Monthly News & Updates

Dear Members and Friends,
Welcome to your new monthly co-op newsletter. We'll   provide a little light reading that's relevant to our mission and our business.  Look for the weekly Hot Sheet next Monday.

Upcoming Events
Tea Tasting and Tarot
Saturday, January 12th
12:30 - 4:30 pm

Jake Krelieck, founder of Lake Missoula Tea Company, will be in the store brewing up samples of his company's artisanal, loose leaf, organic tea blends. Featuring Gaia Chai, Milk Oolong and Spicy Ginger Snap, . 

Alongside the tea tastings, artist Glenn Hendrick will be back in the store reading tarot from her handmade deck and selling hand thrown pottery. Get a reading on the start of 2019 while you find your perfect tea blend and a mug to match!

Winter Tree Bark Medicine
Sunday, February 10th
5 - 6 pm

Join local herbalist Rosa Blair, founder of Ihiya Biological Reserve, to learn about bark medicine in this one hour, hands on workshop. Rosa will cover harvesting and processing techniques of willow, dogwood, alder, and other regional tree bark for tea, smoke mixes, and tinctures. 

Co-Op Recognition

We are pleased to announce that the Co-Op was recently awarded the Certificate of Excellence for a member in the shopping category during the Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner. 
Sarah and Paul had an opportunity to meet with local business members as well as community advocates and were more than surprised when our name was called! 

Gardening with Master Gardener Alice Deane:

Garden Planning:
New Varieties for a New Year

From Siskiyou Seeds I'm interested in some new peppers.  One that I'll probably try this year is Chimayo, a hot pepper from Chimayo in New Mexico, where a late friend of mine lived, and which is a very special place, with historic church that houses healing soil.  According to the catalogue, these peppers are unpredictable, some long and skinny some short and fat, all on the same plant.  They make a great red chile sauce, sweet and then hot, also popular for roasting.  I'm intrigued!

We are also going to grow the Fish pepper for the master gardener's sale this year, an heirloom known in seafood cookery houses around Chesapeake Bay, with heritage from Africa via African-American seed savers.  They ripen from green and white, through orange brown and then to red.  They have a wide range of heat from jalapeño level to cayenne.

And Miranda is another pepper I want to grow.  It's akin to Carmen, which is a Corno di Toro type long sweet pepper.  I haven't been able to find Corno di Toro for a few years, planted some Carmen last year, but had them planted too close to other plants and they didn't get a chance to thrive.  So I'll give Miranda a try this time around.


The Territorial catalogue offers the orange cherry tomato Orange Peruche, which pretty much won the taste testing we master gardeners did at one of our luncheons last summer.  It is an F1 hybrid, but so is Sungold, which has never stopped anyone from growing that tomato!  Its growth habit sounds a lot like
that of Sungold according to the catalogue, one inch fruits on trusses, indeterminate vines.  Territorial says it was the winner of their in-house taste test too in 2018.

The Baker Creek catalogue is such a treat for the eyes, you should send away for it just to look at the amazing photos, but be warned, it will make you hungry.

This year we're going to be beating the drum for Amish Paste tomatoes from the Baker Creek catalog, a really good one for sauce.  We grew it for the sale a couple of years ago but people were put off by the name, if you can imagine that, saying "eew, paste sounds gross" not realizing that paste is the terminology for a sauce tomato.  Well, no such confusion this year.  Many seed savers believe this to be the ultimate paste tomato;
it's from an Amish community in Wisconsin and it has no problems with blossom end rot that San Marzano tends to suffer from.

The Third Plate: Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber, award winning chef at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, in upstate New York.  He moves "farm to table" to a new level, and offers a fascinating future for farming and eating.  And he is co-creator of "Row 7 Seeds"; they sell innovative varieties developed according to his food philosophy.  Check out their catalogue at  We've bought some and Bob Levinson is going to grow them out to trial for the master gardener plant sale this year.  He devotes a section of the book to Squat Valley and the bread lab that the Mt. Vernon research center.  He even mentions our extension agent Brook!  It's a must read.

-- Alice Deane

Farm Profile:

Mitchell Bay Farm

Welcome to our new monthly column, where we shine a light on our local farmers, featuring a new farm and farmer in every newsletter, with the hopes of connecting our community a little closer to our local food system.  

This month we are featuring Colleen and Bruce Howe-Gregory of Mitchell Bay Farm. Colleen and Bruce are an integral link in our island community. You will often see Colleen's warm and friendly face in the Co-op when she stops by to make a delivery of fruit, handmade soap, or sheepskins.

Mitchell Bay Farm is located on the West side of San Juan Island, just up the road from Snug Harbor and next door to another of our local growers, Sweet Earth Farm. It is a diverse, partially-certified organic polyculture farm that produces lamb and sheepskins from a herd of Black Dorper sheep, kiwifruits, Asian pears, filberts, apples, and honey bees. The farm is thirty-one acres in total, twelve of which are leased out for haylage harvesting and forage production, and five acres of madrone and mixed fir.
The farm has been in continuous use since the late 1800's when Peter Kirk, (the city of Kirkland is named after him!) a rich English industrialist who owned most of the west side of San Juan Island, hired a family to sharecrop his farmlands. A house was built in 1900 and occupied by the Botsford family that managed and farmed the surrounding farmlands for Mr. Kirk. The same house still stands today and after modern upgrades is the headquarters for Mitchell Bay Farm.

Colleen and Bruce have worked with the land over time to create their vision. At one point, the farm was a working plant nursery, and Colleen still maintains a beautiful perennial garden of mixed shrubs, trees, and flowers, as well as their orchards and a personal kitchen garden.

The Co-op carries Mitchell Bay fruits throughout the season; the Anna kiwis come on in early September and last through about the middle of October, just as the Asian pears are ripening. The Anna kiwis are kiwi berries, miniature kiwis with edible skins just a bit more tart than the kiwi fruits most are familiar with, and they are so much fun to eat! About the size of grapes, they make a perfect snack on a hot, late summer afternoon. Mitchell Bay supplies the Co-op with several heirloom varieties of Asian pears, and they are heavenly: crisp, juicy, and a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity--you truly won't find a better Asian pear than one from Mitchell Bay.

Colleen also makes lovely handmade soaps we are lucky to have here at the Co-op in our Health & Beauty department. Her soaps use sustainable palm oil and essential plant oils; they are entirely free from chemical fragrances or additives. So come on by the co-op to peruse the wonderful offerings from Mitchell Bay Farm. If you're lucky, you may see Colleen's warm and friendly face as she stops by to make a delivery of fruit, handmade soap, or sheepskins. She's always got a few moments to chat with whomever happens to be in the store.

A Recipe from our produce coordinator, Maggie - 

Simple, Garlic-Braised Greens

If you're anything like me, winter is a challenging time for salad. There's a scarcity of good local greens, and it just seems too cold for a bowl of chilled vegetables, especially when they come from far away. Despite these setbacks, my body insists on leafy green nutrition. Every winter around this time, I fall back on one of my very favorite things: tender, warm, garlicky greens. In my mind, it's the most satisfying way to enjoy our local brassicas in these dark months, and I find they make a delicious meal any time of the day. Topped with poached eggs and sourdough toast they are a perfect breakfast; served alongside silky, simmered beans, baked squash, or a cut of meat they're a soul-warming lunch or dinner. And of course, all these ingredients can be purchased at the San Juan Island Co-op! The following adaptation is based on a recipe featured in New York Times Cooking, by Marian Burros.

Braised Garlic Greens

Yield: 2 large servings (I often double this recipe so that I have enough for several meals)

Time: 20 minutes

12 ounces hearty greens, such as kale, collards, or Swiss chard, washed, drained, and chopped into 2-inch lengths
4-6 slices bacon, thin cut, sliced into ½ inch pieces*
3-4 large garlic cloves, sliced very thin or minced
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

2 Tbsp dry white wine
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar, optional
¼ tsp hot red pepper flakes
Make sure to use a large, deep sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid. Warm your pan over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. If using the bacon, add to the pan and sauté until crispy (about 5 minutes). Set aside. If at this point the pan is very hot and smoking, remove it from the heat for several minutes, leaving the bacon grease in the pan.
If omitting the bacon, add 2 Tbsp olive oil to your warm skillet, then add the garlic and pepper flakes to the hot oil (or bacon fat). Immediately turn the temperature down to medium-low, and let the garlic infuse until fragrant, about 20-30 seconds. Don't let your garlic burn or brown; it becomes very bitter. Working in handfuls, add the greens to the pan (you may need to add a few handfuls and let them reduce a bit before adding the rest; no matter). Turn the greens over in the pot to coat evenly in fat and garlic and wait for them to decrease in volume by half, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and sherry vinegar, if using. Allow the liquid to evaporate, then add back in the bacon and the stock. Place the lid on the pot and allow to gently simmer for 8-10 minutes. There will be some liquid left in the pan. Season to taste and enjoy!
-- Maggie

Member Spotlight:
Glenn Hendrick

Co-op member Glenn Hendrick is an artist and activist that moved to the islands from Chicago five and a half years ago. She originally came to San Juan to pursue an interest in horses and interned at Free Horse Farm during her first year on the island. From there she went on to run a small CSA and market garden, The Soil Underground, and sold produce to the co-op during that time. 

Glenn is highly active in the San Juan Island community, serving on the board and as program coordinator at Alchemy Art Center, as the lecturer at the San Juan Grange, and this past summer was the director of Camp Eagle Rock. 

Glenn is skilled in a number of art forms, working in painting, drawing, photography, and ceramics. You can find her hand thrown mugs, bowls, and tumblers for sale at the co-op. Glenn will also be in the store this month reading tarot with cards that she painted herself in ink and watercolor. Come and see her on January 12th for perspective, clarity, and illumination on the new year!


So Many Chickens!


Modern humanity's legacy might be all the
chicken bones we leave behind
By Frankie Schembri
Science Magazine
, Dec. 12, 2018

When humans disappear from the planet, we could leave behind a fowl legacy. The signature fossil of our current slice of geologic time might be the bones of the estimated 23 billion chickens on Earth at any given time, a population 10 times greater than that of any other bird species, The New York Times reports. By examining the fossil record from the early centuries C.E. until today, researchers noticed an unprecedented change in the size, number, and composition of the chicken bones at the advent of modern factory farming in the mid-20th century, the researchers report today in Royal Society Open Science. Nowhere is human intervention more apparent than in the bones of the broiler chicken, a species bred and fed specifically for mass consumption.

 ~  ~  In the Store:  Departments  ~  ~

January Wine of the Month
It is January and while there is a sunny blue sky outside the window as I write this, we are in the middle of the long darkness. One wants a dinner companion who acknowledges and honors the winter while also giving a glimmer of summer warmth and light to reflect back on. There are a number of wines that might fill that spot, but right now I'm thinking of a humble, dignified Nero d'Avola from Sicily.

We carry two wines from Tenuta la Favola, a fresh and vibrant white blend of Grillo and Moscato and their most approachable red. The family has been farming the same spot on a hill in Buonivini ("good wines") for a hundred years, and was one of the early adopters of organic agriculture and green energy in the region. Corrado Gurrieri isn't setting out to make the best wine in the world, just a good wine that that conserves a little piece of his land, history and terroir inside each bottle.

Tenuta la Favola 2016 Nero d'Avola IGT :  A dark ruby red with violet edges. Plums, earth, soft dark fruit, with fine tannins and a fine medium body. 16 year old vines, natural yeasts, aged in stainless steel.

-- Jeremy

The Grocery Department


Rawmesan vegan parmesan in 4oz and 8oz.

Evergreen Guardian prayer flags, hats, and handwarmers are staying around after the holiday season

Bitchin Sauce - Bombay flavor

Silver Hills Sprouted Ancient Grains Hamburger Buns - The Food For Life buns we used to carry are no longer available through UNFI.  


Grace Harbor Creamery is now requiring that all products be bought in full cases. With our small size, this means we cannot carry many items, especially during the winter. This includes buttermilk, goat milk, chocolate milk, and all Grace Harbor kefirs. We should be able to bring back buttermilk and kefir in the spring. Chocolate milk will have to wait until summer. We're not sure what the future of goat milk is at this juncture, but the current demand is not large enough.
This will not affect the 32oz yogurts which were already ordered in cases.

-- Bethery 


 Bulk Foods

  Explore the Co-op's bulk section   and you'll find a wide variety of   high- quality staple ingredients.   Save money and reduc packaging   by bringing your own container   and buying exactly what you need.

  For the first quarter of 2019, we   will offer our valued customers   10% off all bulk food items when   you buy 2 lbs. or more, and you   think we will stop there, no, an   additional 5% off if you use one of   your own containers or one of the ones we have available in store. 

  Yes, that is 15% off your bulk food purchases of 2 lbs. or more in a            reusable container.

  Happy New Year San Juan Island

HABA  On Sale:

All WishGarden Herbs 20% OFF!! Through January 15th

Inner-eco Blueberry Blackberry Probiotic Coconut Water - 50% OFF while supplies last!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 


And for those that missed last month's talk on adaptogens, here are some highlights:

What is an adaptogen anyway??
Adapatogens are tonics that act in a non specific way to increase the body's resistance to stress and balance various systems. They may support the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (the system most affected by stress), enhance central nervous system activity, have anti-oxidant activity, protect the liver, improve blood sugar metabolism, and/or increase stamina and endurance.
Essentially, an adapatogen is any substance or life style change that helps one adjust or adapt to our modern day environment, but the term is most often used to describe a group of herbs that have a long history of promoting longevity and increasing the over all strength and resiliency of our body.
Each type of adapatogen has a slightly different impact on the body. Some work by stimulating neurotransmitters responsible for parasympathetic response (rest and repair), some mimic neurotransmitter activity, some increase endurance and stamina while others work in directly supporting the immune system when stress has it in a weakened state.

Here are few of the adaptogenic herbs and supplements that can be found at the co-op:

Ashwagandha:  Used in Ayurveda, it helps increase the body
's resilience to stress, while providing a mild calming effect.

Holy Basil (Tulsi):  Another herb frequently used in Ayurveda, it is particularly good for protecting cardiovascular health from the effects of stress and is a tonic herb that helps one maintain a sense of calm, well being.

Rhodiola:  Great for endurance, stamina, recovering from illness or prolonged stress and will help restore a depleted immune system.
Rhodiola also promotes feelings associated with contentment and well being.

Reishi:  Another immune boosting adaptogen that is helpful in recovering from long illness, and also soothes, calms and restores the body.

Additionally, we carry several types of magnesium, B vitamins, maca, bee pollen, and chocolate.

Yes -- I said chocolate!  Cacao is an adapatogen!  It is believed that theobromine stimulates the release of anandamide, a bliss inducing neurotransmitter.  So, enjoy your chocolate addiction (or try Anadamide, by Sun Potion, which is cacao mixture that stimulates the neurotransmitter of the same name). But remember, it is the cacao you want, not the sugar. So enjoy chocolate that is at least 70% cacao, the darker then.

-- Adrienne


The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community - partnered with consumers - backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.

Homepage where you can sign up for the newsletter: 

What's different about Cornucopia?

    *    We have the largest policy shop acting as a (corporate and governmental) marketplace watchdog in organics and other approaches to better food. Our members have helped build our capacity to carry out this mission.

    *    We are "virtually-officed." We all work out of our homes or farms ranging from Portland, Oregon to Oxford, Mississippi (with about half of our staff here in Wisconsin). Your contributions all go to supporting the mission, not to bricks and mortar (mortgage or rent and utilities). This is our contribution as staff, along with much of our computer/technology (and we all contribute our fair share in cold, hard cash as well).

    *    We have earned the highest award from GuideStar, the watchdog rating nonprofit organization, in terms of ethics and transparency.

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:



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.  
Orders due Saturday midnight Jan. 12
Pickup Friday after 10 am Jan. 16  


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

Upcoming Board Meetings 

6:30 at Heritage Bank Conference Room

Monday, January 4th
Monday, February 18th
Monday, March 18th 

Editor: Eleanor Hartmann

Contributors:  Paul Richards, Sarah Benson, Bethery von Dassow, Maggie Olsen, Alice Deane, Jeremy Jennings, Adrienne Brooks, Derek Angevine.
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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