stress, including drownings, malnutrition, and cannibalism.

  • The Arctic may be virtually free of summer sea ice by 2040 -- and without sea ice, polar bears cannot survive.


We have never asked anyone to agree with us on our positions, political or otherwise. And while we do not wish to offend anyone, we do have certain beliefs and cultural observations that caused us to begin this venture in the first place.

As a buying group focusing on food, we realize that there are many other social, environmental, as well as political associations and implications that come along with the food industry and what 'food' has devolved to in our culture. We believe that clean food cannot come from a damaged Earth, and we are of the belief that humans have become careless in their treatment of the Earth.

It is our position that we must become a part of the solution, and we support all actions that can lessen our impact on this Earth. We do not support legislation that seeks to cause harm, directly or indirectly, to the planet, or any of its inhabitants.

These reasons are why we have chosen to create a group that supplies food outside of the standard corporate buying establishment.

But, as I said, since we do not wish to offend, we have decided it is best to keep our specific political opinions out of the public's view. We have also decided, however, to leave the environmental argument as it stands, for reasons that are founded in our purpose, and because these are the truths we believe.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Heirloom Tomato Risotto

1 cup Arborio rice
½ onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced – I used our pickled garlic
Olive oil for sautéing
½ pound red tomato, roughly chopped
3-4 tsp Better than Bouillon
3 cups water
-or – 3 cups veggie broth in place of Better-than-Bouillon & Water
½ cup white wine
Salt to taste
Green Olives
Fresh Basil
Pine Nuts
Pickled garlic
Freshly ground pepper

Sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add rice, and sauté a couple more minutes. Add tomato, 1 cup of water and Better-than-Bouillon, simmer on medium-low. Once water is absorbed, add another ½ cup of water and wine. Once absorbed, add water in ½ cup increments until all water has been absorbed. You can cut the water down a bit to shorten cooking time. Stir frequently. Salt to taste while mixture is simmering.

Serve on top of a big slice of fresh tomato. Top with pine nuts, chopped fresh basil, sliced green olives, and a couple of grinds of pepper.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Helping to get you out of your car.......

I’d like to take a minute to let everyone know that part of how we support our family is by David’s part-time job as a bike mechanic out of our home. Most of what he does is to restore vintage bikes and get them back in working condition.

Every bike on the road helps to cut down on car traffic, pollution, gas usage, etc……

He works on beach cruisers, road bikes, BMX bikes, mountain bikes, kids bikes, etc…..

If you are in need of a new-to-you bike – or a bike mechanic for a bike you already have, please consider contacting David, he’d be happy to help!!

Here are a few of the bikes David has recently restored (the first one is up for sale right now):

Thursday, July 17, 2008

S U M M E R T I M E...........R E C I P E S

Wow!!! There is so much yummy fresh produce everywhere right now - welcome to summertime!! Eat as much as you can before the season ends!

Share your favorite recipes using in-season fruits and veggies, and we'll post them.

Here are a few:

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Mint or Basil:

Tomato Bread Salad with Olives and Mint:

Tomato Bread Salad with Olives and Mint


2 medium tomatoes, cored and each cut into 10 wedges
1 small ciabatta, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, bread, olives, lemon juice, oil, and mint. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Let stand at least 5 minutes (or up to 30 minutes) before serving.

Courtesy: Everyday Food

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Mint or Basil

This recipe is out of this world! The garnish/dressing are such wonderful compliments to a ripe summertime heirloom tomato. We use mint, and bottled the dressing to keep in the fridge. We don't cut-up 8-12 tomatoes at a time, just one at a time and pull out the already made dressing. Please try it, you won't be dissapointed.


8-12 very ripe firm tomatoes
1-2 tbsp torn fresh basil leaves or chopped fresh mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper
sprinkle of sugar

Ballymaloe French Dressing:
2 fl oz wine vinegar
6 fl oz extra virgin olive oil or a mixture of olive and other oils

1 level tsp mustard (Dijon or English)
1 large clove garlic
1 scallion or small spring onion
sprig of parsley
sprig of watercress
1 level tsp salt (do not omit)
freshly ground black pepper


1. Remove the core from each tomato and slice into three or four rounds (around the equator) or into quarters. Arrange in a single layer on a flat plate.
2. Sprinkle with salt, sugar and several grinds of black pepper.
3. Sprinkle with chopped mint or torn basil.
4. Put all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix.
5. Toss immediately in just enough dressing to coat the tomatoes and taste for seasoning.
5. Tomatoes must be dressed as soon as they are cut to seal in the flavour.

Courtesy: Darina Allen

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Harvest Exchange and Seed Bank

As of late, David and I can be found combing our neighborhood asking neighbors if we can pick a modest amount of fruit from their trees. You see, there are soooo many fruit trees around town. Sadly, virtually all of them are treated simply as ornamental additions to a landscape, or perhaps as nuisances as their fruit falls to the ground to rot.

But that is food, and it is often beyond delicious!
These trees are usually not treated with any harmful chemicals, and they are not genetically modified.
There is no corporate middleman

It hasn't been shipped from thousands of miles away
And the food is, dare I say, FREE!?!

Anyway…that is what got me thinking.

What if we created a harvest exchange network in our community? Basically, a network of folks to share the wealth of produce that is flourishing, including backyard gardens. And what if it was done through simple exchange, no money involved anywhere. Not a cent. If neighbor ‘A’ has too many oranges, they can trade with neighbor ‘B’ who has too many avocados, both of whom can trade with neighbor ‘C’ who has too many tomatoes. We love the idea. This has also led to our considering the creation of a local seed bank. What do you think?

Monday, July 7, 2008

A reason to grow your own.....

A couple of easy to watch, easy to absorb documentaries on our country's food supply......




This month we have several flours available for purchase, two of them being flours produced through the Unifine process.

In this process the grain enters a high speed rotor and is instantly shattered into fine flour - even the bran and germ are burst! Air goes through the rotor with the grain and blows the flour out, thus keeping it cool throughout the process, retaining many nutrients. With the Unifine Process the natural oils in the grain are kept intact and do not get hot like in regular grain milling and stoneground milling.

We have both Unifine Kamut and Spelt flours. What is Kamut? What is Spelt, you might ask?

Kamut: Believed to be an ancient relative of Wheat, Kamut is a high protein grain, generally containing 30% more protein than wheat. Its amino acid ratio is about the same as wheat so if you should happen to be eating nothing but Kamut, you may wish to add some peanut butter, legumes or some other food high in lysine to give you a little better amino acid blend. It takes a while to cook, but has a wonderful buttery flavor and chewy texture. One of the interesting things about this strain of wheat is that many with wheat allergies do not seem to be bothered by this grain (those with Celiac disease should, however avoid Kamut).

  • Since we also have the whole Kamut grain available, here are Cooking Instructions: 1 cup Kamut to 3 cups of water, cover and simmer on low heat.

Spelt: Another type of wheat that has been around for thousands of years. Also tolerated by wheat sensitive individuals. It can be easily substituted for wheat in many recipes. Has 30% more protein that wheat, and contains considerable B vitamins, magnesium, and fiber.

We have BioKleen Laundry Liquid available as a bulk purchase. Here's a little about it:

Biokleen Laundry Liquid is Phosphate & chlorine free! Laundry Liquid from Biokleen gets fabrics cleaner, brighter, even in cold or hard water (like we have here in Whittier). Very concentrated, a little goes a long way. Great for hand-washables and delicates, and can be used to pre-treat stains before washing. Naturally safe and controls musty mildew odors on towels, and clothes left longer in the washer. Rinses clean leaving no skin-irritating residue. Great for people with sensitive skin or allergies. Biodegrades rapidly without harm to the environment. No animal testing.....No animal ingredients.

  • Directions for Use:Add soap, start water, add laundry. Always wash whites and colors separately and follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • Top-Load Washers: Use 2 Tbs. (1 oz.) per full load.
  • Gentle & Delicate Cycles: Use 1 Tbs. (1/2 oz.) per full load.
  • Hand Washables: Use 1 or 2 tsp. in sink with cold water.
  • Stains: Pre-treat stains by applying directly to stain, gently rub in and launder as directed.
  • Ingredients: Surfactants & water conditioners from coconut, linear ethoxilate from coconut, grapefruit seed and pulp extract, orange peel extract, antiredeposit agents from corn, filtered spring water.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Natural Pest Repellant

Here is a recipe for non-chemical pest sprays for use in your garden. This is not my recipe, though I don't recall where I originally got it.

It will keep for up to a week in your refrigerator, so small batches are best.

1 small peeled onion
2 peeled garlic cloves
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups of water

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Let the mix sit overnight in the fridge, then strain the liquid into a spray bottle. Use liberally on plants.

More Bulk Bags

*** As a fun option, if you give me one of your old favorite t-shirts, I will assemble it into reusable bags for you at no cost (donations would be gratefully accepted)***

$13.75 - 4 piece set

This time made from a recycled t-shirt. I will be adding more sets from time to time if you do not like the designs currently available.

Multi-piece set of Produce/Bulk bags made from an old t-shirt.

Yup, thats right - no new cotton used!

Did you know that a cotton t-shirt can take decades to decompose in a landfill?

Each bag has a drawstring closure, with a small glass bead to cinch each bag closed, until you want it open. I've also individually weighed each bag and included the tare weights.

Quantity of bags and bag sizes vary per set.....but all sets easily pack up inside of their smallest counterpart...which usually measures about 5" x 5". Please see the 2nd pic below. Once all bags are tucked away, you easily tuck them inside your purse, or just slip the drawstring over your wrist for a trip to the market. Smallest bags are great for herbs, teas, or small produce items like jalapenos.

Shirts/bags have been washed and dried.

Please remember these sets are made from used t-shirts, and may have a few blemishes. All bags have been washed well with friendly cleaning products.

My goal in making these bags available is to offer folks an easy, fun way to STOP using disposable produce bags. If you are a participating member of our buying group - you are welcome to pick up a set of bags free of charge (though a donation would be gratefully accepted). Please just let us know which design / color you would like.

$14.75 - 5 piece set (above)

$13.25 - 5 piece set (above)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Order for June 6th

We have some new product additions for this purchase. Here is some information about items and suppliers on our most recent order.


Our supplier is a family farm that has been growing in California for 25 years. They grow only certified organic rices, fed by the Shasta watershed. The rice is milled only when ordered using their custom built rice mill, which was designed to remove the husk, but leave intact the nutritious bran layers of their Organic Brown Rice. We have both Short and Medium grains available for purchase.


Grown on a small family farm in Central California, they have been growing almonds since the early 1900's. All Almonds are Certified Organic.

Featured Item this month is CASHEWS:

Though internationally sourced, the supplier of these cashews is a non-profit organization that has been around since the early 90's. They have been involved in the fair-trade community for decades, and have a commitment to alleviating poverty, malnutrition and exploitation by creating a fair trade market for the products they sell. I spoke with one of the directors of the organization, and he has a great passion for what they are doing. Our cashews are Certified Organic, grown in Honduras.

Now, how about a little cashew trivia:

Cashews are actually not nuts, but seeds that are related to the mango, pistachio and poison ivy.

30 grams (about 1/4 cup) of raw cashews contains the following:

  • 10% of DV of Iron (one of the best nuts for Iron)
  • 2% DV of Calcium
  • 35% DV of Copper
  • 20% DV of Magnesium (works with calcium to promote strong bones)
  • 5 grams of Protein
  • 20 mg Vitamin A
  • Also a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, and Thaimin


Teriyaki Cashew Lettuce Wraps - so easy, yummy snack

1 package of extra firm tofu crumbled (can also use veggie crumbles or moistened TVP)

Soy Vay Veri Teri


Romaine Hearts

Add a little oil to a pan and cook off some of the moisture from the tofu, add Veri Teri to taste. Add a little oil to another pan, and very lightly brown the cashews. Spoon tofu mixture and cashews into a chilled romaine leaf.

Cashew "Cheese" - great for au gratin dishes, pasta, or veggies.

1/4 cup raw cashews

1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

2 tsp sweet white miso

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 cup water, more or less as needed.

Grind the cashews to powder in a dry blender. Add the remaining ingredients, using just enough water to make a thick but pourable sauce. Process several minutes until completely smooth.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tomato Avocado and Barley Salad with Fire Roasted Serrano Vinaigrette

3 cups water
1 cup pearl barley
1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
3 cups diced fresh tomatoes
2 avocados peeled seeded and diced
1/4 cup pine nuts toasted

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves stems removed
2 Serrano or Jalapeno chile peppers
2 Tbl Balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp agave nectar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Fresh basil leaves (optional)

loving preparation
1. In a large saucepan with a lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add the pearl barley. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and let cool. Stir in the tomatoes, avocado and pine nuts.
2. Preheat a grill to medium high heat.* Place the peppers directly on the grill rack and grill, turning occasionally until all sides are evenly blackened and charred. Place peppers in a small paper bag for 5-10 minutes and close to let them steam (this will make removing the skins much easier). Remove the peppers from the paper bag and carefully peel off and discard the skins (you may want to wear rubber gloves). Slice each pepper in half and remove and discard any seeds or membranes.
3. In a small food processor or blender combine the basil, roasted Serrano peppers, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt and agave nectar. With the motor on the food processor running pour in the extra virgin olive oil and process until well combined. Pour vinaigrette over the barley salad and stir gently to combine. Garnish if desired with fresh basil leaves.

Serving suggestions
~ For a lovely optional presentation hollow out several red green or yellow peppers and fill each with a portion of the salad and garnish with the fresh basil leaves.
*You may roast the peppers under the broiler in your oven

Thanks to Veronica Callaghan

Sunday, May 25, 2008

mmmmm - Raw Pepita Pate

Nice side for a Memorial Day Picnic:

2 cups Pepita soaked in distilled water for 1-2 hours
1 jalapeno - seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 2 limes
1+ tbsp salt (use your best judgement here - I used Himalayan and needed less than a tsp)
1 tbsp cumin
1 bunch of cilantro, washed and chopped
1/4 cup scallions
1/2 cup tomato, seeded, chopped into 1/8" dice

Grind Pepita, jalapeno, lime juice, and seasonings in food processor. Add water as needed (likely about 1/2 cup). Once smooth, fold in cilantro, scallions, and tomato.

...we think its best chilled, WITH lots of tomatoes.....

Thanks to World Vegan Fusion Cuisine

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Report Targets Costs Of Factory Farming

Finally!!! These issues are being touched upon by the mainstream media.....

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Factory farming takes a big, hidden toll on human health and the environment, is undermining rural America's economic stability and fails to provide the humane treatment of livestock increasingly demanded by American consumers, concludes an independent, 2 1/2 -year analysis that calls for major changes in the way corporate agriculture produces meat, milk and eggs.

The report released yesterday, sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, finds that the "economies of scale" used to justify factory farming practices are largely an illusion, perpetuated by a failure to account for associated costs.

Among those costs are human illnesses caused by drug-resistant bacteria associated with the rampant use of antibiotics on feedlots and the degradation of land, water and air quality caused by animal waste too intensely concentrated to be neutralized by natural processes.

Several observers said the report, by experts with varying backgrounds and allegiances, is remarkable for the number of tough recommendations that survived the grueling research and review process, which participants said was politically charged and under constant pressure from powerful agricultural interests.

In the end, however, even industry representatives on the panel agreed to such controversial recommendations as a ban on the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in farm animals -- a huge hit against veterinary pharmaceutical companies -- a phaseout of all intensive confinement systems that prevent the free movement of farm animals, and more vigorous enforcement of antitrust laws in the increasingly consolidated agricultural arena.

"At the end of his second term, President Dwight Eisenhower warned the nation about the dangers of the military-industrial complex -- an unhealthy alliance between the defense industry, the Pentagon, and their friends on Capitol Hill," wrote Robert P. Martin, executive director of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, which wrote the report. "Now the agro-industrial complex -- an alliance of agricultural commodity groups, scientists at academic institutions who are paid by the industry, and their friends on Capitol Hill -- is a concern in animal food production in the 21st century."

The report, "Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Production in America," comes at a time when food, agriculture and animal welfare issues are prominent in the American psyche.
Food prices are rising faster than they have for decades. Concerns about global climate change have brought new attention to the fact that modern agriculture is responsible for about 20 percent of the nation's greenhouse-gas production. And recent meat recalls, punctuated by the release of undercover footage of cows being abused at a California slaughterhouse, have struck a chord with consumers.

The report acknowledges that the decades-long trend toward reliance on "concentrated animal feeding operations," or CAFOs, has brought some benefits, including cheaper food. In 1970, the average American spent 4.2 percent of his or her income to buy 194 pounds of red meat and poultry annually. By 2005, typical Americans were spending 2.1 percent of their income for 221 pounds per year.

But the system has brought unintended consequences. With thousands of animals kept in close quarters, diseases spread quickly. To prevent some of those outbreaks -- and to spur faster growth -- factory farms routinely treat animals with antibiotics, speeding the development of drug-resistant bacteria and in some cases rendering important medications less effective in people.

It appears that the vast majority of U.S. antibiotic use is for animals, the commission noted, adding that because of the lack of oversight by the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies, even regulators can only estimate how many drugs are being given to animals.
The commission urges stronger reporting requirements for companies and a phaseout and then ban on antibiotics in farm animals except as treatments for disease, a policy already initiated in some European countries.
"That's a good recommendation. A strong recommendation," said Margaret Mellon of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which released its own report last week documenting billions of dollars in farm subsidies to factory farming operations and annual federal expenditures of $100 million to clean up their ongoing environmental damage.

The Pew report also calls for tighter regulation of factory farm waste, finding that toxic gases and dust from animal waste are making CAFO workers and neighbors ill.

In calling for a 10-year phaseout of intensive confinement systems such as gestation crates for pigs and so-called battery cages for chickens, the commission adds impetus to recent commitments from some corporate operators to drop, gradually, those controversial practices.
"These animals can't engage in normal behavior at all," said commission member Michael Blackwell, a veterinarian and former assistant U.S. surgeon general.
Calls for comments from industry representatives were not returned.

The report also calls for implementation of a long-delayed national tracking system that would allow trace-back of diseased animals within 48 hours after a human outbreak of food-borne disease. And it calls for an end to forced feeding of poultry to produce foie gras, a delicacy that Blackwell described unpalatably as "diseased liver."

Activists said it will be up to Congress and agency officials, under public pressure, to implement some of the commission's recommendations. Congress is now considering a bill, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, that would accomplish some of the Pew recommendations.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Black Lentil Salad with Chard

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

1 cup black lentils cooked according to directions then left to cool
6 strips veggie bacon cut into 1/4" pieces
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1-2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 small onion finely chopped
5 stalks Swiss chard, bottom 1/3 of stem discarded. Cut into 1" strips
2 tablespoon veggie stock
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Add veggie bacon, onions, garlic to pan and cook on low until onions are translucent. I used the recipe found on here on VegWeb for Vegan Bacon at I've also used storebought veggie bacon strips.

Add chard and veggie stock to pan. Cover and allow chard to steam for a couple minutes. Uncover and cook on low a couple more minutes.

Add vinegar, mustard, onion mixture to lentils. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in herbs and bell at last minute.

Refrigerate for at least an hour to cool and distribute the flavors.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reusable ORGANIC Cotton Produce / Bulk Bags Available

I've started making bulk bags, as promised. (And reusable tea bags soon to come). 

Pictured are the medium sized bags.

Now you can REALLY stop using plastic bags! These are breathable, and will also protect your veggies as they travel home from the market with you.
They are made from a tight weave Organic Cotton, and have a drawstring closure with a small glass bead to help close, and keep closed....

I've pre-washed the bags with soap nuts, and rinsed in a white vinegar and water solution, so they are clean but you don't get any nasty detergent residue or fragrances on your foods. They have also been dried, so you can wash them over and over without shrinkage.

All seams have been double-stitched.

Please contact us if you are interested.
SIZES & PRICING:Large: 12" x 15"
2 for $12.50
1 for $7

Medium: 9" x 12"
2 for $7.50
1 for $4.50
Small: 5" x 7" - Good for herbs and teas
3 for $6
1 for $2.50

Or get a set of 2 large, 2 medium, and 3 small for $25.00 (save another $1)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hey, look what we can do....

I must say...I am extraordinarily excited about my recent discovery!!!

Preface: We've lived in our apartment for about 4 years now...we are on the bottom floor of a two story building, and tucked away into a little corner that doesn't get much light (in or out)....which is FABULOUS in the Whittier summers. We stay so nice and cool even when its blistering out.

But the lack of direct light has always prevented us from growing anything, no veggies, no herbs, not even any common plants one might expect to find on a patio. I have given up on trying to grow anything. We do, however, have avocados delight if you can figure a way to get at the avocados that hang three stories over our patio.

Yesterday morning I spent a good part of the morning cleaning our patio, when I noticed, quite surprised, 'hey, there is some sunlight hitting the top of the fence.'

Several hours after that I noticed 'hey, there is still light at the top of the fence'

Several hours after that I noticed 'hot damn! there's still light hitting the fence!'

What happened is this: About 5 months ago, the property owner had that giant avocado tree pruned for the first time in many many years.......letting in the light (it only took me 5 months to notice how wonderful this would be)

So for the first time in four years I've got me a tiny little garden a'brewin......

Today I started a few seeds, organic basil, oregano, and some jalapenos.

Happy days. We'll see what happens.

Friday, April 25, 2008

What is "Slow Food"?

Good, Clean and Fair: the Manifesto of Quality According to Slow

The food production and consumption systems most common today are harmful to the earth, to its ecosystems and to the peoples that inhabit it.

Taste, biodiversity, the health of humans and animals, well-being and nature are coming under continuous attack. This jeopardizes the very urge to eat and produce food as gastronomes and exercise the right to pleasure without harming the existence of others or the environmental equilibria of the planet we live on.

If, as the farmer poet Wendell Berry says, "eating is an agricultural act," it follows that producing food must be considered a "gastronomic act."

The consumer orients the market and production with his or her choices and, growing aware of these processes, he or she assumes a new role. Consumption becomes part of the productive act and the consumer thus becomes a co-producer.

The producer plays a key role in this process, working to achieve quality, making his or her experience available and welcoming the knowledge and knowhow of others.

The effort must be a common one and must be made in the same aware, shared and interdisciplinary spirit as the science of gastronomy.

Each of us is called upon to practice and disseminate a new, more precise and, at the same time, broader concept of food quality based on three basic, interconnected prerequisites. Quality food must be:

1. Good. A food’s flavor and aroma, recognizable to educated, well-trained senses, is the fruit of the competence of the producer and of choice of raw materials and production methods, which should in no way alter its naturalness;

2. Clean. The environment has to be respected and sustainable practices of farming, animal husbandry, processing, marketing and consumption should be taken into serious consideration. Every stage in the agro-industrial production chain, consumption included, should protect ecosystems and biodiversity, safeguarding the health of the consumer and the producer;

3. Fair. Social justice should be pursued through the creation of conditions of labor respectful of man and his rights and capable of generating adequate rewards; through the pursuit of balanced global economies; through the practice of sympathy and solidarity; through respect for cultural diversities and traditions;

Good, Clean and Fair quality is a pledge for a better future.

Good, Clean and Fair quality is an act of civilization and a tool to improve the food system as it is today: everyone can contribute to Good, Clean and Fair quality through their choices and individual behavior.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Vegan Cheezy Tortilla Soup

Still cool enough outside to be able to enjoy a bowl of soup for dinner. Put this together one night in a pinch and it was a hit! Hearty, delicious, and super easy.

Ingredients (use vegan versions):
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/2 yellow chili, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes - roughly chopped, and liquid
3 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoon veggie bouillon (we used Better-Than-Bouillon)
1-2 teaspoon tahini
2 teaspoons miso
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 can pinto beans, and liquid
1/2 bag frozen spinach
2 small potatoes cubed
1 carrot, 1/4" diagonal slices
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons cornmeal
Bragg Aminos to taste

Saute onion until translucent, add garlic, chili, and bell pepper.Saute until tender. Add cumin and oregano. Cook several more minutes.Boil water, add bouillon, nutritional yeast, Tahini, miso, tomatoes and tomato liquid, beans and bean liquid, spinach, potatoes, carrot, and cornmeal. Cover and simmer until potatoes & carrots are tender. Add cilantro. Add Braggs to taste.Serve with crumbled tortilla chips on top, and hot sauce on the side.

Serves: 6-ish
Preparation time: 30- 40 minutes

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Order for April 14th, 2008. Loose Leaf Teas

We'll be placing an order this Monday (April 14th) for Tea. We have chosen a selection of all loose-leaf teas: two green tea blends, herbal Valerian Root, herbal Yerba Mate, and herbal Rooibos (or Rooibush) tea....pronounced "roy-boss".

Our Green-Tea purchase this time around will be from a Global Co-Op focused on promoting fair-trade and healthy relationships. So, while their tea is not locally produced, it is organic and and equitably traded. This organization places a healthy emphasis on education about fairly traded products and their mutual benefits to consumer and farmer.

David and I have purchased from them in the past, but this time around we made a donation and have become members of their cooperative organization which, in turn, helps them maintain a positive effect in the marketplace, and helps us by lowering our costs slightly - which we can then pass onto our members.

All products they purchase, come directly from cooperatives of low-income and small farmers or through nonprofit alternative channels. Some products are limited by the amount of each co-op's annual harvest. David has found himself particularly in love with the Green Moroccan Mint, and wanted to be sure I told everyone that it came highly recommended.

Our herbal teas will all be purchased from another supplier, they offer all Fair Trade Certified and Organically grown teas.

Our Feature tea offering this time around is Rooibos. It is an herbal tea (decaffeinated)originating in South Africa, where it is commonly prepared with milk and sugar; elsewhere it is usually prepared without. The flavor of rooibos tea is often described as being sweet (without sugar added) and slightly nutty. The brew is a reddish brown color, explaining why rooibos is sometimes referred to as "red tea". One of the most interesting things I learned about this tea is its ability to settle upset stomachs.

To Prepare Rooibos: Rooibos tea should be steeped or brewed for a minimum of 5 minutes to release the flavor and the valuable antioxidants and minerals. Experts suggest that brewing Rooibos for 10 minutes or longer will increase the antioxidant content of the tea by 30%, longer brewing can also enhance the flavor. After this, the tea can be used immediately or stored. It can be reheated or cooled without any effect, as the tea is very low in tannins and will thus not turn bitter as normal coffee and tea would. One Teaspoon of Rooibos tea is enough for one cup of tea.