Celebrate Fair Trade this May!

On May 10, we will be celebrating World Fair Trade Day with Alaffia, Alter Eco, Divine Chocolate, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Equal Exchange, and Guayaki Yerba Mate. All these brands are committed to fair trade through their entire supply chains supporting small family farmers and trade justice policies.

Look for great deals on fair trade products at the co-op from April 28 through May 20, when the manufactures have agreed to donate 1 percent of purchases made at participating co-ops to Root Capital. Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses. The National Cooperative Grocers Association (www.strongertogether.coop) will be matching the manufacturers’ donations as well. Learn more about Root Capital at www.rootcapital.org.

May Beers to Your Health: the Ayurvedic Diet

A holistic approach to eating that takes into account your unique body type, aims to prevent disease and make you a more happy and healthy person.  Ayurveda is an ancient medical practice from India with mainstream appeal, appearing on Dr. Oz, for example.  The three doshas, which are the Ayurvedic body types, are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha which each carry a set of behavioral and physical characteristics and a prescription for foods to eat and avoid for optimal well-being.  The Astoria Co-op’s monthly food and wellness lecture series, Beers to Your Health, will cover the basics.

The Co-op’s guest speaker for May is Yogacharya Dharmananda, also known as Swamiji.   Swamiji is a prominent scholar and teacher of the Science of Yoga, Hindu Philosophy, and Comparative Religion. 

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As the former Director of the International Vishwaguru Yoga and Meditation Institute (Rishikesh, India), he has given these teachings to students from all over the world for more than 25 years.

“The benefit (of the Ayurvedic Diet) will be health, including cancer and diabetes prevention, for example.  Food-related sicknesses will be increasing with seasonal changes now in spring and with summer coming.  There has to be a change in diet with a change of weather.  As summer approaches, heat outside increases and so does heat in the body.  There are substances which should not be taken much; coffee for example, onions, and garlic which add heat into the body,” Swamiji said.

Swamiji currently resides in Longmont, Colorado and works with Longmont United Hospital’s award-winning spirituality program.  Columbia Memorial Hospital is bringing him to Astoria for a series of workshops for nurses and other caregivers called Healthcare from the Heart.

“We feel extremely fortunate that we are able to have Swamiji speak at our lecture while he’s in town.  It is a unique opportunity and I hope anyone who’s interested in eating better can come,” Astoria Co-op Marketing Director Zetty Nemlowill said.

The lecture happens on Thursday May 8th at 7 p.m. in the Fort George Lovell Showroom at 14th and Duane Streets in Astoria.  Doors open at 6 p.m. for food and drinks.  The event is free and open to all ages.

Fresh Meat & Seafood at the Co-op

For the first time in the Co-op’s 40 year history, we started carrying fresh meat and fish this year!  Oregon grass-fed beef, organic chicken and wild local seasonal fish are among the many new products we have for you.  The Co-op has carried frozen meat and fish for several years, but increased shopper demand for fresh has led to this expansion.

Here is some information about our purveyors:

Organic Smart Chicken

Smart Chicken produces the finest humanely raised certified organic chicken on the market. The Co-op worked hard with our local meat distributor to be able to bring you the very best fresh chicken option in North America. Smart Chicken offers the healthiest, best tasting, and most sustainable chicken on the market. We strongly encourage you to read more about their practices, from water conservation and protection, care and husbandry, and technological innovation in processing.  Click here to learn more.

Grass Fed Beef from Knee Deep Cattle Company

Born and raised on Oregon’s green pastures in the Willamette Valley, Knee Deep produced 100% grass fed beef with no added hormones or antibiotics. All Black Angus cattle are certified humanely raised too. Sold at natural food stores throughout Oregon, we are proud to carry this line of local beef.

Fresh Seafood

For fish, we’re picking up whatever is fresh and local directly at Bornstein’s in Astoria.  Much of the fish that’s caught off our waters gets trucked to Portland prior to redistribution to stores and restaurants in our area.  We’re committed to circumventing the larger supply lines to bring you the freshest most sustainable seafood in the world!

Co-op Farm Visit & Local Flower Workshop

Straight from the Cutting Garden: Growing and Using Your Own Cut Flowers

On the summer solstice, join Kathleen Barber, owner of Erika’s Fresh Flowers and Floral Designer Erika McDowell for a three hour workshop on how to use fresh flowers from your own cutting garden to decorate your home.

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 Kathleen and Erika will share with you the plants that grow on the farm and are well suited for the North Oregon Coast, how to use them in floral arranging, including tips on how to properly condition flowers for maximum vase life.  You will design a work of art from fresh, organic floral material to take home in a container provided.

 The Straight from the Cutting Garden workshop will take place on the flower farm in Warrenton. Dress for the weather and bring your garden apron if you wish.  The class will be standing for three hours, with light refreshments provided. Floral cutters will be available, however if you have your own favorite pair of cutters you are welcome to bring them.

Maximum of 7 students so sign up early!  Registration is open as of April 1 at the Co-op.

Date of workshop: Saturday, June 21 (Summer Solstice) Time: 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Cost is $45 (includes instruction, plus container and arrangement to take home) 

 To learn more about Kathleen and Erika, visit www.erikasfreshflowers.com.

Questions?  Email kathleen@erikasfreshflowers.com