member deals

Spotlight on Lotus Foods

We’re casting our Co-op spotlight on Lotus Foods this week to bring awareness to their grassroots rice revolution that is helping to bring sustainably grown, organic, and non-GMO rice to your dinner table! All of their products are 20% off for member-owners from October 19th – 25th. Read on to learn more about the groundbreaking agricultural practices that are making this possible and the impact that it’s having in rice-growing regions of the world:

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Lotus Foods was founded in 1995 with the intent and vision to support sustainable global agriculture by promoting the production of traditional heirloom rice varieties, many of which may otherwise be extinct, while enabling the small family rice farmer to earn an honorable living. They learned that up to one-third of the planet’s annual renewable supply of fresh water is used to irrigate rice and recognized that this practice is not sustainable. These wasteful agricultural methods are depleting our water resources faster than they are being recharged, creating water scarcity. For this reason, in 2008, Lotus Foods committed to partnering with small-scale farmers who radically changed how they grow rice, using less to produce more.

Lotus Foods feels strongly that sustainability is premised on an ethical framework that includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, and a culture of peace. They believe that eradicating poverty and promoting social and economic justice must begin with agriculture and must be accomplished in a way that protects and restores the natural resources on which all life depends. At the crux of this challenge is rice, which provides a source of living to more than two billion people, most earning less than $200 per year.

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A Grassroots Rice Revolution

More Crop Per Drop is how Lotus Foods refers to their rice grown using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). SRI is a not a new seed or input, but rather a different way of cultivating rice that enables small-scale farmers to double and triple their yields while using 80-90% less seed, 50% less water, and less or no chemical inputs. That’s revolutionary!

Why is SRI so Important?

This unique agricultural method addresses some of the most important challenges we face this century – namely to feed several billion more people with dwindling land and water resources and without further degrading the planet’s environment. SRI has been largely grassroots-driven, fueled by marginalized male & female farmers and the non-profit organizations (NGOs) who advocate for their welfare, like Oxfam, Africare, WWF and many dedicated local NGOs and individuals. The reason these farmers are so excited about SRI is that it represents an opportunity for more food, more money, better health, and more options – in short, for a way out of poverty.

Lotus Foods sees SRI as a logical extension of their mission. They offer six exceptional SRI-grown rice varieties, and call them More Crop Per Drop to bring to special attention to water as a diminishing resource. Fully one-quarter to one-third of the planet’s annual freshwater supplies are used to irrigate and grow the global rice crop. And in Asia, where most rice is grown and eaten, about 84% of water withdrawal is for agriculture, mostly for irrigating rice. Water scarcity is having an increasingly significant impact on agriculture. According to the WWF, “The SRI method for growing rice could save hundreds of billions of cubic meters of water while increasing food security.”  Check out this cool video from the Better U Foundation to learn more about SRI:

What about Organic Certification, Fair Trade Certification & Non-GMO Verification?

Most of their rice varieties are already certified organic, while others are in the process of becoming certified, and still others are working to help develop a certifying program in their country of origin. These organic and transitional rices are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or ionizing radiation. Their rices are 100% fair-trade certified and non-GMO verified. Lotus Foods has also been B-Corp certified since February of 2012. B corporations are legally obligated to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, consumers, and their environment. Lotus Foods shares the conviction that we can change the world for the better with how we choose to do business.

At the Co-op, you’ll find several varieties of Lotus Foods rice in our bulk department, and in the grocery department, you’ll find their packaged rice and also their delicious rice ramen noodles. Visit their website for excellent tips and recipes!

 

Spotlight on Equal Exchange

October is Co-op Month, Fair Trade Month, and Non-GMO month, so it seemed like the perfect time to shine our Member Deals Spotlight on Equal Exchange – a cooperative that is revolutionizing the fair trade of organic, non-GMO coffee, chocolate, bananas, and avocados. All of their co-op produced, fair trade certified goods are 20% off for member-owners from October 12th – 18th!

History:

Equal Exchange was started 30 years ago to create an alternative trade paradigm where small farmers could have a seat at the trading table. The existing predominant trade model favors large plantations, agri-business, and multi-national corporations. Equal Exchange seeks to challenge that model in favor of one that supports & respects small farmers, builds communities, supports the environment and connects consumers and producers through information, education, and the exchange of products in the marketplace.

Mission:

Their mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through their success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.

Authentic Fair Trade:

Authentic fair trade is central to their mission at Equal Exchange. The fair trade model gives small-scale farmers collective power and financial stability while improving farming communities and protecting the environment. To do so, it utilizes a particular set of business practices voluntarily adopted by the producers and buyers of agricultural commodities and hand-made crafts that are designed to advance many economic, social and environmental goals, including:
• Raising and stabilizing the incomes of small-scale farmers, farm workers, and artisans
• More equitably distributing the economic gains, opportunities, and risks associated with the production and sale of these goods
• Increasing the organizational and commercial capacities of producer groups
• Supporting democratically owned and controlled producer organizations
• Promoting labor rights and the right of workers to organize
• Promoting safe and sustainable farming methods and working conditions
• Connecting consumers and producers
• Increasing consumer awareness and engagement with issues affecting producers

 

What Impact is Fair Trade Having on Farmers & Their Communities?

Bananas:

According to the USDA, the average American eats 26 pounds of bananas per year. That’s a lot of bananas – and a big opportunity for impact. The banana industry is notorious for low wages and heavy chemical use, causing major health problems across banana producing regions. Together, Equal Exchange and their banana partners are creating a trade model that respects farmers, builds communities, and supports the environment. By buying Equal Exchange bananas, you are choosing to connect yourself to these courageous banana farmers who are making history for themselves, and quite possibly, for the entire banana industry. Click here to read more about the progressive small farmer banana cooperatives that partner with Equal Exchange.
Here’s a look at the impact of your Equal Exchange banana purchases in 2016:

 

Avocados:

Equal Exchange partners with PRAGOR, a progressive group of small-scale avocado farmers in Michoacán Mexico. PRAGOR is composed of 18 producer members who each own an average of 10-15 acres of land, all 100% organic. This region of Mexico is called “the avocado capital of the world.” However, powerful corporate interests have made it difficult for small-scale farmers to compete. In response, PRAGOR courageously organized and decided they would collectively control the entire process from growing to exporting. PRAGOR’s strength and perseverance is a lesson for anyone committed to working for change in the world!
Here’s a look at the impact of your Equal Exchange avocado purchases in 2016:

Coffee:

This is where it all began! Way back In 1986, the founders of Equal Exchange started their journey with a Nicaraguan coffee — which they called Café Nica — and they haven’t looked back. The impact over the years has been incredible and your purchases of fairly traded coffee have helped build pride, independence and community empowerment for hundreds of small farmers and their families. Their latest project, the Women in Coffee series, highlights women leaders across the Equal Exchange coffee supply chain and represents an opportunity to spark community discussions around Fair Trade, gender empowerment, and relationships across food supply chains. Check out this short documentary to learn more about the Women In Coffee project:

 

Women in Coffee: Short Documentary from Equal Exchange on Vimeo.

Spotlight on Organic Valley Co-op

October is Co-op Month and we’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight this week on America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers – Organic Valley!  All Organic Valley products are 20% off for member-owners from October 5th – 11th! Read on to learn more about Organic Valley’s rich history, their commitment to their farmer-owners, and to the environment:

In the 1980’s, a dairy farming crisis was underway. The price for milk fell below production costs and the dairy farmers producing it were facing economic extinction. Farmers were told to “get big or get out”. Industrial, chemical farming was presented as the only existing option for survival. Never mind its effects on our health, our animals, and our environment.

There were many farmers who simply didn’t want to be industrial, chemical farmers at the mercy of corporate agriculture. Thankfully, in 1988 a Wisconsin farmer named George Siemon hung posters calling like-minded farmers in his community to band together. Family farmers filled the Viroqua county courthouse and all agreed that there had to be a better, more sustainable way to continue doing the work they loved in a way that protects the land, animals, economy and people’s health. And that’s how their farmer-owned cooperative was born.

This pioneering group of farmers set high organic standards, which eventually served as the framework for the USDA’s organic rules. The cooperative first focused on organic vegetables, calling themselves the CROPP (Coulee Region Organic Produce Pool) Cooperative, and within a year they expanded to include organic dairy. Demand for their organic products grew, as did farmers’ interest in joining the thriving cooperative. Interest came from farmers and consumers all over the country, and it became clear that they needed a new name to represent their broader base. With that, the CROPP cooperative became Organic Valley. 

 

Now, almost 30 years later, Organic Valley continues to produce some of the highest quality organic dairy, vegetables, soy, and eggs. They remain farmer-owned and remain true to the powerful working model that puts the environment, wholesome quality food, and the farmer first.

Click HERE to read more about the family of farmers that make up the Organic Valley Co-op and find out if there are any near you!

Click HERE for the top 5 reasons to choose organic.

Click HERE to read about sustainability initiatives at Organic Valley.

Click HERE for fabulous recipes.

Business of the Month – Stone Leaf Teahouse

A whistling tea kettle, the spicy aroma of simmering chai, a quiet space to sit, relax, and enjoy the moment…these are all part of the experience when you visit our Co-op Connection Business of the Month, Stone Leaf Teahouse, and it seems to beckon us this time of year when the air turns cool and crisp. Located in the heart of Middlebury’s Marbleworks, the Teahouse offers an oasis of calm in the center of an otherwise bustling little town. The staff has an intimate knowledge of the impressive list of teas offered and owner, John Wetzel, has traveled to the farms from which their teas are sourced, gaining an even deeper understanding of the tea’s journey from farm to cup. Even the greenest tea novice will feel right at home as John and his crew help you pick out the perfect tea to sip during your visit. Remind them that you’re a Co-op member-owner and you’ll receive 10% off! You can also find their premium loose leaf teas in our Bulk tea department. Most of the 2017 teas are in stock and it’s a unique treat to have teas this fresh available in our store. Read on to learn more about the tea house and their offerings.

About Us:

Based in Vermont, our teas reflect our ideals; grown with skill and heart to cultivate a healthy ecosystem and global community. Each year we visit the tea gardens that produce the finest teas in the world. We connect you to the families that have grown and processed tea for generations.

Established in 2009, Stone Leaf Teahouse was built, well from the stone. Upon returning from travels in India and Taiwan, we searched for the perfect space for storing and serving quality tea. We found that space in the Marbleworks in Middlebury, Vermont…our little “tea cave”. Surrounded by stone, our fresh teas keep fresh, and our aging teas age gracefully.

Our Focus:

We travel to all the regions that we source tea to forge a connection between the grower and drinker, directly importing from China, Taiwan, India, Nepal, and Japan (with more to come as we grow!).

We source teas fresh, buying the best harvests, often multiple times a year.

We connect the tea drinker to the tea garden.

We are students of tea, here to share the connection through a cup of tea.

Workshops:

Would you like to delve deeper into the world of tea? Check out the workshop calendar for some exciting opportunities to learn more!  The upcoming “Tea Through the Senses” workshop sounds particularly enjoyable. You can also visit the Tea House blog to read more about John’s tea travels and tips on brewing the perfect cup of tea!

 

Spotlight on Four Pillars Farm

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight this week on Four Pillars farm of Whiting, Vermont. This beautiful organic farm provides our Co-op with an abundant array of local produce and you will find it all at 20% off for member-owners from September 28th – October 4th! Read on to learn more about this gem nestled in the fertile valley of Addison County.

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Four Pillars Farm is a certified organic vegetable farm set in the beautiful, fertile rolling hills of southern Addison County. Their mission is to provide healthy, top quality produce, to grow better not bigger, to protect and build the fertility and biological diversity on their land and build relationships with their community partners by encouraging them to come and see how their food is being grown.

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Farmer-owner Peter Cousineau is committed to the use of growing practices that go beyond sustainable to regenerative. He incorporates permaculture principles into his farming methods to help recycle nutrients in the soil, promote water retention, and prevent soil degradation. He has also worked to increase beneficial insect populations on the farm and has remineralized the soil to bring back the 70+ trace minerals that most veggies are missing these days due to soil-degrading farming practices.

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Another permaculture principle evident in Cousineau’s practices is the concept of people care. One example includes an annual event where he invites employees from our Co-op and other neighboring Co-ops that sell his produce to visit the farm, take a tour, and enjoy a farm-to-table meal that he prepared. This annual gathering is not only an opportunity to see the gorgeous farm where the produce is grown and learn more about what it takes to get the produce from seed to co-op shelf, but also provides an important opportunity to build relationships, mutual respect, and truly engage in a community partnership between producers and consumers.  Below are some photos from last year’s gathering.

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Spotlight on Champlain Orchards

Happy Autumn! The crisp chill in the morning air and the first few dappled leaves high in the mountains signal that the season is here, along with the abundance of local apples. We’re deep into our celebration of Eat Local Month and we’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on one of the oldest continuously operating orchards in Vermont – Champlain Orchards in Shoreham! They’re featured in our Member Deals program this week, so member-owners can enjoy 20% off their stunning array of fresh apples and apple products including sweet apple cider, apple pies, and apple cider donuts, along with their peaches, plums, and red pears from September 21st – 27th! Read on to learn more about this family-owned, solar powered, ecologically managed orchard overlooking Lake Champlain.

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The story of Champlain Orchards as we know it today began in 1998, when twenty-seven-year-old Bill Suhr purchased 60 acres of orchard in Shoreham, Vermont.  Bill’s motivation and initiative to live off the land overshadowed the fact that apple growing and fruit farming were not in his realm of knowledge, but thanks to the seasoned expertise of long established neighboring orchardists Sandy Witherell, Scott and Bob Douglas, and Judy Pomainville – who all shared equipment, land, and information, it wasn’t long before the orchard was thriving.  In the early days, Bill delivered 20 bushels at a time in a station wagon to the local farmers’ markets and co-ops. He quickly gained the trust of produce markets around the state through exhibiting a steadfast motivation and passion for delivering high quality, Vermont grown fruit.

 

Photo credit: S.P. Reid

 

Today, Champlain Orchards manages over 220 acres of fruit trees that includes over 70 varieties of apples as well as plums, peaches, nectarines, European and Asian Pears, raspberries, cherries, and blueberries. Their fruit is ecologically grown and third-party certified by the IPM Institute. Eight acres are certified Organic by Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) and the farm is 100% electrically solar powered, with Solar Orchard #3 in the planning stages.

Additionally, Champlain Orchards runs a cidery. Every single apple in their Vermont Hard Cider is pressed, fermented, and crafted at their orchard. This makes for a quality, local product that is fresh, crisp and deliciously drinkable. Their cidery offers original Vermont hard cider, Mac & Maple, Heirloom, Honeycrisp, Cranberry, Pruner’s pride, Ginger & Spice, Asian Pear, Honey plum, Pruner’s Promise, Sparkling Ice, Peach, Hopped Native, and Ice cider.

Photo Credit: S.P. Reid

Needless to say, Bill is as ambitious as they come. His passion for working on the land and the fruit mixed with his forward thinking and goals of success and sustainability have created a thriving Vermont agricultural business that provides to communities all over the state. But he was and is far from alone in his efforts. The knowledgeable Shoreham orchard community, an equally motivated wife and business partner, Andrea Scott, and a hard working Champlain Orchards Crew all continually contribute to cultivating and shaping the orchard into the business we know and trust today. Over the years, the orchard has grown continually in size, staff, offerings, and infrastructure. Today, the orchard harvests over 80,000 bushels of ecologically grown apples in a season, which are not only eaten fresh but also used toward sweet cider, hard cider, pie, donuts, apple butter, and cider syrup production. Their growth also allows the orchard to employ over 30 locals year round, 30 Jamaicans in the harvest season and to annually deliver to 50 schools, 28 Hannafords, 19 food co-ops, 8 colleges, 5 hospitals, various CSA’s, independent groceries, and restaurants.

Photo Credit: S.P. Reid

Bill and Andrea now have a son, Rupert (named after Rupert, Vermont, where they met at a contra dance), and a daughter named Rosa. Rupert is an expert on tractors and can tell you more about orchard operations and apple varieties than most of the crew. The four share a beautiful home on the orchard as well as a love of the outdoors, dancing, food, and music. “Although there are huge stresses and we are constantly working to find more balance, we have a huge appreciation for the lifestyle that farming allows for- the time outdoors, the time with plants and trees, and using our hands. We love watching young trees and grafted trees bearing new fruit, it always amazes us!”

Bill and Andrea have taken their dream of providing nourishing food to the community farther than they imagined and are excited to enter these new frontiers of fruit growing. Their passion for the trees and the well-being of the orchard and the environment only grows with the yearly increasing harvest and varietal plantings. Bill often remarks “I was just trying to grow some apples!” when reflecting on the evolution of Champlain Orchards and where he finds himself today. The orchard crew admires Bill and Andrea’s efforts, feel inspired by their initiative, and are proud to take part in the orchard and all that it offers to the community. And most of all, they are excited for the future of Champlain Orchards.

Spotlight on Golden Russet Farm

As we continue to celebrate Eat Local Month, we’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on a local, organic farm that has been part of our Co-op family for over 30 years – Golden Russet Farm! We acquire more produce from their farm than from any other farm in Vermont! Member-owners can enjoy 20% their abundant array of local, organic veggies and their glorious fresh-cut bouquets from September 14th – 20th! Read on to learn more about this wonderful farm and the fine folks who work tirelessly to make it such a special place:

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Farming Organically Since 1981

Farm owners Will and Judy Stevens have been growing organic vegetables commercially since 1981, having started on a small plot of rented land in Monkton, VT. After growing their business and refining their techniques, all the while learning from other pioneers in the Vermont organic farming community, they determined it was time to expand their operation. In 1984 they purchased a former dairy farm with good soils in the agriculturally-rich town of Shoreham, VT, in the southwestern corner of Addison County—home to Golden Russet Farm.

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Certified Organic in 1987

The Stevens have always used exclusively organic production practices on their vegetable and greenhouse operations and became certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers in 1987. Among other things, this means they use crop rotation, cover crops, biological and naturally-derived pest controls, compost, animal manure, and naturally-derived fertilizers as standard management practices.

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CSA, Farmstand, Greenhouse Sales & Cut Flowers for Events

Golden Russet Farm starts off the season with vegetable and flower plant sales in the greenhouses and the Farm-to-Kitchen Connection CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. In addition to raising vegetables for market, Judy also grows flowers for cutting, which adds color to the fields and creates habitat for beneficial insects. You’ll find these beautiful bouquets for sale throughout the summer months at the Co-op.

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A Hyper-Local Sales Focus

Since 2003, the farm’s focus has been on “hyper-local,” meaning that approximately 90% of their produce has been consumed within 20 miles of the farm. Their produce is available at the farm stand, their CSA, at food markets in Middlebury and Burlington, and at Addison County restaurants.

Solar Powered Since 2013

In April of 2013 the Stevens put up five free-standing solar panels which provide them with all of their farm and personal electrical energy needs.

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About The Farmers

Judy is a fourth-generation Vermonter from southern Vermont. Her family ran a successful Christmas tree business in the Londonderry area for many years. This experience helped her and Will create a successful mail order wreath business that they ran from the farm until about 2000. Will moved to Vermont from the Ticonderoga, NY area in 1977 to finish his college education at the University of Vermont, which is where he and Judy met. He graduated in 1980 with a BA in studio art, with a specialty in blacksmithing.

After spending the summer of 1980 at Shelburne Museum (Judy as a weaver, and Will in the Blacksmith’s Shop), they were serendipitously presented with the opportunity to ramp up their homestead gardening interest to a commercial scale, and in the first several years everything they grew was sold exclusively at the Burlington Farmers’ Market. From the beginning, their mission has been to provide good quality food to people at reasonable prices.

Shortly after they moved to an old dairy farm in Shoreham, VT, in November 1984, they began to raise a family–Freeman was born in 1986, Pauline in 1989, and Anna came along in 1991. The kids had a sand pile in front of the shed, which, as the greenhouse plant business grew over the years, became a magnet for customers’ children. At some point, the pile was moved to its present location at the corner of the flower garden, which makes it much easier for shopping parents to keep an eye on their children!

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Between 1989 and 1992, Will served as President of Vermont Organic Farmers, which then was NOFA-VT’s certification committee. This was an exciting time in the world of organic agriculture. The sudden interest in the link between food safety and production practices was inspired by Meryl Streep’s CBS appearance on 60 Minutes in the fall of 1989 when she railed against a particular spray used on apples. “Mothers and Others for Pesticide Limits” was formed, bringing public awareness to the benefits of organic agriculture. Suddenly, a fringe movement that had been based on back-to-the-land ideals found itself moving toward the mainstream. Some would say that this was the beginning of the localvore movement.

Judy served for 3 years on the board of the Vermont Fresh Network. VFN strives to foster meaningful, mutually profitable relationships between Vermont food producers and chefs and was one of the earliest formal “Farm to Table” initiatives in the nation.

Judy and Will have been actively involved in Town affairs through various organizations and boards. Judy served on the Rescue Squad through much of the eighties and has played an important role in the expansion and promotion of Shoreham’s Platt Memorial Library over the last twenty years. Will was elected to the Town Planning Commission in the mid-nineties, and eventually chaired it for several years. He has since served on the Select and Zoning Boards, and has been elected Town Moderator every year since 2004.

In November 2006 Will was elected to the Vermont Legislature (as an Independent, representing the Towns of Benson, Orwell, Shoreham, and Whiting) for the first of four two-year terms. He was on the House Agriculture and Forest Products Committee all eight years and served the last four as ranking member. He is especially proud of two programs that came out of his committee during that time: the Farm to Plate and Working Lands Initiatives.

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Spotlight on Stonewood Farm

Are you enjoying Eat Local Month as much as we are? The abundance of beautiful local produce this time of year makes us feel so lucky to live where we do. But, eating local isn’t just about fruits & veggies. Where would we be without our local meat producers? This week, we’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Stonewood Farm of Orwell, VT. They provide big, beautiful turkeys for our Thanksgiving tables, and keep us stocked in ground turkey and turkey breasts year-round. You can also find their popcorn in our bulk department! They’re featured in our Member Deals Spotlight from September 7th – 13th and will be 20% off for member-owners. Read on to learn more about this fantastic farm that is all about raising turkeys the natural way:

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Established in 1976 by Paul & Francis Stone, Stonewood Farm has been a family owned and operated farm ever since and is now run by Peter Stone & Siegrid Mertens. Here are the rules of raising natural turkeys at their farm:

  • The turkey-friendly barns are uncrowded and open-sided providing lots of fresh air and natural sunlight
  • The turkeys are raised without hormones, antibiotics, or animal by-products added to their feed
  • There are no added preservatives or artificial ingredients
  • Humane Care at our farm means plenty of Vermont air, cold nights, good feed, and tender loving care
  • The turkeys are intentionally grown slowly. This ensures a delicious and naturally self-basting turkey, which lends a superior flavor and juiciness that Stonewood Farm turkey is known for
  • To ensure a humane harvest, we have an on-site USDA-approved processing plant that is operated by our family. All turkeys are individually hand graded to ensure the highest quality

Be sure to visit us on the web for recipes!

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Co-op Connection Business of the Month – Jumelles Wellness Midwifery

We’re excited to highlight one of the newest local businesses in our Co-op Connection – Jumelles Wellness Midwifery! Located in Middlebury’s Historic Star Mill in the Riverside Natural Health Center Suite, Jumelles (pronounced ju-mell) is a woman-centered practice, offering central Vermont families home birth midwifery care, doula services, lactation counseling, and childbirth education. Thanks to the Co-op Connection, Co-op member-owners can enjoy 2% off their initial prenatal appointment and 2% off a birth tub rental! Read on to learn more:

 

 

About the Practitioner:

Chenoa is a Traditional Midwife, a Certified Professional Midwife through North American Registry of Midwives (NARM),  Licensed Midwife in the state of Vermont, a certi

fied doula, Certified Lactation Consultant and Emergency Medical Technician.  Chenoa has been attending births since 1997. While pursuing her Bachelors of Art at the University of Oregon, she completed training as a birth doula through DONA (Doulas of North America.) Chenoa immediately began a three-year, traditional midwifery program.

Following the midwifery program/apprenticeship, she continued her training through another apprenticeship in a high-volume birth center in Portland, Oregon, specializing in water births.  During that time, Chenoa also volunteered with Doula Circle, a program that provided doula services for teen mothers, a commitment that she currently maintains by offering childbirth education and support to families.  In 2006, Chenoa moved with her family to Vermont, where she began working as the primary midwife at a group midwifery practice in Addison county. In 2010 Chenoa volunteered as the primary midwife for a busy birth center in Jacmel, Haiti with twin sister Nieve Shere leading to the eventual collaboration between Jumelles Wellness Midwifery and Riverside Natural Health Center in 2013.

Chenoa is certified by the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP & BLS) in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for adults, infants, and newborns. She is a member of the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), Vermont Midwives Association (VMA), and National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM)

Chenoa lives on a small farm in Cornwall, Vermont with her husband and three children.

Services Provided:

  • Home birth midwifery care including prenatal, birth & postpartum
  • Water birth & birth tub rental
  • Laboratory work
  • 24/7 on call service for labor & urgent matters
  • Complete newborn exams & screenings
  • Lactation consulting & breastfeeding support
  • VBAC (Vaginal Births after Cesarean)
  • Childbirth education classes
  • Doula services
  • Acupuncture for fertility, pregnancy, birth & postpartum through collaborative care

Visit their webpage to learn more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotlight on Vermont Coffee Company

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Vermont Coffee Company this week to spread the love for this small town coffee roaster located right here in Middlebury, VT. Member-owners can enjoy 20% off all Vermont Coffee Company products from August 31st – September 6th, so it’s a great time to stock up and save. Read on to learn more about this fantastic local business, their passion for great coffee, and their latest adventures in community theater.

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About Us

Vermont Coffee Company is a small-town roaster located on Exchange Street in Middlebury, Vermont. The big flavor and complex character of our coffees are highlights of our unique style of slow-roasting our beans in small batches, that we have perfected since we began roasting in 1979.

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All of our beans are certified organic. We source them from the great coffee-growing regions around the world, and we seek out big flavor and bold character in the beans we choose. We treat coffee like produce so you can enjoy it fresh. The coffee is harvested at the peak of freshness, we receive it when the beans are green, then we roast to order and ship daily.

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Have you visited our cafe? We’re open Monday – Friday from 8 am – 2 pm, serving fresh-roasted coffee and espresso drinks, a simple breakfast and lunch menu, grab-and-go items, or coffee by the pound. Enjoy free wifi while you sit and relax, or meet with your friends & co-workers!

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Our motto, “Coffee Roasted for Friends” is more than a slogan, it is really our mission. Coffee is a social stimulus that brings people together to share ideas and stories, and when people come together, a community is formed and friends are made.

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A Note from Founder & President, Paul Ralston

I love coffee. I love making it, drinking it, and sharing it with friends. I like exploring new coffee crops and origins, “cupping” the samples to find the best components for my blends. I particularly enjoy roasting the beans to bring out the best from each batch.

All the coffees we buy are certified organic and fair trade. While on their own, these aren’t ‘quality standards,’ they are standards for a higher quality of living for the farmers who grow our coffee. We believe farmers who are paid fairly can afford to grow quality crops, and that has been our experience. Click here to read ‘Our Organic, Fair Trade Policy’.

We don’t offer a huge number of coffees. We specialize in a narrow range of Big, Bold coffee. We roast for decisive people who know what they want and want to brew it strong!

Coffee & Theater

In July of 2016, Vermont Coffee Company embarked on a new phase in their adventure – community theater! The Vermont Coffee Company Playhouse is a 70-seat theater located within their existing space on Exchange Street, complete with lighting obtained from Middlebury College and a hand-made stage constructed by Ralston. The space has an industrial warehouse vibe, creating a comfortable, accessible atmosphere.  They recently hosted a debut party and performance directed by and starring Deb Gwinn, wife of VCC owner Paul Ralston.

Gwinn will serve as artistic director of the playhouse. She is known locally for directing 18 seasons of Shakespeare in the Barn at Mary’s Restaurant at the Inn at Baldwin Creek in Bristol.

“Our whole thing is about bringing people together,” Ralston said. “What do people do in communities? They talk; they eat; they do art; they share their creativity.”

Ralston hopes to host events at the theater at least once a month, and sees the theater as part of Exchange Street’s renaissance. He’d like to see the former industrial thoroughfare become a vibrant arts and culture hub, much like Pine Street in Burlington’s South End. Be sure to check out some live, local theater in this great new space!

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