Weekly News & Updates

Dear Members and Friends,
What a busy month! 
Hanukkah started last night and lasts 8 days   

St. Nicholas Day Dec. 5 or 6 or 19   

Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe Dec. 12   

St. Lucia Day Festival of Lights Dec. 13   

Saturnalia (Roman) Dec. 17 plus 5 or 7 days   

Solstice & start of 12 days of Yule (pagan) Dec. 21 Christmas Day & Newton's Birthday Dec. 25   

Boxing Day Dec. 26

Kwanzaa Dec. 26 - Jan. 1 

Omisoka Japanese New Year Dec. 31  

El Día de los Reyes/12th Day of Christmas Jan. 6


Upcoming Events at the Co-op

Tastings:  Friday, December 14th  
Em from 5b's gluten-free Bakery and Kari from Kari's Island Elixirs will be in the store sampling.  
* Em will be here 12 -3 pm. She'll have a selection of 5b's gluten-free treats to get people prepared for their holiday meals. 5b's baked goods are
so tasty that every guest can enjoy
them, even
those without dietary restrictions.
* Kari will be here from 2 - 5 pm. She'll have vinegars, bitters, and shrubs -- both to taste and for sale! This sale is a one time opportunity, since Kari won't be able to provide her products to us as retail just yet.

Herbs:  Sunday, December 16th
Adaptogenic Herbs:  At 5 - 6 pm, the co-op's own Health and Wellness Coordinator, Adrienne Brooks, will give a presentation on adaptogens -- herbs that help the body adapt to stressors and normalize its processes. Adrienne will explain how adaptogens work with the body, how to choose the right formula, and what herbs are new and available at the Co-op.

Mark your calendars!

In the Store this Week

Greetings from the Produce Department!

As the growing season here in the Islands winds down, I wanted to take a moment to check in with you, our valued customers, about what you can expect to see on our shelves in these cold, winter months.

As always, our first priority is supporting our local farmers and food systems to the very best of our abilities. We want to assure you that we will always buy locally first, whenever possible.  And there are some local items you can expect to see on our shelves all winter long, like brassicas and squash, which we will buy from our island farmers as long as they're available. Some of our local growers have installed infrastructure which will allow them to grow some of the more delicate crops throughout the winter; for which we are extremely fortunate. And while we will purchase these products consistently through the off-season, the supply may be limited and the cost slightly higher than what you're used to seeing.

But many of the Red "Grown in the  Islands" produce tags you've gotten used to seeing this summer are giving way to our Yellow and White "Regional" and "Beyond" produce designations. During the winter, our two main produce suppliers are The Puget Sound Food Hub, a farmer-owned cooperative wholesale market based in Mt. Vernon, and Organically Grown Company, a member-grower and employee-owned company based in the Pacific Northwest. It's important to me, as the produce buyer, to know which produce needs are being met, and where there might be room for additional produce items.

And don't forget, Co-op members are always welcome to place special wholesale orders through our vendors at a reduced markup!

So please, drop me a line at , with any thoughts or requests for produce as we move through the winter together. Put "ATTN: Maggie" in the subject line to ensure it comes directly to me. I can't promise I'll be able to fulfill every request, but I'd love to know your feedback and what's working (or not working) for you!

                    -- Maggie

This Week in Produce


Dancing Seeds:  Arugula

Dog Island:  shiitake mushrooms

Federico Farm:  broccoli

Horse Drawn:  kale, amarosa & french  fingerling & majestic purple  potatoes, Asian  
greens, celeriac, carrots,  blue ballet &  
kabocha squash,
broccoli shoots, aji cristal peppers, savoy & red cabbages, collard greens
Nootka Rose:  chard, romanesco cauliflower, ozette potatoes

Sweet Earth: jerusalem artichokes, delicata squash


All Seasons, Langley, BC:  crimini mushrooms

Hedlin Farms, LaConner:  brussels sprouts, celery

Osprey Hill, Acme, WA:  fennel bulbs, chiogga radicchio

Top Hat, Salem & Scio, OR:  shiitake mushrooms

Ralph's Greenhouse, Mt. Vernon: carrots, parsnips, leeks, parsley

Crow's Farm, Bow, WA: watermelon radishes

Siri & Son's, St. Paul, OR: Turnips

Busy Bee Farms, Vancouver, OR: Asian pears


OrganicGirl spinach & salad greens
Organically Grown Company 


December Wines of the Month:

We have some awesome oddballs this month. All practicing (non-certified) organic, we have a frizzante white from far southern Italy, a Refosco from northern Italy and a Macedonian Merlot. All three of these were ordered in early September and just arrived, so we won't have any more after they're gone. 

The Arcangelo Salento Bianco Frizzante (archangel fizzy white from Salento) is delightful - bright, clean, lightly elegant and rich. Sings with food or on its own for when you want a little sparkle in life but don't feel the need for the full production and self-consciousness of champagne.

Refosco is one of those northern Italian red grapes that suffered on account of not being famous, but when it is treated with care it can make some truly lovely wines. Guerra Albano's Refosco is a good example of the grape done well, lightly spicy, with wild berry fruits and hints of forest floor. Goes well with red meat, game, and moderately aged cheese.

For the last few years, there have been some surprisingly good wines coming out of eastern Europe. Jordanov's 2017 Merlot, from Tikves, Macedonia has everything one might want out of a moderately priced Merlot. It's rich, with fresh blueberries and blackberries, dried rose petal and some wonderful herbaceous notes and fine tannins.

-- Jeremy
Essential Oil of the Month

Myrrh oil is made from the resin of the tree Commiphora myrrha, found in Africa and the Middle East. Botanically, it is related to Frankincense and they are frequently used together.  Some texts relate Myrrh as the feminine balance to the masculine qualities of Frankincense.
Historically, Myrrh has been used for thousands of years in religious ceremonies, during embalming, as fragrance, as well as for its healing properties.

Myrrh is anti-bacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, making it a good choice for treating wounds, bacterial and fungal infections of the skin and general skin health.

Myrrh is also well known for it efficacy in treating mouth and gum disorders, such as gingivitis and mouth ulcers.

Myrrh also may have thyroid stimulating effects, as noted in both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, and thus, be beneficial for hypothyroidism.

Additionally, Myrrh has shown great potential in the treatment of skin cancers.

Myrrh is quite potent and should be used with care. Myrrh can be diffused or used topically by most (although it can cause skin reactions) but should be used with great care if taken internally as it can cause digestive upset.
Myrrh is not recommended during pregnancy, for those with low blood pressure, or those who are on blood thinning medications.

-- Adrienne  


A note from Amanda of Isla Botanica:

As of December 1, 2018, I will be handing over the production of Isla Botanica's tea blends to my dear friend and accomplished local herbalist, Michele Sanger. She runs a wonderful local herb shop, Living Earth Herbs, in Bellingham, WA. All of the tea blends you have come to know and love will be made the same way, in small batches with the highest quality and sustainable practices, using organic ingredients, and local herbs as much as possible. You may still purchase small and large bags of tea, as usual. They will come in the same type of packaging and contain the same delicious teas. Instead of the Isla Botanic label, you will see that of Living Earth Herbs.
At this time, all of Isla Botanica's other products (salves, tinctures, elderberry syrup) are still available. I will be happy to fulfill your orders for these items, as usual. My long-term plan is to hand over the manufacture of these products to Michele and Living Earth Herbs, as well. However, as of now, Isla Botanica will continue to provide them.

- Amanda Thiel

New on the Shelf
New from Lake Missoula Tea Company:  Turmeric Twirl Rooibos Tea, zesty, spicy and smooth. Between the turmeric and rooibos, this blend is loaded with antioxidants.    
We also have T-Sacs, tea balls, and tea sieves for your choice in brewing these loose leaf blends!

Back in Stock 

Denman Smiling Buddha Chocolates, with or without ginger.

Starvation Alley Spiced Cranberry Sauce


Coco-Roons, salted caramel flavor

Food for life Sesame Ezekiel 4:9 bread

On Sale

Lopez Creamery Pumpkin Ice Cream 25% off

Pablitos Avocado Salsa  25% off

Allium ambassador:  one of the tallest and longest blooming at 48 " tall with 7" wide globes,  bloom s for 5 weeks.
Ornamental Alliums

This is what my bulb catalogue says about ornamental alliums:  "rabbit, rodent and deer resistant, seldom affected by disease, adored by bees, butterflies and pollinators, extend the spring flowering season and are valuable cut and dried flowers." 

What's not to love? 

There are many varieties sporting dramatic blooms in several sizes and colors.  I've grown them before and I've just received my order for new ones I'm going to plant for next spring. 

Allium nigrum pink jewel:  rose pink, grows 26" to 34" tall, 3"- 4" wide composite globes, .
They are onions, you know, but what dramatic ones!  They need full sunlight, well draining soil, and neutral pH.  That's a pretty easy requirement.
Pictured here are the ones I've bought bulbs for and will plant this fall, tallest first, down to shortest.

It is hard to pick out what to get, there are so many different kinds.  I ordered from the John Scheepers catalogue but there are plenty of other sources out there.  I have found that they look best planted in drifts and clumps, and they tend to come in packs with quite a few bulbs.

I know that NOTHING is totally deer resistant.  My sage bush got eaten
last spring after sitting there for nearly twenty years, so I never say never. But since these are onions and smell like onions, they are a pretty good bet.

If you haven't tried them yet, do;
Allium sphaerochephalon, "drumstick allium," dates from 6th century, has 1" to1 1/2" flowers, grows 24" tall.

you'll be entertained and amused.

I love ornamental alliums!

Allium shubertii:  Popular heirloom, 12" wide with up to 100 florets, looks like fireworks, even when the seed pods develop; 16" tall.

Allium unifolium:  3" wide floral clusters, 12" high.

  -- Alice Deane


The recent Alaska quake reminds us of what could happen here. Luckily Alaskans were prepared, but they will be repairing damage at home and waiting for infrastructure to be repaired.

Be inspired to undertake preparations you and your friends and family can do together to make your home safe. 

Look around and make lists of things that could fall from walls, shelves, or the ceiling or be hurled across the room. One Alaskan was still asleep in his cabin "when pictures and pans flew off the walls and books and dishes crashed to the ground."

Here's a straightforward and easy to follow Earthquake Country Alliance website which you can use as a guide to securing your space:

Double check that your food and water supplies are safe, and that your emergency equipment and spare clothing & medications are stored in an accessible place. Use our San Juan County Department of Emergency Management handouts as a guide. See below.

-- Eleanor

December is our Twelfth Month
You're almost finished with your Disaster Preparedness if you have been following along with us using the twelve-month Household Preparation Calendar offered by the San Juan County Department of Emergency Management. Here are the final touches:
* Heavy work gloves
* Begin to try to expand your food supply to twice what you have on hand right now. Continue with this effort into the coming 12 months.
* Check to see if your stored food and water needs to be replaced. 
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
If you are starting your preparations now, you can find the Department of Emergency Management handouts at the Co-op.  
With a few purchases and one or two things to attend to each month, at the end of one year your family will be prepared in the event of an emergency which could cut our island community off from services and supplies. 
1. 12 month Household Preparation Calendar 
2. Neighborhood Preparation Calendar 
3. Immediate Response -- "Disaster! Now what?"
San Juan County Hazard Mitigation Plan 2018

A countywide effort is underway to make sure we are all prepared:

"We cannot prevent the infrequent disastrous acts of nature, but we can implement strategies designed to reduce the property damage, disruption of services, devastation to the local economy, and the long-term risks to people that typically follow a natural disaster. This is hazard mitigation." Read more:

Volunteer at the Co-op!
Volunteer Benefits:

In addition to the rewards of donating their time, volunteers earn co-op cash to spend in the store at the rate of $4.60 for every two hours of work. Any hours worked within the quarter will count towards co-op cash. All cash earned during the quarter is to be used during the following quarter, with transactions recorded at the check stand.

Contact Information:

If you would like to volunteer, please email Sarah at the co-op with "VOLUNTEER" in the subject line:

Or phone the co-op at  360-370-5170.  You can also leave a message with the cashier.  

Thank you!       
 -- Sarah  

Information about special ordering
Special Ordering is a Member Benefit. Save on items you use often--bathroom tissue, pet food, canned goods, pasta, bulk beans, and even chill or frozen items. The markup on member special orders is 20% over wholesale for taxable and non-taxable items. You can request a special order information sheet at the store or via email:


NOTE:  UNFI Christmas Day delivery will be postponed to Wednesday, December 26th
UNFI orders are every week.
Order deadline is Midnight Saturday
Pickup: after 3pm on Tuesday
Please be prompt for chill and frozen items.


Azure Standard orders are every other week.  
Current order in transit: Pickup Friday, 11/30 
Next order deadline:  Midnight December  1 
Pickup: After 10 am Friday December 7



Monday - Friday:  10 - 7             //            Saturday & Sunday: 10 - 5
Phone:  360-370-5170            //        Email: 


Monthly Meetings

December 17, January 21, February 18
Heritage Bank meeting room at 6:30 pm.
All members are welcome to attend meetings.

Any member is welcome to speak at the beginning of Board meetings.  Please contact the Chair or any Board member at about the topic of interest, with the understanding that due to the amount of business the Board has to attend to, brevity is appreciated.


Editor: Eleanor Hartmann

Contributors:  Sarah Benson, Bethery von Dassow, Maggie Olsen, Alice Deane, Adrienne Brooks, Jeremy Jennings.
Thank you for supporting your San Juan Island Food Co-op 
Mission Statement
The San Juan Island Food Co-op strives to provide access to local and regional food and goods that are organic, sustainable, and fairly produced, with the smallest carbon footprint.
The Co-op encourages conscientious consumption
and nurtures community connections.
San Juan Island Food Co-op | Friday Harbor | 360-370-5170
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