Co-op Blog

If you love carrots you have something to look forward to in the cold of winter!  Several local growers have bountiful carrot crops that are harvested starting in late August, and continue on through late March.  The August through September harvest is primarily from Hi Hoe Produce at Blue Bird Farm.  Barking Moon Farm and Blue Fox Farm continue on to February or March.  Last... Read More
That expression about making lemonade out of lemons applies in a different sort of way to the Farm to School Apple Program. Apples are not all created equal, some are big some are small.  What goes to market needs to be a consistent size.  Washington state fuji apple growers inevitably have a range of apple sizes to contend with.  In 2011 Tom and David Lively from Organically... Read More
Here’s a New Year’s resolution that will change your life! Use more herbs and spices in your everyday meal preparations. The first step might be out with the old and in with the new. So go through your spice drawer or cupboard and get rid of the old, dusty spices that have been around longer than a year. Likely these have lost their bright color and aroma. Save the jars and... Read More
Everyone knows about the traditional New Year’s Day dish called Hoppin’ John, but the origins of the name are more mysterious. A common belief is that the dish originated in Louisiana where it was called by the French Creole name for pigeon peas, a dried pea similar to the black-eyed pea. The French Creole term is “pois a pigeon” which is pronounced pwah peeJon. Say it fast... Read More
A really great way to use a spice blend is to rub it on your favorite meat, poultry, tofu or winter squash before cooking. Besides herbs and spices, a rub will include salt and often sugar. This creates a flavorful crust and draws out a little moisture which helps with browning. There are many spice blends available, but making one’s own signature blends will take your food... Read More
If you’ve ever had the urge to lick the last bits of a chutney right off your plate, you get the Hindi origin of the word which means to lick. A really good chutney offers pungent spices perfectly blended with the fruit or veggies that are the main ingredients. There might be just a couple or there might be as many as 15. Regardless there is a balance of sweet and sour and... Read More
Even though it is often called celery root, celeriac is not a root at all but a hypocotyl or stem of a germinating seedling. It is one of those vegetables that has plenty of character. The entire outer case is covered with wart like bumps and whorls of undulating tan and green. Every ridge and curve is a potential trap for dirt and soil.  Gnarly root endings dangle from the... Read More
A centuries old holiday tradition for many families is gathering together to make tamales.  The numerous steps involved in creating these spicy little packets make them a perfect excuse for kitchen gatherings. Stories are shared as pots of savory fillings and steamer baskets full of corn husk wrapped tamales fill the room with memorable aromas. The more traditional fillings... Read More
If you look at the flower, stem, calyx and petals  of a cranberry plant just right, they do resemble the neck, head and bill of a crane.  That’s what early Europeans thought  so the name stuck for a while.  Eventually it was shortened to cranberry.  Reportedly the berry was one of the first gifts Native Americans gave to the European arrivals.  It wasn’t long before the... Read More
A surprising number of people believe there is pumpkin in pumpkin pie spice. Seems logical, but the spice blend is merely a bundling of spices commonly used to season what would otherwise be a rather bland-tasting pie. Usually the combination is cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. Pumpkin spice has been around since the 1950’s when large spice and herb companies... Read More