<h2>Alberta Organic Milk and You</h2> <p>When one thinks about the major agricultural outputs of Alberta, usually grains, seeds, beef, and milk come to mind. In the organic sector, it is really no different. We produce a good volume of these products.However, ourorganic dairy industry is constantly challenged in Alberta by market access. We have lots of raw milk, but not enough processing and distribution to get it into kitchens.</p> <p>Many of you who have been with The Organic Box for a year or more will remember <a title=&quot;Saxby Creamery &quot; href=&quot;/innerContent.aspx?id=710&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>Saxby Creamery </a>- the dairy that was started in Edmonton in 2010 to process Alberta Organic Milk and distribute it in Alberta. It opened with great fanfare and was doing very well, but sadly in the early part of 2012 its parent company subcumbed and went into receivership, closing the dairy permanently. After this, the only sources of processed organic milk from Alberta farms was either Dairyland (owned by Saputo) or Vital Green Farms(independently owned and operated by Joe Mans).</p> <p>We saw excellent milk sales growth in 2012 from our members which has translated into a good volume of milk for Vital Green Farms. However, we still know that many of our members buy their milk at grocery stores and price is a major reason for this decision. We have been working hard with the dairy industry and the Organic Alberta Council to find solutions that will allow more Albertans to get access to Alberta Organic Milk at a better price and also find ways for the independent dairy producing and processing sector to see sustainable growth.</p> <p><strong>Enter Rock Ridge Dairy</strong></p> <p>Last week, a dairy near Ponoka started processing organic milk. Patrick and Cherylynn Bos have run a goat milk dairy for many years.After Saxby failed, they decidedtomove into organic milk processing. As an industry we are very excited about this development because it gives us the opportunity to start seeing expansion and large scale growth of the organic milk industry in Alberta once again. Currently, there are 9 million litres of organic milk produced each year in Alberta but only 4 million is actually processed and consumed. We have lots of work to do.</p> <p>Read about the Bos family and their move into organic milk here:</p> <p><a title=&quot;http://organicalberta.org/organic-dairy-in-the-media/rock-ridge-dairy-to-launch-organic-milk-line&quot; href=&quot;http://organicalberta.org/organic-dairy-in-the-media/rock-ridge-dairy-to-launch-organic-milk-line&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>http://organicalberta.org/organic-dairy-in-the-media/rock-ridge-dairy-to-launch-organic-milk-line</a></p> <p><strong>What This Means For Us</strong></p> <p>For The Organic Box and its members, this means choice! Starting this week, you have the choice of 4L of milk from Rock Ridge Dairy or 2L of milk from Vital Greens. The 4L option will be delivered as 2x2L jugs. We want to support both dairies and grow the overall Organic milk sales in Edmontonso we have priced the 4L bundle aggressively.</p> <p>Here is a quick comparison of the two milk products.</p> <table style=&quot;WIDTH: 649px; HEIGHT: 160px&quot;> <tbody> <tr> <td><strong>Rock Ridge Dairy</strong></td> <td><strong>Vital Green Farms</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Independently Owned</td> <td>Independently Owned</td> </tr> <tr> <td>High Temperature Short Time (HTST) Pasteurization</td> <td>Slow Pasteurization</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Homogenized</td> <td>Non Homogenized</td> </tr> <tr> <td>10-14 days to Expiration</td> <td>6-7 days to Expiration</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Available in 4L quantities</td> <td>Available in 2L quantities</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Milk sourced from several Alberta Producers</td> <td>Milk produced on Joe&apos;s farm</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><br />You can make a difference to our industry by choosing to buy milk from either of these two dairies. You have a choice to supportAlberta milk producersand right now we need it more than ever. Help make the launch of Rock Ridge a success. We will also be sending Rock Ridge products to many of the independent grocery stores around Northern Alberta. If you see Rock Ridge in the store, choose it overDairyland or storebrands. Support local, support families, and choose healthy milk for your family.</p> <p><strong>OUR WAITLIST IS GROWING</strong></p> <p>Miranada and I feel very strongly about ensuring that everyone gets a quality product from us every time they order. We call this our &apos;Fair Deal&apos; - fair for the growers, fair for us and fair for the member. Since the new year we have been experiencing substantial growth and so we must balance serving our existing members against bringing on new families. The best way to ensure this is to manage our rate of growth using a waitlist. Many of you who have been with us since 2011 will remember we had a similar challenge in the spring of that year too. Currently we have over 100 families on our waitlist.We have broken the weeks intosegments and if you look at our signup page you will see what week we are projecting your first delivery if you signup today. Our mission is to bring our food to everyone and anyone who wants it and we pledge to bring as many people on as possible.</p> <p>We have also been getting many, many requests from other, smaller communities around Edmonton to introduce service. These requests are also being treated as a waitlist. Once a community has reached enough people on the waitlist we will start the process of introducing service. At a minimum we must make our minimum delivery charge and volumes on each delivery route to cover our expenses and we know you will understand if there is a bit of a wait.</p> <p>At The Organic Box we are always growing, always looking for ways to get better, and always trying to find ways to get more of your shopping basket filled by 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> <h2>FeaturedProducts</h2> <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;wildrice&quot; alt=&quot;wildrice&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Wild-Rice.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>Wild Rice</h2> <p>Our rice and grains categories are expanding too! We are very excited to have certified organic wild rice on our roster. As well as Forbidden rice from the Lotus Rice company. </p> <p>Wild rice is a North American heritage grain that was an incredibly important commodity to native tribes. Harvested via low impact techniques on a few lakes in Northern Saskatchewan, the wild rice that we have is of utmost quality, taste, and nutrition. </p> <p><strong>Forbidden Rice</strong> is an heirloom Chinese rice that is treasured for its roasted nutty taste, soft texture, and beautiful deep purple colour. A very high class rice that is loaded with flavenoid antioxidants and iron. Perfect for pilaf, stir-fry, salad, or pudding. </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;chili&quot; alt=&quot;chili&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/chili.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>Eden Canned Beans</h2> <p>We now have the line of Eden canned beans available, including refried pinto beans and canned chili (with red kidney beans and Kamut). You now have the choice of purchasing your beans dry, or canned. And in the coming weeks we will be expanding this category even further. </p> <p>So it&apos;s time to make up some homemade chili/stew. The perfect comfort food to transition us into a wonderful spring! </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;krunch&quot; alt=&quot;krunch&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/kalekrunch.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>Kale chips are back!</h2> <p>We finally tracked down a brand of kale chips to replace the Organic Lives kale... enter Kale Krunch! These amazing chips are extremely krunchy and full of flavour. So incredibly addicting that I&apos;m surprised there are any left for our members after the staff got a hold of them! Currently available in three flavours: <strong>Quite Cheezy, Cheezy Chipotle, and Southwest Ranch</strong>, if sales keep up we will bring in the other varieties too! </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>