Happy Holidays From The Bees!

Happy Holidays From The Bees!

PillarGroupBeeswaxCall it your ‘Circle of Life’ holiday gift: hand-dipped beeswax candles from Big Dipper Wax Works in Seattle. This company not only uses nectar from flowers gathered by honeybees, it then turns around and donates 10% of the net profits from all candle sales to organizations dedicated to outreach, education, and sustainability efforts devoted to promoting sustainable beekeeping. “Big Dipper is committed to supporting a vibrant community of customers, beekeepers, and bees,” says founder Brent Roose.

Many candles come with unfortunate side effects because they are made using paraffin, a petroleum by-product which is chemically bleached and hardened, emits black soot and pollutes the air. Big Dipper candles are 100% natural and free of paraffin and other toxins. Unlike most products used in candles, beeswax actually cleans the air by emitting negative ions.

Stop by the Yelm Cooperative during your holiday shopping for some elegant hand-dipped tapers or pillars made with an exquisite mix of essential oils. This is one gift that will keep on giving.

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Holiday Grapevine is out!

christmas tree

The latest issue of the Yelm Cooperatives Grapevine is out for your reading pleasure!

$1 Million in sales

Last issue we talked about reaching $1 million in sales this year and asking for your help.
Well, as I post this, we are set to reach that magical goal by mid- December!!

Packed with Articles

Check out the great articles this issue:

=> History of Co-ops, part 2

=> The General Manager’s bi-monthly report

=> A wrap up of this yea’s hugely successful Farmers Market

=> Our regular “Vegan Corner” has some things to think about
when you think you are eating vegan, but might not be!

=> 2 pages of YFC specials for December and January

=> Some very yummy recipes from staff members:
             Almond Crescent Cookies,
             Stuffed Bell Peppers
             Pumpkin Soup
–  all perfect for cold winter days!

Working Members

On the back page is  a column that addresses a very critical need for your Co-op’s continued success – that is the need for more Working Members to help run the store. You may have noticed recently that there are times when there is only one of 2 people working in the store on a shift. That person has to be cashier, stocker, order receiver, telephone answerer, customer service rep and do anything else that comes up. So, please if you can find the time to lend a hand or know someone who could, talk to one of the staff members.

There is not only the satisfaction that comes from serving our local community with high quality, nutritious and yummy foods, Working Members receive some great benefits!

Great opportunity for a someone to keep the store shiny and clean!

Anyone who finds a volunteer who is willing to be the person who does regular cleaning of the store will get a

$100 Gift Card!

And the cleaner volunteer will get one, too!

Both cards will be issued after the volunteer has worked for 3 months. If the volunteer wants to become a Working Member, they will receive those additional benefits as well, like 2o% discounts on purchases, Buy Club privileges and a La Gitana VIP card.

Get this Grapevine issue at the store while supplies last or download it here:

Grapevine – Holiday 2014

You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this. You can download it here:

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Gift of Gobble Expands Community Impact

Gift of Gobble Expands Community Impact

DSC02287This Thanksgiving, the Yelm Food Cooperative’s annual Gift of Gobble project exceeded all expectations, both in the number of families reached and the amount of money raised. “It was a quantum leap this year,” says Outreach Coordinator Andrea Levanti. Co-op volunteers raised over $7,000 and provided meals for 128 families – three more than their original goal of 125.

The project has evolved greatly since its inception in 2010 and every year is able to make a greater impact in the community.  “It’s very gratifying to develop a network with other groups that have been doing this all along,” says Levanti. “St. Vincent de Paul is an amazing organization that helps families with basic things like keeping their electricity on. This year for the first time we worked with Yelm Community Schools, and I had a bunch of counselors contact me with families to nominate. Our military contact at JBLM came through with twenty-five families. ”

For recipients, the gift of a complete Thanksgiving feast translates into multiple meals that help to feed other friends and relatives. “People have shared with us that they’re able to get up to six meals out of what they’re given, and then they use the turkey bones to make soup,” says project coordinator Barbara Morando.

Co-op volunteer Tina Maggio has been involved from the beginning and coined the term “Gift of Gobble”. She points out an unusual aspect of the program.  “The cool thing is that there’s no questions asked,” she says.  “Anyone can nominate a family – it’s not based on their income. Once the name goes in, there’s nothing to prove.” Barbara Morando adds that Gift of Gobble helps maintain the dignity of recipients by avoiding invasive questions.

Such details are clearly appreciated. In the flood of thank you letters and emails that followed this year’s project, one stood out. It came from a man who had frequently volunteered with homeless shelters himself. “This year, it was my turn to receive,” he said. “I was stunned as I am not usually on that end; yet this year with no income per se, no food stamps either, I became the recipient of a meal donated by the Yelm Food Co-op. What I observed in a short moment of waiting for the gift, was a group of busy, caring, generous people thoughtfully and tastefully putting together a meal fit for royalty . . . like a wave in the ocean of social reality and consciousness, what is given forth will surely return to the giver. Your giving spirit shall see its wondrous return. Bravo to the community spirit! Thank you volunteers and members of the Yelm Food Co-op.”

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Middle Eastern Goodies Provide Mental Vacation

Middle Eastern Goodies Provide Mental Vacation

Signature Hummus OLF 040610As the Pacific Northwest winter closes in, you may find yourself dreaming of warmer – nay, hotter – climes. Greece, for example, or possibly Lebanon may come to mind. Don’t fight it. Just throw on some culturally appropriate music and crank up your woodstove. Now you have the perfect setting for delicacies from Exquisite N Traditional, an Olympia-based company specializing in middle eastern products. Owner Habib Serhan was born in Lebanon and his recipes were passed down by his mother and grandmother.

Currently, The Yelm Food Cooperative carries their all-natural hummus made from garbanzo beans, squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, fresh garlic cloves, tahini and sea salt.  Habib also makes another delicious dish called labneh, a soft cheese made from strained yogurt. The latter makes an excellent low-calorie alternative to regular cream cheese. The yogurt is made from natural, growth hormone-free milk, which is then combined with olive oil, sea salt, garlic, dried mint and cucumber. Look for it in the refrigerated section near the produce.

Side note: they also cater with a larger range of entrees and side dishes! So if you want to go all in: make a full playlist, order more firewood, send for some ouzo and call them or visit http://shop.organicntraditional.com/main.sc

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Nourishing the Community: Gift of Gobble’s 5th Year

Nourishing the Community: Gift of Gobble’s 5th Year

It’s one thing to visit a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving. It’s another entirely for people who find themselves in difficult Gobble 006 (1)circumstances to receive the gift of a complete holiday meal that they can fix for themselves and enjoy with their family at home. That is the premise of The Gift of Gobble, now in its fifth year at the Yelm Food Cooperative. This way, “They get to have their holiday with their family instead of going somewhere and standing in line to get a hot meal,” says Project Director Barbara Morando.

The idea began in 2010, when Outreach Coordinator Andrea Levanti envisioned the project and started it with 34 families. Each year, that number has grown and this Thanksgiving the goal is 125.   Morando and her team work with local groups to get the word out.  “We call on every church, all the different denominations, we contact the military, people who are disabled – we try to include the broad spectrum of our community,” she says.

On the business side, the response has been heartwarming. “I was extremely surprised last year when Andrea and I went around to the businesses asking for donations,” Morando says.  “Almost every single one of them gave. The response was impressive considering the economic climate nowadays. I think that they care about their community and their fellow man.”

Morando and her team of volunteers get to see the impact they’re making firsthand when the folks arrive to pick up their feasts. “People are so touched they’re almost in tears. One woman told us she was so grateful to have this meal because otherwise her family would have had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Thanksgiving. Another young couple said they had just moved out here from New York with nothing. They had lost everything in Hurricane Sandy. They were very capable young adults, but had to start completely over. They were extremely grateful to get the meal.”

Anyone who wants to nominate a family can fill out the form at the store and leave it with the cashier. A donation of $65.00 will feed a family of six, plus leftovers. The complete holiday meal, including turkey with all the fixings, side dishes and pumpkin pie, comes in a large shopping tote donated by Patty Reed Designs of Oregon. “They don’t even know us,” says Morando, “but when I called and told them about our project they donated $1,020 worth of shopping totes.”

Those who support The Gift of Gobble also receive a contribution, she says. “It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you’ve done something to intervene in someone’s life that can help a difficult situation.” For more information, visit the Yelm Food Cooperative.

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Gluten Free Romance Leads to Pie

Gluten Free Romance Leads to Pie

Sometimes, when boy meets girl, gluten allergy meets lactose intolerance. That was the challenge facing Ben and Annie when pie1they started dating. “We both had a slew of allergies and food intolerances. It was a match made in heaven!” says Annie. Their creative solution was to open their own business, the Olympia-based Pockets Full of Pie. Currently at the Yelm Cooperative, you can find their personal pumpkin pies in the frozen desserts section along with other goodies. All of their products are vegan and made with natural ingredients and they solemnly swear that none will taste like cardboard. The pair will continue to add seasonal treats to their menu, so keep your eyes peeled. “Everything on the menu is made from scratch with lots of love and care,” Annie reports. Products are also dairy, egg and soy free.

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Fall issue of the Grapevine is out

The latest issue of the Yelm Cooperatives Grapevine is out for your reading pleasure!

You can help us reach 1 MILLION in sales this year – a major milestone for your Co-op.
The article is on page1.

There are great articles on:

History of Co-ops

The General Manager’s bi-monthly report

Update on our fabulous Farmers Market

GMO-free Month at your Yelm Food Co-op

A note from the Board President

Our in-house Naturopath, Diane Duncan

YFC specials for the month and more….

Get it at the store while supplies last or download it here:

Grapevine Vol4.4

You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this. You can download it here:

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The Doctor is IN

The Doctor is IN

c7e3f9b4-9948-4845-b260-34983e205b80By Heidi Smith

Imagine this: you’re shopping for groceries and you have a question about a particular product – a protein powder, let’s say. The clerk magically transforms herself into a trained and knowledgeable medical professional, comes around the counter, and consults with you about your health, on the spot. Fantasy? More like Friday at the Yelm Cooperative.

Diana Duncan is that clerk, and she is also a trained and licensed naturopathic doctor, an added benefit for customers and co-op members. One day a week she is available for anyone with questions about health, nutrition, botanical medicine and more.

“I would like to be an educational resource for people to feel more empowered about their own health,” she says.

The naturopathic approach to medicine is different from traditional western medicine’s.

“Our philosophy is to stimulate the body to heal itself,” Duncan explains.  “The person has the ability to heal within themselves and it’s our job to identify along with them the things that are standing in their way and help them get back to more of a fundamentally healthy lifestyle. It’s unique for every person. The idea  is to support body systems as needed with nutrition, nutraceuticals in supplement form, work on structural integrity, all sorts of things.”

Duncan first got involved with Yelm Cooperative as a volunteer clerk.  “I loved coming in to buy groceries. I thought it would be really nice to be in a place where you get to see and connect with a lot of the community,” she says. Since she began in April, her role has evolved, given her background and training. She studied pre-med at the University of Idaho and then spent four years at Bastyr University earning her Naturopath license.

Now, she is enjoying the chance to share her knowledge.

“One of our mandates is ‘doctor as teacher’, docere in Latin,” says Duncan. “That’s one of my favorite aspects of naturopathic medicine, teaching people about their intestines, or about the function of their pancreas or why neti pots are so useful.”

To learn more about any of the above or consult with Diana on another topic, drop by the Yelm Cooperative on Friday afternoons or call for an appointment.

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Newest Grapevine is out!

The newest issue of The Grapevine is now out at the store and here online.

Articles on Food Security and the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” (foods you only want to eat if they are organic), an explanation of what foods are taxed and which ones are not, the GM’s report and notes from the YFC’s The Wine Cellar of Yelm are featured this month.

Check out page 7 for the news about free consultations from our “in-house” Naturopathic Doctor, Diana Duncan.

And our BIG news that the Yelm Cooperative and all its programs are now officially a federal non-profit organization under the IRS code 510(c)(3). This will be a huge help as we start looking for grants and large donations to keep the YC growing. We’ll keep you updated as to how that will effect our members.

Download it here: Grapevine Vol 4, Issue 3


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Your Farmer’s Market Needs Your Help

Yelm Farmers Market

Hi Farmer’s Market Fans

Sunday June 1st is really close and our Market Manager could use some help.

As you can imagine there is lots to do to run a market and every bit of help helps :-)

When the market begins, there are many things to do each week to keep the market running – putting out signs, helping vendors, counting and assisting visitors, handing out information about the market, helping tear down at the end of the day, and more.

You can make a difference this year! Be part of the team that is helping bring local food and arts and crafts to our beautiful community.

And as an out-of-store Working Member for the Yelm Cooperative, you earn discounts on your shopping at the Yelm Food Co-op! See a store staff members for details.

Drop a line to yelmfarmersmarket@gmail.com and let Karen know you’d like to help her this season.

And remember to ‘like’ us on Facebook for up-to-date progress on your Yelm Farmers Market Season.


~The Yelm Farmers Market Team~

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Boston embracing urban agriculture

urban agricultureCornucopia’s latest newsletter, The Cultivator, carries a story about how even a large city can revitalize urban farming. If more cities would follow Beantown’s example, “buying local” would get closer and closer to consumers.

According to the article,

“This spring, the city is starting the most comprehensive transactional urban agriculture system in the country. In December, as one of his last tasks in office, former mayor Thomas M. Menino signed Article 89 into law. The new ordinance means farmers will be able to grow – and, importantly, sell for profit — within the city limits.”

The city also has a thriving community garden system and the city has spent about $10 million in support of these gardens, but the produce couldn’t be sold. Up til now.

We should be encouraging all our local cities to embrace urban agriculture. This is one simple method of developing food sovereignty and encouraging the growth of local farms. By making local food more available, people in those towns will start to take advantage of food that may have only been harvested that morning. At some time, those same shoppers will reject week old (or more) factory farmed food from thousands of miles away.

That is another reason it is critical for the readers of this blog who live in the Yelm area to patronize the Yelm Food Co-op and the Yelm Farmer’s Market – we are building the spirit of urban agriculture in Yelm and need your help. Together, we can make a difference.

The whole story from The Cultivator is here:


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Teens spending more on food than clothes

teens eatingeMarketer.com just ran an article about a recent survey on teen spending that showed that they are now spending more on food than on clothing. Piper Jaffray’s “Taking Stock with Teens” survey is in it’s 27th year and this is the first time that food has taken the lead.

What’s important for us in the food awareness arena is to note that the bulk of the spending is for lower priced food since teens tend to have limited budgets. So they spend in the so-called “quick service restaurants”, QSRs. Sounds much better than “junk food restaurants, but the name doesn’t change the food.

You can read the whole article here. They don’t mention quality of food since that is not the thrust of the survey.


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