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!
This Week in Produce
Dancing Seeds: Arugula
Dog Island: shiitake mushrooms
Federico Farm: broccoli
Drawn: kale, amarosa & french fingerling & majestic purple potatoes, Asian
greens, celeriac, carrots, blue ballet &
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.
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.
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 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!
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
Lopez Creamery Pumpkin Ice Cream 25% off
Pablitos Avocado Salsa 25% off