member deals

Spotlight on Orb Weaver Farm

We’re casting our Spotlight on a farm that has been a part of our Co-op family since 1981 – Orb Weaver Farm. Member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of glorious cheeses and organic produce from August 17th – 23rd. Read on to learn more about Orb Weaver Farm, the fabulous female farmers responsible for it, and the wonderful bounty of products they bring to our Co-op:

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The Farm –

Orb Weaver Farm sits on one hundred acres in the Champlain Valley, the rocky top of Camel’s Hump Mountain visible towards the east. Patchwork fields bordered by hedgerows, dotted with Jersey cows, bales of hay waiting to be picked up, a green tractor tilling the earth. Straight garden rows planted with lettuce, swiss chard, tomatoes, peppers, flowers. Our 200-year-old farmhouse, and across the yard the weathered barn, the cheese cave carved into a hillside, fronted by huge stone slabs. The seasons dictate our chores for the day, but the rhythm of the seasons is blissfully the same, year after year, as it has always been for those who work the land. The life of a farmer is both simple and vastly complex, dependent not only on planning and muscle but also on what falls from the sky and what pushes up from the earth. This is Orb Weaver Farm, the farm we have built with our hands for over thirty years, our small piece of the beautiful Vermont earth.

We’ve been practicing sustainable farming since we began. We cultivate our organic gardens and sell the produce to local restaurants and markets. We compost all our culled vegetables, cow manure, and whey (a byproduct of making cheese) and eventually return their nutrients to the gardens and pastures.

The Farmers –

Orb Weaver Farm was founded in 1981 by Marjorie Susman and Marian Pollack. They are the driving force behind the farm, with help from farmhand extraordinaire, Lauren Slayton.

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At the Co-op, you’ll find a gorgeous array of organic produce from Orb Weaver, including plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, and big, beautiful shallots, each in their own season. You’ll also find two of our most popular cheeses: Farmhouse and Cave-Aged. Here’s what Marjorie & Marian have to say about these delicious cheeses and the cows that make it possible:

Farmhouse Cheese –

When farmers use milk exclusively from their own cows to make cheese, it’s called “farmhouse cheese.” That’s what we’ ve been doing at Orb Weaver Farm since 1982. We milk our Jersey cows to make rich, raw milk cheese with a slightly tangy, full-bodied flavor. Moister than cheddar, our Farmhouse Cheese has a natural buttery color and smooth, creamy texture. It is delicious with wine, melts beautifully to complement any recipe, brings grilled cheese sandwiches to new heights, and distinctively tops nachos and pizza. Our two-pound waxed and cave aged wheels also make elegant gifts that are easy to mail.

Cave-Aged Cheese –

In 2001, we took a new step into an age-old tradition and began making cave-aged cheese. Using stones from neighboring Panton, VT, we built a cave in a small hillside on our farm to replicate as closely as possible the aging process used for centuries before refrigeration. Cave conditions are warmer and more humid than those for our standard farmhouse cheese, and the aging cycle is longer – up to a year for a 10-pound wheel. We don’t wax cave-aged cheese, but instead turn and brush the wheels every other day for several months, creating a natural rind. The end result is heaven for cheese lovers: a robust, complex array of nutty, earthy flavors and a firm, slightly drier texture that makes our cave-aged cheese a true delicacy. Cave-aged cheese may require more time and TLC, but we think you’ll agree the results are more than worth it.

We make our cheeses simply, in the European tradition. We stir, form, and date-stamp each wheel by hand – we don’t use mechanical stirrers or hydraulic presses. Our wheels age from 6 to 12 months and, since we do everything ourselves, quantities are limited. We make cheese from November through May. We give our cows, and ourselves, a break every summer while we tend our organic gardens.

The Herd –

In our experience, Jerseys give the highest quality milk for cheesemaking, with more butterfat, protein, and vitamins than milk from other breeds. Because we care for our own Jerseys, we know we’re always using the purest, most nutritious milk possible for the fine-quality farmhouse and cave-aged cheeses.

We feed our cows sweet-tasting, sweet-smelling grain and organic hay to produce the most savory milk. That’s one of the reasons we won an award for the best-tasting milk in Vermont. For cheese, we milk a small family of seven Jerseys. Happy cows make the best milk, and so our Jerseys enjoy the sounds of classical music whenever they’re not rotationally grazing 30 acres of clover pasture.

 

We love our farm in Vermont’s beautiful Champlain Valley. During an era when family farms are quickly disappearing, we feel blessed that our small farm is thriving.

 

Spotlight on New Leaf Organics

With local harvest season in full swing, we’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on a wonderful organic farm that not only provides our Co-op with a bounty of organic vegetables but also allows us to offer a stunning variety of locally-grown veggie and herb starts for gardeners in the spring! New Leaf Organics is featured in our Member Deals program this week, and member-owners can enjoy 20% off their glorious produce from August 10th – 16th! Read on to hear from farmer Jill Kopel and learn more about this fantastic local, organic farm hailing from Bristol, VT:

 

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New Leaf Organics is in our 17th year farming. Even just writing that makes me feel old! Our farm has evolved quite a bit over the years from when we first started, but the core of our mission hasn’t changed much at all; Growing high-quality organic produce, flowers and plants that improve the health of our soils and strengthen our community.

We grow 3 acres of vegetables and 1.5 acres of flowers and everything we grow is sold in Vermont. Every week we attend farmers markets in Waitsfield and Winooski, our awesome CSA families come to pick up their shares at the farm, and we deliver to area stores and restaurants. We also sell our garden Plant Starts here at the Coop from mid-April to late June. We rely on a crew of 3-4 people to help make all this happen every week and couldn’t do it without their efforts. My daughters Ruby and Ada are now even at ages where they are able to really help a little bit. Plus they know well by now that a Vermont greenhouse can be the best place to be.

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When I found our farm years ago I inherited these fairly amazing perennial flower gardens from the previous owner. At the time I was so used to working on veggie farms where everything was in rows as long as the eyes could see, that I didn’t quite know what to do with these “nonlinear” gardens. That first summer when they were all in bloom I found my new love! Ever since then growing flowers for people has become a passion of mine. It’s really hard to not smile when someone shows up at your door with fresh flowers!

During most weeks of the Summer and Fall, we are busy harvesting, designing, and creating floral arrangements for special events, mostly weddings. As much as we love doing wedding work we think everyone should be able to enjoy fresh flowers all the time. We hear from our CSA members that they love being the heroes in their house by bringing home flowers each week to enjoy.    Sooooooooo, This spring we kicked off a new Local Flowers Delivery Service that we are calling Home Sweet Blooms.  Now it will be possible to have local organically grown flowers, picked fresh that day and delivered right to your door! You will be amazed how long they last and be comforted to know that no people or soils were harmed by chemicals used to grow them.

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Our Mission

  • to grow high quality, deliciously fresh organic produce and flowers.
  • to maintain and build the health of our soil and water.
  • to keep this land open and in agricultural production.
  • to bring community together in appreciation of good food and eating with the seasons.
  • to help couples create a memorable wedding day brightened with our beautiful flowers
  • to be a healthy and joyous place for kids to roam and discover and help them learn where our food really comes from.
  • to provide a positive and meaningful place to work for our employees and ourselves.
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On your next trip through Bristol, stop by their farm stand for a visit! They’re open weekdays from 11 am – 6 pm and on weekends from 10 am – 4 pm!

 

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Spotlight on Vermont Smoke & Cure

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Vermont Smoke & Cure this week to shed a little light on this Vermont-based B Corps. This designation is granted to companies that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.  Vermont Smoke & Cure received the certification thanks to their sustainable and socially conscious business practices such as sourcing meats raised humanely and without the use of antibiotics, using ingredients from local farms, offering commercial meat processing services to family-scale farmers, and utilizing solar power. The company also fosters an ownership culture by granting employee stock options to each of its employees. Their full line of smoked and cured meat products are 20% off for member-owners from August 3rd – 9th, so it’s a perfect time to stock up and save! Read on to learn about their rich history and commitment to small batch meats proudly made in Vermont:

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Vermont Smoke & Cure has been consciously crafting delicious smoked meats and meat snacks since 1962. They source humanely-raised meats and combine them with simple local ingredients and the highest quality spices and herbs to bring you the fine small-batch products you find on Co-op shelves. The company was founded by Roland LeFebvre, who started the smokehouse as “Roland’s” in South Barre, Vermont. At that time, South Barre was a small town made up of many recent immigrants drawn by the granite quarrying and carving industry. Roland based his now-famous recipes on traditional methods and ingredients. After all, the sausages had to pass muster for the large Italian population in Barre, who had come to work in the granite industry.

Founder Roland LeFebvre

For the next 50 years, they operated in a farmhouse and then in the back of a gas station, until April of 2012 when they moved 50 miles to Hinesburg, Vermont, renovating a portion of a former cheesemaking facility into a world-class Smokehouse. While still use many of the same methods and recipes,  current CEO, Chris Bailey, is expanding on Roland’s vision by sharing Vermont values with a larger market.

Chris has the same driving passion that inspired Roland over 50 years ago: to create great tasting meats that make customers smile. Chris is a former professional cyclist and farmer who loves to cook. He has a deep reverence for the land and an intricate understanding of the food industry. A former vegetarian turned conscious meat-eater, Chris is committed to making livestock farming more humane and sustainable while making the food we eat more healthy and delicious.

Here is a list of their promises to consumers from their web page:

At Vermont Smoke & Cure, we believe you should feel good about where your meat comes from. We buy all of the certified humanely raised meats we can, and we have transparent sourcing for all of our meats. Along with our customers, we’re helping the meat industry move to a future that is humane, transparent and environmentally friendly.

  • We proudly use Vermont maple syrup and apple cider in the brines for our bacon and ham.
  • We primarily smoke using ground corn cobs and maple wood shavings, traditional smoke sources here in Vermont. We never use liquid or artificial smoke flavor.
  • We use whole muscle hams and carefully hand place each piece into its netting to ensure the best quality in every bite.
  • Our team of employee-owners creates everything in our Smokehouse right here in the hills of Vermont We hand trim all of our meats and we grind our meats on-site.
  • Our uncured items use natural preservatives to ensure food safety.
  • In our Sticks and Summer Sausage, instead of just adding acids, we ferment to lower pH the old-school way for the best flavor.
  • Our products are gluten-free and contain no MSG
  • More than 50% of the electricity we use is from solar – all generated within 60 miles.
  • We use high-efficiency smokers that reduce our energy requirements by more than 10%.

Our work in Hinesburg, VT has earned us a fine reputation that we aim to uphold. Thank you for being part of our history and for supporting local & sustainable meat!

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Co-op Connection Business of the Month – Green Mountain Shoe & Apparel

Summer is in full swing, so the denial may be deep, but back-to-school season is just around the corner. Does your family need new duds? It’s a perfect time to check out our Co-op Connection Business of the Month for August – Green Mountain Shoe & Apparel! Co-op member-owners can enjoy 10% off when they shop at Green Mountain Shoe & Apparel! Read on to learn more about this family-owned local business and the wide array of products they offer to keep you covered from head to toe.

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Here at Green Mountain Shoe & Apparel we believe that high-quality products and good service should also be affordable. That’s why we carry the brands you know and trust. We offer a wide variety of dress & casual shoes for the entire family. Sneakers by Asics, New Balance, & Saucony. Casual shoes by Merrell, Keen, Born, Haflinger, Sanita & Dansko clogs. We know which products run narrow or wide, which ones will break in and which ones hold their shape. Both quality and comfort are important to us. We’ll help you get the shoe that is right for you.

Our store is also chock full of fleece, jackets, hats, gloves, jeans, vests, and coats. We’ve got your favorite brands of casual clothing by Woolrich, Carhartt, & North River, and socks by Smartwool & Darn Tough. Our selection of Carhartt is one of the best in Vermont and if we don’t have your size in stock we are always happy to order it for you. Find out what the locals already know- Green Mountain Shoe & Apparel is their source for work wear, warm gear, and year-round comfortable clothing and footwear.

Our family-owned business has been serving our communities for over 12 years in Middlebury and 7 years in Bristol. We carry the items your family needs from head to toe!

We have two locations to serve you:

Middlebury- 260 Court St., Suite 4, near Hannaford.

Bristol – 1 Main St., in the heart of downtown.

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Spotlight on Woodstock Foods

We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Woodstock Foods! Member-owners can enjoy 20% their full line of products from July 27th – August 7th. Read on to learn more about Woodstock Foods and their efforts to increase the availability of organic foods, support budding sustainable farmers, and preserve American farmland:

Woodstock Foods first began over 25 years ago with the belief that good food comes from simple ingredients farmed from trusted sources. They’ve seen a lot of food trends come and go over the years, but their timeless belief has remained the same:  Keep it simple and eat because it’s good!

They began with nut butter, but have since grown to offer over 250 products in 10 categories. Over 75%  of their products are USDA Organic and 145 products are Non-GMO Verified with over 80 more enrolled and awaiting certification.

At Woodstock Foods, they believe in the importance of honoring farmers and protecting farmland. With farmland conservation in mind, they’ve partnered with the American Farmland Trust (AFT). AFT has been a strong advocate for conservation practices and programs that preserve not just land, but also precious soil and water supplies. In the 35 years since AFT began, they’ve helped to save more than five million acres of farm and ranch land and contributed to conservation improvements on millions more.

Woodstock Foods also works with the Young Farmers Coalition and Food to Bank On, both serving to give new farmers the tools and resources needed to succeed. Their services allow budding farmers opportunities for business training, mentorship, and access to markets while also providing farm fresh products to food banks and shelters.

Be sure to check out the Woodstock Foods web page for great recipes and tips for making the most of their products!

Spotlight on Alaffia

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Alaffia and alll of their Fair Trade Certified, Co-op-made body care products are 20% off for member-owners from July 20th – 26th! Many Alaffia products are already featured in our Co-op Basics program, so this Member Deals discount will be in addition to the everyday low price on those items! It’s a great time to stock up and save! Read on to learn more about Alaffia and their efforts to alleviate poverty and empower communities in West Africa through the fair trade of shea butter, coconut, and other indigenous resources:

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Alaffia was founded in 2004 with Fair Trade as the fundamental foundation of their organization, which is comprised of the Alaffia Village in Sokodé, Togo; the Alaffia Coconut Cooperative in Klouvi-Donnou, Togo; and the Alaffia headquarters in Olympia, Washington. Their cooperatives handcraft indigenous raw ingredients , and the Alaffia team in Olympia creates the finished products. Proceeds from the sales of these products are then returned to communities in Togo, West Africa, to fund community empowerment and gender equality projects.

What impact have your Alaffia purchases had in these communities thus far?

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Each year in West Africa, 160,000 women die due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Over her lifetime, an African woman has a 1 in 32 chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth, compared to 1 in 2,400 in Europe (UNICEF, 2012). There are several reasons for the high maternal mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa, including extreme poverty and inadequate infrastructure. The Alaffia Maternal Health Project follows the World Health Organization’s recommendations for reducing maternal mortality rates both directly, through providing funds for pre- and post-delivery care, and indirectly, through the Alaffia Women’s Clinic Project, which provides training and information for women’s health issues including nutrition, prevention of genital mutilation practices, and more. Alaffia product sales have funded the birth of over 4,142 babies in rural Togolese communities through the Togo Health Clinic System.

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The future of African communities depends on the education and empowerment of young people. Since Alaffia founded their shea butter cooperative in 2003, they’ve provided school uniforms, books, and writing supplies to children in Togolese communities to offset the financial burden these items have on poor families. They also donate desks and install new roofs on schools to make learning a more enjoyable experience. Since 2011, Alaffia product sales have funded the construction of ten schools throughout Togo and provided school supplies to 23,700 recipients. They now partner with retail stores to collect school supplies – if you would like to help collect pens and pencils for this project, please contact Alaffia at 1-800-664-8005.

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In rural areas of Togo, students walk up to 10 miles a day to attend school. There are no buses, and families cannot afford private transportation. As a result, school becomes very time-consuming, and most students decide to quit school in order to fulfill their family obligations. In rural areas, less than 10% of high school-aged girls and only 16% of boys attend school (UNICEF). In 2004, Alaffia began collecting and sending used bicycles to Togolese students to encourage them to stay in and complete school through their Bicycles for Education Project. Now, with over 7,100 bicycles sent and distributed, they are seeing a real impact on exam scores and retention in rural schools. 95% of Bicycles For Education recipients graduate secondary school.
They collect used bicycles in and around their communities in Washington and Oregon, with the help of their retailers, volunteers, and Alaffia staff. All costs of this project – from collecting, repairing, and shipping bicycles, to customs duties, distribution costs, ongoing maintenance, and follow-up – are paid for through the sales of Alaffia products. This project brings communities in the US and Togo together. Bicycles that would otherwise be destined for the landfill are encouraging students in Togo to stay in school so they can lead their communities out of poverty. To find out how you can be involved, visit alaffia.com or email communications@alaffia.com

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Deforestation and climate change have had a devastating impact on West African farming communities. Alaffia product sales have funded the planting of 53,125 trees by Togolese farmers to help mitigate erosion and improve food security for their families. They also conduct trainings to discourage the cutting of shea trees for firewood and charcoal to preserve this important indigenous resource for future generations. Through their Alternative Fuels Project, they investigate sustainable fuel alternatives, such as bio-gas and bio-oils, to reduce the demand for wood and charcoal.

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n Togo, it is extremely difficult for visually impaired people to obtain eyeglasses. An eye exam costs as much as one month’s wage and a pair of eyeglasses can cost up to four months of wages. Through their Eyeglasses ProjectAlaffia collects used eyeglasses at retailer locations throughout the US and employs an optometrist in Togo to correctly fit and distribute the glasses. A pair of eyeglasses is life-changing for a child struggling in school, the elderly with failing vision, and adults who have never been able to see clearly. To date, Alaffia has collected and distributed over 14,200 pairs of glasses.

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As part of their Maternal Health Initiatives, Alaffia aims to educate women about the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), or excision. FGM includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. The procedure can result in severe bleeding, infections, life-threatening complications in childbirth, and increased risk of newborn deaths (World Health Organization).

Abidé Awesso is the Maternal Health & FGM Eradication Coordinator in the Bassar region of Togo and has been working with Alaffia since 2012. Hodalo Katakouna was one of Abidé’s first patients and one of the first women to be supported as part of our Maternal Health and FGM Eradication project. Click here to read Abidé’s account of Hodalo’s story.

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Spotlight on Orca Bay

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Orca Bay this week to shed a little light on their efforts to source sustainable, ocean-friendly seafood for all to enjoy. Their seafood products are 20% off for member-owners from July 6th – 11th! Read on to learn more about this energetic and creative company providing exceptional seafood choices for more than 30 years:

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Orca Bay is pleased to be an example of how ethics, fairness, and friendship can be core values of a healthy and thriving business endeavor. They attribute their success and longevity to a winning blend of quality, value, and innovation. From their people to their products, to the clients that they serve, their goal will always be to exceed expectations and to keep the Orca Bay whale synonymous with true quality and customer satisfaction. They believe that from great people come great products. To that end, Orca Bay has invested three decades into searching out and nurturing business relationships with some of the most quality-minded seafood harvesters in the world. From those fishermen and harvesters to their headquarters in Seattle, they source and process the very best seafood products, offering both variety and value to the health conscious consumer. By combining convenient and informative packaging with wholesome and delicious seafood, Orca Bay consistently delivers excellence to that most important of daily social events – mealtime. Their products have garnered awards from the prestigious Alaska “Symphony of Seafood”,  a competition celebrating wild, all natural selections.

At Orca Bay, they view themselves as partners with their customers, suppliers, community and their environment. Together they collaborate to ensure that demand and standards for the finest seafood do not come at the expense of the individuals or oceans that provide them. They are committed to supporting organizations which promote their shared values in business, health, and social responsibility such as the National Fisheries Institute and Sea Share. Their seafood products are non-GMO verified, they are certified for responsible fisheries management by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), and their seafood is certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). They’re also a participating and certified supplier in a cool program called Smart Catch, created by chefs for chefs to recognize restaurants working toward ensuring an abundant supply of seafood for generations to follow.

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Why is it so important to support sustainable seafood? 

From above, it may seem that there are plenty of fish in the sea, but dive beneath the surface and it’s a different story. Over-fishing, lack of effective management, and our own consumption habits are just a few factors contributing to a decline in wild fish populations. Evidence of these problems abounds.

In just the past decade, Atlantic populations of halibut and yellowtail flounder joined the list of species at all-time lows. The cod fishery, once a backbone of the North Atlantic economy, collapsed completely in the early 1990s and has shown little evidence of recovery two decades later. The breeding population of Pacific bluefin tuna is now at only four percent of its original size and decline will continue without significant, immediate management changes.

Other harmful effects of fishing—some of which are preventable with modifications to gear—also impact the ocean, including the accidental catch of unwanted species (bycatch) and habitat damage from fishing gear.

So, how did we get here? One reason is the advent of industrial-scale fishing, which began in the late 1800s and has been accompanied by significant declines in the size and abundance of fish. By the mid-1990s, these fishing practices made it impossible for natural fish stocks to keep up. Ninety percent of the world’s fisheries are now fully exploited, overexploited or have collapsed.

Because the ocean seems so vast and its resources limitless, these threats are often “out of sight, out of mind,” but over-fishing issues are not just for future generations to bear; they’re very real problems threatening our current seafood supply and the health of our ocean. The good news is that there is much we can do.

  • Support sustainable seafood with your food dollars – Ask for sustainable seafood at stores and restaurants. By asking this simple but important question, you can help shape the demand for, and ultimately supply of, fish that’s been caught or farmed in environmentally sustainable ways. Consumers play an important role in shaping ocean health, so start making a difference today!
  • Use sustainable seafood resource guides, like this one from the Safina Center, when shopping for seafood.
  • Consider these ocean-friendly substitutes when the seafood in your recipe isn’t a sustainable option.
  • Check for logos indicating sustainable seafood options like those from the MSC or ASMI.

Want great recipes, cooking tips, and other resources? Check out Orca Bay’s web page!

Spotlight on Wood’s Market Garden

There are certain fruits and vegetables that seem to announce the changing of the seasons, and for us here at the Co-op, the day we receive our first delivery of local, organic tomatoes and strawberries from Wood’s Market Garden, we know that summer is finally here! We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Wood’s Market Garden this week to highlight their magnificent 150-acre organic farm in Brandon, VT. Member-owners can enjoy 20% off all of their glorious local, organic fruits and veggies from June 29th – July 5th. Choose from heirloom tomatoes, succulent strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers (the first of the season!), shell peas, sugar snap peas, broccoli, and cauliflower!  Read on to learn more about the family that makes it possible for us to offer such a beautiful bounty:

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Wood’s Market Garden is a fruit, vegetable & flower farm and seasonal market nestled in the quaint town of Brandon, Vermont. Their fields have been producing fresh food for the greater Brandon community for over 100 years. Jon Satz purchased the farm 16 years ago from Bob and Sally Wood. With his passion for growing and sustainable farming practices, the farm and market have blossomed into a destination for beautiful organic vegetables, quality bedding plants and some of the sweetest strawberries around! Jon, his wife Courtney, and their 2 young sons make their home on the farm and enjoy the continued legacy of farming the land that the Wood family started generations ago.

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The farm consists of 150 acres of Vermont farmland and woods. Known far and wide for their delicious sweet corn and plump, sweet strawberries, they also grow over 50 kinds of vegetables and fruits on 60 acres of sandy loam soils. In addition to their field production, they also have 7 greenhouses for raising bedding plants, ornamentals, vegetable starts and the tastiest early tomatoes in the state! Their unique varieties of plants and their passion for quality crops keeps people coming back year after year.

All of their produce is certified organic. It’s a labor of love for everyone involved from seeding to harvesting to washing and selling. They’re really proud to be able to provide such a bounty of farm fresh, organic fruits and vegetables to their community year after year. It’s what feeds their own family on the farm and they grow it all with love, care and a commitment to good organic practices.

Aside from growing an abundant array of fruits and vegetables for retailers like our Co-op, they also offer a CSA and have a seasonal farm stand open daily in the summer from 9 am – 6 pm. Outside, it’s a paradise of plants, hanging baskets, creeping vines, and gardens to wander. If you haven’t yet visited their farm stand, add it to your list of things to do this summer! It’s such a treat to browse all of the gorgeous plants, flowers, and fresh produce! They’re located on the banks of Jones Mill Pond on Route 7, which during the warm summer months is covered with those famous pink water lilies. Inside the market, the shelves and baskets are filled with gorgeous fresh produce from the farm and bouquets of fresh-cut flowers. Depending on what’s in season, you’ll find everything from fresh spinach to strawberries to squash. They grow over 50 different kinds of produce on the farm, just yards from the farm stand. In addition to produce,  you’ll find a variety of artisanal cheese, organic milk, and other local dairy products, local meat and poultry, fresh baked goods, maple syrup, raw honey, homemade pickles, jam and more!  If you’re looking to stock your own garden, you can browse their selection of farm-grown organic veggie and herb starts, and a stunning variety of annuals, and perennials! Stop by to see them on your next visit to Brandon!

Spotlight on Neighborly Farms

As our celebration of Dairy Month churns on, we’re shining our Co-op Spotlight on a fantastic local, organic dairy farm hailing from Randolph Center, VT: Neighborly Farms! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off their award-winning organic cheeses from June 22nd – 28th! Read on to learn more about this 168-acre organic dairy farm that calls VT home:

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Established as an operating dairy farm in the 1920’s, Rob and Linda Dimmick are continuing the tradition of family farming. Nestled in the rolling hills of Randolph Center, Vermont, Neighborly Farms decorates the countryside with its red barn and white post and beam farmhouse built in the 1800s. They operate on 168 acres with cropland and grazing fields to support the dairy and a sugarhouse for producing pure Vermont maple syrup. The clean and tidy barn is home to 70 Holsteins—the black and white cows that symbolize rural living at its very best.

Rob and Linda are continuing the family farming tradition because they have a passion for the land and animals. They are a totally organic farm. This means the farm is run in complete harmony with the land and the animals; no antibiotics, no hormones, and no commercial fertilizers. Just pure and natural techniques that keep the cows healthy, happy, and the dairy products wholesome and chemical-free. It means that the cheese produced at Neighborly Farms are pure and natural. And the best part? The organic cheeses taste great too.

Neighborly Farms of Vermont is not just another dairy farm. At their family farm, there is a deep love for the land and animals. That’s why they choose to be an organic farm. It’s a way of showing that they care about their surroundings and neighbors. Neighborly Farms produces eleven kinds of delicious organic cheeses; all made with wholesome milk from their well-cared for Holstein cows. They make cheese the old-fashioned way and believe that caring for the land and surroundings helps them produce the finest cheeses possible.

At the Co-op, you’ll find a rotating variety of their cheeses including Jalapeno Jack, Monterey Jack, Colby, Feta, Green Onion Cheddar, and their staple Raw Milk Cheddar, many of which have been honored with awards from the prestigious American Cheese Society. They hope you enjoy them and they thank you for supporting your local, organic dairy farms!

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Spotlight on Newman’s Own

This week, we’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Newman’s Own to tip our hat to the man who decided to launch a food business that gives away 100% of its profits to charity. All of Newman’s Own products will be 20% off for member-owners from June 15th – 21st! Read on to learn more about how Paul Newman accidentally found himself at the center of a successful food business and the impact of his incredible philanthropy:

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Paul Newman’s craft was acting, his passion was auto racing, his love was his family and friends. But his heart and soul were dedicated to helping make the world a better place. His commitment to philanthropy was clear — he used his influence, gave of his financial resources, and personally volunteered to advance humanitarian and social causes around the world. While Paul Newman was a Hollywood star of extraordinary celebrity and a person recognized for exceptional commitment and leadership for philanthropy, he lived his life as an ordinary person, which he always considered himself. He was a man of abundant good humor, generosity, and humility.

Newman’s Own began as a bit of a lark. In 1980, Paul Newman and his pal A.E. Hotchner filled empty wine bottles with his homemade salad dressing to give as gifts for the holidays. After friends and neighbors came clamoring for refills, Paul and “Hotch” were convinced that the special recipe was good enough to be bottled and sold.

Newman’s Own Salad Dressing was officially launched in 1982 and, surprisingly, became an instant success. The first year of profits exceeded $300,000 and Paul declared, “Let’s give it all away to those who need it.” Without ever taking personal compensation, Paul shared his good fortune. It was a unique concept at the time –  giving away all after-tax profits, but he believed that helping others was just the right thing to do.

In these thirty-five years, Paul Newman and the Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $485 million to thousands of charities. Newman’s Own Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed in 2005 by Paul Newman to sustain the legacy of his philanthropic work.As the sole owner of the food and beverage and licensing companies, the 100% of profits earned from the sale of Newman’s Own products goes to the Newman’s Own Foundation. The Foundation is governed by an independent Board of Directors which is obligated by law to use the Foundation’s resources only to advance its charitable purpose. The Foundation makes grants to charitable organizations, pays for other qualifying charitable expenses, and sets aside reserves to cover future payments on pledges, establish a rapid response fund in case of disasters, make program-related investments, and cover unanticipated contingencies. The Foundation believes that each of us, through the power of philanthropy, has the potential to make a difference. As of January 2017, the Foundation has succeeded in providing:

  • Over $485 million to charities since 1982
  • More than 21,000 grants made since 1982
  • Grants have served 46 countries, including the U.S. (since 2011)
  • Over 600 grants, totaling $27.3 million in 2016

Click here to read more about the beneficiaries and impact of the Newman’s Own Foundation

Today, Newman’s Own produces over 200 individual products across 20 categories. Always great tasting, always top quality, just the way our founder, Paul Newman, insisted. We’ll always follow his vision for putting quality first. The Newman’s Own business model has remained the same over the years. The enterprise remains true to Paul’s original mission and values, using only all-natural, high-quality foods and donating 100% of profits and royalties to charity. Who would’ve thought that so much good could come from a simple idea? As Paul said, it has been “a heck of a ride.”

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