<h2>The 2014 Food Family</h2> <p>With spring in the air and the temperature finally breaking the freezing mark, it is time to look forward towards our growing season this year, all the challenges and opportunities it presents, and the excitement of getting outside again and feeling our hands in the dirt.</p> <p>Don&apos;t forget that our<a class=&quot;bookmark&quot; title=&quot;Referral&quot; href=&quot;#referral&quot; name=&quot;Referral&quot;> Referral Credit Expansion</a> is underway this month, plus we have some wonderful <a class=&quot;bookmark&quot; title=&quot;Featured&quot; href=&quot;#featured&quot; name=&quot;Featured&quot;>Featured Producers</a> to learn about this week.</p> <h2>Spring is Springing</h2> <p>With the weather warming and the snow melting fast, the heart starts to tug towards the earth and we all get a little excited about spring planting and our local food season. The Organic Box has over 100 local growers and food producers in our food family and together we are planning an excellent year for you. Its a little early to start putting food in the ground, but I thought I might give you a quick overview of the major vegetable and fruit growers we have lined up for you this year. This list isn&apos;t exhaustive, but it represents the best of the best for our 2014 season.</p> <p><strong>Peas On Earth</strong></p> <p>Peas on Earth Certified Organic Market Garden, was officially founded by Eric and Ruby Chen in the year 2000. Eric has worked on his family&apos;s vegetable farm since he was in junior high school. After Eric and Ruby finished their studies at the University of Alberta, majoring in Agriculture Economics and Business respectively, they decided to commit to farming on a full time basis. Since then, they have put their minds and souls into their market garden business and have built and nurtured it with love. Eric has been practicing organic farming since the 1990s but did not apply for organic certification until the year 2000.</p> <p>Peas on Earth was one of the first three farms that make up our food family. We have grown together over the past four seasons and they send us some of the best salad greens and field vegetables you will ever taste.</p> <p>What They Grow: All field vegetables, plus greenhouse spinach, lettuce and greens</p> <p><strong>Sundog Organic Farm</strong></p> <p>Sundog Organic Farm is run by James Vriend and Jenny Berkenbosch, husband and wife team, and their three young sons, Silas, Eli and George. They started their farm in 2009.</p> <p>In 2011 they moved to a 10 acre piece of land north east of Edmonton. It has wonderful soil and access to water. They are true 21st century homesteaders, starting their farm on a bare plot of land and building all the infrastructure, buildings and storage needed for their growing operation.</p> <p>James and Jenny provided the very first potatoes we ever sold at The Organic Box. They have been with us from the start and we have loved growing together. Jenny is also a very talented painter and we are pleased to hang one of her exceptional works in the lobby of our warehouse in Edmonton.</p> <p>What They Grow: Specialty field crops, plus lots of potatoes and head lettuce</p> <p><strong>Sunrise Gardens</strong></p> <p>Sunrise Gardens is our year-round sprouts and microgreens grower. Located near Onoway they have a large greenhouse that is used to produce greens year round for our food family. Dawn and her family have been growing for us since 2011 and we have seen their produce increase substantially during that time to serve the Edmonton market.</p> <p>What They Grow: Beets, beans, peas, a large variety of greens and lettuces, rhubarb, herbs, as well as wheatgrass and sprouts (broccoli, radish, sugar pea, sunflower and buckwheat)</p> <p><strong>Halwa Farms</strong></p> <p>Halwa Farms, in the area of Thorsby, is operated by Vincen Halwa who always had a love for the land and started farming with his father in 1995. His father, Rueben, bought the land in 1967 and when he became ill in 2006, Vincen began farming full-time with organic grains, hay and potatoes. Vince provides almost all of our winter potatoes and was another original grower with The Organic Box.</p> <p>What They Grow: New Potatoes and Winter Storage Potatoes</p> <p><strong>Mans Organics</strong></p> <p>Mans Organics is a certified organic farm owned and operated by Henk and Rita Mans and their son Andrew and his wife Denise. They are located in beautiful southern Alberta, near Coaldale, and have grown organic crops for many years. Initially this family grew root vegetables and specialized in onions and shallots but in 2012 they started work on some greenhouses and now are producing some of the very best hot house tomatoes, cucumbers and melons grown in Alberta.</p> <p>What They Grow: Onions, Shallots, Garlic, Hot House Crops</p> <p><strong>Sand Springs Ranch</strong></p> <p>A 3rd generation farm situated in Lac La Biche. Along with cattle and livestock, they have 10 acres of vegetables that are grown holistically, biodynamically, and according to organic standards. Ty and Janice Shelton, and the four generations of family that work on the farm, work very hard and grow amazing food with dedicated love and integrity. Above all they are proud and honoured to be growing good food for others to enjoy. 2013 was the first year that Ty and Janice grew for The Organic Box but they stepped right into our food family and are quickly becoming leaders in the organic industry in Alberta.</p> <p>What They Grow: Peas, Corn, Potatoes, Carrots, Lettuce and Squash</p> <p><strong>Shady Lane Berry Farm</strong></p> <p>Lorne and Iva Moen are retired teachers who farm in Lac La Biche right next door to Sand Springs Ranch. They are our primary berry producers and each summer bring us a flush of strawberries, raspberries and saskatoon berries. These berries are completely free of any chemical additives and you can truly taste the difference. We have been enjoying these berries since the beginning of The Organic Box.</p> <p>What They Grow: Strawberries, Raspberries, Saskatoon Berries, Peas</p> <p><strong>Meadow Creek Farms</strong></p> <p>Mandy Melnik is the shepherd of Meadow Creek Farms, working each year to bring us field cucumbers, tomatoes and potatoes from on her family&apos;s land near Waskatenau. Mandy is learning and she grows and we are so happy to support her and her farms move into the organic industry. Mandy started with us in 2011.</p> <p>What They Grow: Field Tomatoes and Cucumbers, Russet Potatoes</p> <p><strong>Sparrows Nest</strong></p> <p>Sparrow&apos;s Nest Organics farm is 45 minutes north of Edmonton, Alberta, located between Redwater and Gibbons. Graham Sparrow runs this certified organic market garden and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. Each year we support Graham by buying his excess root crops to ensure he has a secure market for things that aren&apos;t sold through his farmers&apos; market and CSA program.</p> <p>What They Grow: Specialty root crops and carrots</p> <p><strong>Roy&apos;s Raspberries</strong></p> <p>Miranda and I first discovered Roy&apos;s Raspberries long before we started The Organic Box and were so excited when they agreed to become part of our food family in 2010. They grow ten varieties of red raspberries as well as two golden varieties. You can even pick your own in late July and early August</p> <p>What They Grow: Raspberries</p> <p><strong>Just A Mere Organic Farm</strong></p> <p>Just-A-Mere Organic Farm is owned and operated by myself and Miranda, and we are also the founders and owners of The Organic Box. A traditional BC Fruit farm, our mixed plantings of fruit trees and field crops is located in one of the best fruit valleys of Canada. Each July and August, Just-A-Mere Farm sends the very best cherries to The Organic Box and our members can look forward to being completely overwhelmed with the size, variety and flavour of the excellent fruit we grow.</p> <p>What They Grow: Cherries, Apples, Blueberries, Pumpkin, Corn, Squash, Garlic, Asparagus</p> <a name=&quot;referral&quot;><h2>Referral Credit Expansion</h2> </a><p>For this month only, we are doubling our referral credit to include both a $10 discount for the existing member, and a $10 discount for the new member! This means you can split the benefit, $10 for you and $10 for your referral.</p> <p><u>Small print:</u>$10 referral credit is paid to existing member with account in good standing when the new member receives their first order. $10 referral credit is paid to new member on their first paid invoice, for start dates from March 10 to April 5, 2014.</p> <p><strong>Spread the Word, We Are Changing the World</strong></p> <p>Over the past few months I have written about a few key issues that make us different and our members special. Here are my favourites, and I hope you will share our thoughts with your loved ones this month:</p> <p>Sustainability: <a href=&quot;/this-week-at-the-The-Organic-Box-archive-item.aspx?id=1624&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>How We Are Sustainable</a></p> <p>Food Security: <a href=&quot;/this-week-at-the-The-Organic-Box-archive-item.aspx?id=1609&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>Food Security in Our Region</a></p> <p>True Cost Accounting: <a title=&quot;Pay the Full Price for Your Food&quot; href=&quot;/this-week-at-the-The-Organic-Box-archive-item.aspx?id=1630&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>Pay the True Price for Your Food</a></p> <p>Understanding Organics and GMO Food: <a title=&quot;Organic Means No GMO&quot; href=&quot;/this-week-at-the-The-Organic-Box-archive-item.aspx?id=1604&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>Organic Means No GMO</a></p> <p>Our Alternative Food System: <a title=&quot;Why we are Different&quot; href=&quot;/this-week-at-the-The-Organic-Box-archive-item.aspx?id=1511&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>How We Are Different</a></p> <p>By being a member of our food family, you can have confidence that your food dollar is going towards real people who are producing real food and working every day to change our relationship with our food and our health. Our members are our best advocates and you can give your friends and loved ones the gift of real food this month.</p> <p>At The Organic Box we are always growing, always looking for ways to get better, and always trying to find ways to fill more of your shopping basket with Alberta and BC food producers. We can do it! You are helping!</p> <p>Havea Great Week!</p> <p>Danny.<br />Founder, The Organic Box.</p> <a name=&quot;featured&quot;><h2>FeaturedProducts and Producers:</h2> </a><table cellspacing=&quot;15&quot; cellpadding=&quot;0&quot; bgcolor=&quot;#edf0e9&quot;> <tbody> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;OriginOFarm&quot; alt=&quot;OriginOFarm&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/OriginO.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>OriginO: Traditional Farming Meets Innovation</h2> <p>Spring is an exciting time of year for us, and you. It&apos;s the time when we start to see more and more BC veggies filling our boxes. Over the past two weeks we&apos;ve had <a title=&quot;Origin Organic Farm&quot; href=&quot;http://www.origino.ca/&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;><strong>Origin Organic Farm</strong></a>&apos;s <strong>Long English Cucumbers</strong>. We are always super excited to source from <strong>OriginO</strong>. With two greenhouses in <strong>Delta</strong> and <strong>Langley, BC</strong>, OriginO is an industry leader in high quality <strong>Certified Organic</strong> <strong>tomatoes </strong>and <strong>cucumbers</strong>. OriginO combines traditional farming with innovative technologies to maintain their <strong>100% sustainable </strong>status. To ensure they have no negative impacts on the environment, OriginO uses compost and <strong>100% organic fertilizer </strong>with formulas developed by their very own researchers; have their own drainage and irrigation systems to ensure no contamination from neighbouring farms; and recycle all of their drainage water for reuse. OriginO is quite the farm and we are always delighted to bring their products to your table!</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;MustardGreens&quot; alt=&quot;MustardGreens&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Website-MustardGreens.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>BC Veggies, Anyone? </h2> <p>In addition to OriginO&apos;s Long English Cucumbers, <span lang=&quot;EN&quot;>we added another exciting BC veggie to our catalogue this week: <strong>Mustard Greens </strong>from <strong>Vantreight Farms </strong>in <strong>Saanichton, BC</strong>. If you haven&apos;t triedthese gorgeous greensbefore, you really should! They are guaranteed to be a pleasant surprise. Word on the street says <strong>Mustard Greens </strong>are one of the most feared vegetables. It&apos;s a shame because they are one of the most nutritious leafy greens you can get with an abundance of <strong>vitamins</strong> and <strong>minerals.</strong> They also add a special <strong>peppery flavour </strong>to your dishes, whether cooked or raw.</span></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;Everlandsauces&quot; alt=&quot;Everlandsauces&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/EverlandCookingSauces.png&quot; /></td> <td><h2>Special Offer: Everland Cooking Sauces</h2> <p>You&apos;re in for a treat this month with <strong>Everland Natural Foods</strong>. We all have our favourites, so we didn&apos;t pick and choose. All <a title=&quot;Everland Natural Foods&apos; &quot; href=&quot;http://www.everlandnaturalfoods.com/english/index.php&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;><strong>Everland Natural Foods&apos; </strong></a><strong>Cooking Sauces </strong>are now <strong>$5.00</strong>! Made with care and a lot of love, these delicious sauces will sure add that extrapizzazto your dishes!</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>