Organic

Spotlight on Navitas Organics

Looking for healthy snacks to fuel your summer outdoor adventures? We invite you to check out Navitas Organics! They’re basking in the glow of our Member Deals Spotlight from July 4th – 10th and all of their organic superfoods are 20% for member-owners! Read on to learn more about Navitas and their commitment to being a force for positive change:

 

 

Navitas (Nuh-vee-tus) is Latin for ‘energy’ and their super-nutritious organic superfoods aim to give you the energy you need to live each day to the fullest. What’s more, they work hard to power the positive in all they do: from the careful ways in which they source their products to the work they do to contribute to the greater good. They choose to work with small farmers who use sustainable organic farming methods to grow their superfoods. They operate with a focus on leaving the lightest footprint on the earth as possible. They also contribute to healthy causes by supporting nonprofit initiatives like A Growing Culture.

Path

The Navitas story began during a carefree time where two loyal music fans toured the country in search of adventure and community. Although unacquainted during those years, they would evolve to adopt the true ethos of this lifestyle, embracing everything from the gritty, entrepreneurial spirit to a steadfast appreciation for organic, plant-based foods. Years later, founders Zach and Meghan Adelman would marry, bringing with them the ideals cultivated through their experience with a hopeful vision for the future that placed health and wellness at the very core of their value system. In 2003, the Navitas brand was born as a result of that unique history, longstanding friendships and a shared penchant for wanderlust to exotic regions around the world. Curiosity about ancient cultures and traditional foods led to a special collaboration with a small farmer cooperative in Peru and the discovery of the wondrous health benefits of Maca.

Through this relationship, founder Zach Adelman was introduced to a variety of additional health-enhancing foods that have been sustainably cultivated and consumed around the world for centuries, known to enhance longevity and well-being. This new knowledge sparked an unwavering determination to bring these ancient treasures to North America and integrate them into our modern lifestyle. Navitas is an organic industry leader and has stayed true to its commitment to the discovery of ancient, indigenous foods, vowing to support causes that help reduce environmental burden through ethical agricultural practices.

Culture

Navitas Organics is dedicated to the idea that success isn’t just about profits and promotions. Along with 1,800 leading businesses from 130 industries across the world, they have earned B Corporation certification. Certified B Corporations are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Together, Certified B Corporations lead a growing, worldwide movement of people using business as a force for good. 

Principles

At the core of their business are the principles they hold true, which are evident in the diverse, playful community atmosphere at Navitas. They are a hardworking, creative, and open-minded group resulting in a company culture that is defined through a collaborative team management approach. Their dedicated employees possess the commitment and determination to help fuel the health-conscious movement sharing in a passion for mindful living, at the heart of which is a robust, nutrient-dense diet. They embrace a culturally diverse team, strive to promote from within and provide mentoring and support to each individual to reach their own true potential. They work hard and play hard, and believe that without a hearty amount of laughter and humor, no amount of success is worthwhile. Through the spirit of generosity, they are committed to developing the finest products in the industry, advocate for the principles they stand for and provide superior service to their valued customers.

 

 

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 27th – July 3rd.  Read on to learn more about their farm and the family that makes it possible for us to offer such a beautiful bounty:

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!

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. Their produce and vegetable plants are certified organic, and 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 passion for quality crops keeps people coming back year after year.

Farmer Jon Satz purchased the iconic Wood’s farm from Bob and Sally Wood in 2000. 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.

Their farm stand and market are open 7 days a week during the spring and summer season. Outside, it’s a paradise of plants, hanging baskets, creeping vines, and gardens to wander. Perhaps you’ve seen it while driving down Route 7 South through Brandon? You’ll notice Jones Mill Pond, which during the warm summer months is covered with those famous pink water lilies, and Wood’s sprawling acres of lush fields and greenhouses surrounding the pond.

Inside the market, the shelves and baskets are filled with gorgeous fresh produce from the farm. Depending on what’s in season, you’ll find everything from fresh spinach to strawberries to squash. In addition to produce, they have an unbelievable variety of artisanal cheese, organic milk and local dairy products, local meat and poultry, fresh baked goods, maple syrup, honey, jam and more! It’s a foodie paradise at Wood’s Market….a really fun place to shop, and guaranteed to make you smile. Stop in and see them on your next trip through Brandon!

Spotlight on Neighborly Farms

As part of our celebration of Dairy Month, 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 20th – 26th!  Read on to learn more about this 210-acre organic dairy farm that calls VT home:

Neighborly-Farms. Round Logo

Established as an operating dairy farm in the 1920s, Rob and Linda Dimmick, along with their son Bobby and his wife, Brooke, 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 210 acres with cropland and grazing fields to support the dairy and a sugarhouse for producing pure Vermont maple syrup. The lush green fields are home to 70 Holsteins in the warmer months and provide hay for the cows during the cold Vermont winters. 

The Dimmick’s are continuing the family farming tradition because they have a deeply-rooted 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 high-quality cheeses produced at Neighborly Farms are 100% organic and reflect the terroir of their surroundings. 

Neighborly Farms of Vermont is not just another dairy farm. Their commitment to organic practices and their solar energy system illustrate their love for the land and animals and deep respect for the environment.  They’ve made an active choice to integrate sustainable practices that best care for the earth, their cows, and their neighbors in both this generation and for generations to become. 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 small-batch 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!

Better Burgers

Tired of bland burgers? Looking to up your burger game? Then this recipe is for you! A hamburger patty is a great vehicle for loads of flavor, so feel free to be creative! This particular recipe features Italian flavors, but you can experiment with other herbs and spices for your own unique twist. You’ll find McKnight Farm’s local, organic ground beef in our weekly sale from June 13th – 19th, along with Vermont Bread Company’s organic hamburger buns, and Cabot sliced cheeses, so it’s a perfect time to fire up the grill and give these a try!

Spotlight on American Flatbread

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on a company with humble roots here in Vermont – American Flatbread! From May 30th – June 5th, member-owners can enjoy 20% off American Flatbread’s products (applies only to frozen flatbreads here at the Co-op, not at their fabulous restaurants). Read on to learn more about the history and mission of this locally-born company:

 

George Schenk, the founder of American Flatbread, believed that food is more than what’s on the plate, which he shares in “The Five Faces of Food” and his simple phrase, “Food Remembers the acts of the hands and heart.”

“Food is important. What we eat and how it’s grown intimately affects our health and the well-being of the world.” He created American Flatbread based on the philosophy of food for the greater good, and the company remains committed to building upon that legacy.

American Flatbread was born in Waitsfield, Vermont, but demand for frozen flatbreads soon outgrew the humble kitchens of their flagship location. Rustic Crust, the company that now produces American Flatbread frozen pizzas, took over the reins and says that they’re proud that George entrusted them with his mission and they remain committed to upholding it. 

Headquartered in New Hampshire, Rustic Crust continues to work with fresh, all natural ingredients to bring you the authentic flavor you’ve come to know and love. According to Rustic Crust CEO Brad Sterl, “Our two good-for-you pizza brands make their home in the beautiful New England countryside, and are made by real people and using real ingredients. American Flatbread frozen pizzas feature 100% organically grown wheat crusts and topped with fresh herbs, vegetables and the finest of cheeses (no rBST growth hormone!). They’re all-natural, with no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, and handcrafted from scratch and par-baked in wood-fired ovens.

Truly nutritious, light, crisp, and flavorful — convenience without compromise – American Flatbread pizzas are honestly delicious, the best premium frozen pizza bar none, for people who care about pizza and the planet.

 

Spotlight on Tierra Farm

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Tierra Farm this week to highlight the socially and environmentally responsible practices of this employee-owned business. They provide an array of healthy products to our bulk department that are certified organic, gluten-free, kosher, and GMO-free, all of which are produced in small batches in their solar-powered facility in nearby Valatie, NY. They’re featured in our Member Deals program this week, so member-owners can enjoy 20% off their delicious fair-trade coffee, dried fruits, nuts, nut butters, and other healthy snacks from May 2nd – 8th! Read on to learn more about this fantastic small business and their commitment to responsible practices throughout the supply chain:

Tierra Farm is a Certified Organic manufacturer and distributor of nuts, dried fruits, and coffee located 20 miles south of Albany, New York. Their customers consist mainly of cooperatives and independently owned grocery stores that value working with an employee-owned, environmentally conscious company that manufactures its own products.

Tierra Farm started as a diversified organic vegetable farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The organic nuts & dried fruit portion of the business started in 1999, as a way to generate income in the slower winter months. That portion of the business has continued to thrive and evolve into a year-round operation, though they still maintain their original farm.

Tierra Farm offers their customers exceptional value through unbeatable quality at prices that are fair both to the consumer and to the farmer. Their products are made without preservatives, added oils or refined sugars, in their own peanut-free facility. They manufacture the products they sell: dry roasting and flavoring nuts and seeds, blending trail mixes, grinding butter, covering nuts and fruits in fair-trade chocolate, and roasting fair trade coffee. Everything is made in small, hand-crafted batches for freshness.

One of their core values has been to cultivate strong relationships with the best organic farmers in the world. They work directly with the farmers from which they source their nuts, seeds, and dried fruit and have worked with some of these farmers for over a decade. Being in direct communication with their farmers allows the preservation of their organic integrity and ensures fair business practices throughout the supply chain.

Tierra Farm handles only Certified Organic products which are grown without synthetic pesticides, genetically modified organisms, or chemical fertilizers. This helps sustain biodiversity, conserves fresh water, and enhances the soil. They generate over 70% of their electricity from solar panels and recycle over 60% of their waste. Their boxes are made from recycled cardboard and their deli cup containers are made from over 50% recycled material – both are recyclable after use. They’re continuously looking for better ways to protect the planet.

Tierra Farm also values the importance of investing in their staff. They have an in-house gym, an in-house chef who cooks daily organic, gluten-free meals for staff – often using fresh produce directly from their farm, a staff masseuse who visits weekly, and they offer many employee health initiatives such as a smoking cessation program that allows their staff to be 100% tobacco-free.

If you’re passing through the Albany area, they invite you to check out their retail store at Tierra Farm’s headquarters in Valatie, NY, where local customers are able to purchase all of their (almost 200) products!

Spotlight on Shaker Maple Farm

To celebrate sap season in Vermont, we’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Shaker Maple Farm! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of maple syrup products from April 4th – 10th, so it’s a perfect time to stock up on local liquid gold!

Shaker Maple Farm is owned and operated by Steve and Leah Willsey of Starksboro, VT. They have been sugaring for over 30 years and currently boil from 26,500 taps. Many of these taps come from maple trees on their beautiful 300-acre farm in Starksboro and some taps reside on two neighboring properties from whom they buy sap. Last year they were excited to sign a new land lease, adding an additional 250 acres to their sugarbush!

The 2018 season yielded 11,000 gallons of syrup at Shaker Maple farm. The Willsey’s sell about half of their syrup wholesale and the other half is sold in bulk. You can find their syrup at a variety of local grocery stores, co-ops and restaurants. You’ll also notice that their syrup is certified organic, which may lead you to wonder, “isn’t all maple syrup organic?”. The answer might surprise you! Organic certification ensures that:

  • No pesticides or chemicals were used to manage the forest. Like any crop, a forest can be sprayed to control insects. The same organic standards for field crops apply to maple forest to regulate things like buffer zones and runoff and ensure that no fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals were used.
  • A healthy forest is maintained. Organic standards limit the number of taps allowed in each tree to sustain the health of the tree. Organic certification ensures sustainable management of forestland to promote tree health, biodiversity, and reduce erosion.
  • No lead, filtering agents, or chemical defoamers. Certified organic maple farms must adhere to strict regulation when it comes to things like lead in equipment and the use of filtering agents and chemical defoamers.

 

Spotlight on Kimball Brook Farm

Our Co-op Spotlight is shining brightly on Kimball Brook Farm! Their full line of products is 20% off for member-owners from March 28th – April 3rd. Read on to learn more about one of Vermont’s finest family-owned organic dairy farms:

History

Kimball Brook Farm was first settled by Daniel Kimball in the late 1700s. Daniel and his sons continued running the farm until it was purchased by Edward Danyow in 1960.

The DeVos family purchased the farm in 1967 and on June 1, 1968, John De Vos Sr. and his son John De Vos Jr. moved their complete herd (50 cows), machinery and households from Monroe, New York to the Kimball Brook farm in North Ferrisburgh, Vermont.

John De Vos Jr. and his wife Sue operated the farm for over 30 years raising three sons and one daughter on the farm. The eldest son, John De Vos III (JD) and his wife Cheryl took over the business in 2001, expanding the herd from 80 cows to 200 and added a milking parlor.

In 2003, JD and Cheryl began transitioning the 220 cow farm to an organic operation and  Kimball Brook Farm became one of the largest certified organic dairy operations in the State of Vermont. The first shipment of organic milk was in September 2005. In 2010, they began the process of pursuing another dream of opening their own creamery in the former Saputo Cheese plant in Hinesburg. This would allow them to assemble, bottle, and package all of their own products. In June of 2011, they were awarded the VT Dairy Farm of the Year award and by May of 2012, they were celebrating the official opening of Green Mountain Organic Creamery.

At the Co-op, you can find a broad selection of Kimball Brook Farm’s organic products including Whole Milk, Cream, Chocolate Milk, Maple Milk, Mocha & Coffee Flavored Iced Cappuccino, Butter and Iced Teas. Also be sure to check out their newest additions to the lineup: Maple Lemonade, Strawberry Ginger Lemonade, and a line of teas and lemonades with CBD!

 

The Herd

The herd at Kimball Brook Farm consists of Holsteins, Jerseys and Jersey/Holstein crosses. During the growing season, their cows and heifers(teenagers) can be found happily grazing on the lush grasses their pastures provide. The cows that are being actively milked also get some mixed legumes and grains at the barn to provide them with the extra energy they need to produce rich, organic milk.

The Devos family believes that by maintaining the health of the land and the health of the cows, they can provide fantastic organic milk free of Growth Hormones, GMO’s, Pesticides, Herbicides and Antibiotics for consumers to enjoy.

Check out this fun video showing how Kimball Brook Farm milk gets from the cow to your kitchen table:

 

 

A polyculture of corn & sunflowers grown as food for the herd at KBF

Spotlight on Lundberg Family Farms

This week, the Co-op Spotlight shines brightly on Lundberg Family Farms!  Member-Owners can enjoy 20% off their entire line of rice, rice chips, rice cakes, and risottos from March 7th – 13th! Read on to learn more about this family-owned company and their commitment to socially and environmentally responsible practices for more than 80 years:

Since the company was first founded by Nebraska natives Albert & Frances Lundberg in 1937, Lundberg Family Farms has remained a family-owned and operated company committed to producing the finest quality rice and rice products for your family, while respecting and sustaining the earth. Today, over 80 years later, the third and fourth generations carry on the family heritage by using eco-positive farming methods that produce wholesome, healthful rice and rice products while improving and protecting the environment for generations to come.

Founder Albert Lundberg, a survivor of the dust bowl, understood the importance of caring for the soil. He recognized that the dust bowl resulted from poor soil management and short-sighted farming techniques. With this in mind, the Lundberg’s made a choice to avoid growing typical conventional rice.  Their Certified Organic and Eco-Farmed rice is grown with a concern for the environment. They treat the soil, air, and water as important resources, respecting the delicate balances of nature. They are a proud participant of the Non-GMO Project, and positioned their company as an early leader in organic farming, energy conservation, use of renewable energy, providing safe and fair working conditions, and many other environmentally responsible and socially responsible practices.

As a member of the Sustainable Food Trade Association (SFTA), Lundberg Family Farms signed a pledge committing to reporting the company’s annual performance in 11 action categories: organic & land use, distribution & sourcing, energy, climate change & emissions, water use & quality, solid waste reduction, packaging & marketing materials, labor, animal care, sustainability education, and governance & community engagement. Each year, Lundberg Family Farms audits their performance in these areas and publishes the findings in their annual SFTA Sustainability Report. Click HERE to view the report.

Spotlight on Muir Glen

We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Muir Glen this week! From February 21st – 27th, all Muir Glen products are 20% off for Member-owners, so it’s a great time to stock up the pantry with these staples! Read on to learn more about why they shine:

 

Muir Glen was founded on the belief that there must be a way to grow a better tasting tomato—it must be grown organically. That’s why they grow their signature organic tomatoes in the rich organic soil of California’s Sacramento Valley. It takes a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it.

Their Principles –

Regenerative Farming

Muir Glen is building on their commitment to source 100% of their ingredients from certified organic farms by expanding their priorities to include regenerative practices like cover cropping and diverse crop rotations.

Protecting Pollinators

The unsung heroes of agriculture, the tiny but mighty bees work hard for our food.  Because the folks at Muir Glen want them to keep on buzzing for generations to come, they’ve partnered with the Xerces Society to plant pollinator habitats on the California farms that grow their tomatoes.

Farmers as Partners

As they learn more about the farmers and communities that make Muir Glen products possible, they’re working to find ways to support them all on a deeper level. Muir Glen seeks to understand their challenges and opportunities by cultivating real relationships with these champions who are committed to regenerating natural resources to ensure long-term prosperity.

 

Click HERE for great recipes from their web page!

 

 

 

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