<p class="titleText"><strong>Its Time to Grow Again.</strong></p> <p class="titleText">Since the beginning of 2014, as we have brought hundreds of new families into ours, our team has stretched itself beyond what we ever imagined. We have grown too, adding ten new jobs to our Edmonton team. As we start into our next stage of growth - a massive new 17,000 square foot distribution facility, a new website telling the story of our extended food family, and the addition of a thousand new local and organic products in the next 8 months, I would like to reflect on the values that have made The Organic Box successful in our community, and why I believe we are different from traditional grocery outlets.</p> <p class="titleText"><strong>How We are Different.</strong></p> The Organic Box is not a grocery delivery service in the traditional sense. We are an alternative food distribution system. Though we aim to provide order customization as much as possible, we deliver what is available and fresh. Our objective is to bring local, fresh, certified organic products to families in the Capital Region. We work hard to find the producers, set up a plan for the season and execute it. Our food, especially produce, is vastly different from what is available even in the organic grocery stores in Edmonton. We buy direct from producers in Alberta and BC. Many of these producers are 'micro-growers' on less than 100 acres of land, and don't have the extensive infrastructure of hydro-coolers and walk-in coolers, chilllers, refrigerated trucks, and advanced packaging and sorting machines. We are passionate about organics, sustainable business and families. You won't find industrial farm products at The Organic Box. You will find products made by people who care about their food and their land. This Means: <ul> <li>Sometimes your food will come with minimal or no packaging</li> <li>Sometimes your food will have to be cared for as soon as it arrives - no different than fresh cut flowers (for example, organic greens are also living food that need water or will go limp)</li> <li>Sometimes you might find a mouldy strawberry or soft onion (there are no chemical preservatives, refrigeration is key)</li> <li>Sometimes we won't have everything you ordered, due to transportation, quality or weather issues (for example, thunderstorms ruin an expected crop, trucks are delayed, pallets arrive spoiled) and we will substitute for another item or replace the item in the next order</li> <li>Sometimes we won't have items because they are out of season in our hemisphere (apples, potatoes, berries for example)</li> </ul> We are partners. We call this our 'Fair Deal' - fair for the producers, fair for us, and fair for our members. If you receive something you can't use or isn't what you wanted, let us know and we will fix it. Don't be angry or upset. We will fix it. Its our promise and we will always make sure you get a fair deal. We are a family and you are part of it. <p class="titleText"><strong>Why We are Different.</strong></p> Do you feel like your food system is unsustainable? Like you don't really know what you are eating? Like you don't know where the profits from food sales are going? We firmly believe that the current distribution model for food is unsustainable, endangering our economy and our health. Our Core Values: <ul> <li>Agriculture and agribusiness should be a source of soil health and environmental renewal</li> <li>The destruction of the family farm is irreversible and must be stopped whenever possible</li> <li>People should know the real price of their food, and fair prices for food should be a source of living wages for farmers and workers</li> <li>Businesses can be operated in a sustainable way that limits the impact on our planet</li> </ul> We want to be different - we want to sell different products that are presented in a different way and offer a different value to people. We want anyone and everyone in the Capital Region to be able to take advantage of what we offer and we want them to embrace a new way of eating. But - please don't embrace us and then expect everything to be exactly the same as the grocery store. If we are to be exactly like the grocery store it is either because we have succeeded in revolutionizing our food system (a major grocery store carrying locally grown organic onions!), or have failed at our mission (a major grocery store still can't get, fairly pay for, or accept without a large amount of culling, locally grown organic onions because of how the food system is organized). <p class="titleText"><strong>How (and why) You Fit Into this Picture.</strong></p> As a member of our service, you are making a commitment to us and our growers that you are trying to change the way you buy your food, that you want more of your food dollars to stay in the growers pocket, that you want food producers and food consumers to control of our food system, and that you want to do things differently. The Organic Box is a food family of people working together and you are part of our team. Thank you for your support. It means the world to us and to our growers. 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.&#160; We are growing better together! Have&#160;a Great Week! Danny. Founder, The Organic Box. <h2>Featured&#160;Products and Producers:</h2> &nbsp; <table cellspacing="15" cellpadding="0" bgcolor="#edf0e9"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <h2>It's Time For Cha-Cha-Cha-Cherries!</h2> Did you get a chance to taste-test our first batch of <strong>cherries</strong> last week? Word is they are AMAZING! We brought lots more in this week because we know you all have a sweet tooth and can hardly&#160;wait for cherry season! We will have gorgeous <strong>Yellow Rainier </strong>cherries from <strong>Royal Purple </strong>in <strong>Washington, DC</strong>, and some <strong>Vans </strong>cherries from our friends at <a title="Sundance Farms " href="/featured-producer-profile.aspx?id=467" target="_blank"><strong>Sundance Farms </strong></a>in the beautiful <strong>Similkameen Valley </strong>in <strong>British Columbia</strong>. Our own <strong>Just-A-Mere Farm </strong>cherries are not too far away, but in the meantime, pucker your lips, get some napkins, and enjoy these wonderful first cherry harvests.</td> </tr> <tr> <td> <h2>New This Week: Fair Trade Coconut Water</h2> Do you ever get that desire when you're really thirsty for something with a little more refreshing oompf than water? Skip the heaps of sugar and other scary ingredients found in your average sport drink or juice&#160;and try&#160;<a title="Everland" href="http://www.everlandnaturalfoods.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Everland</strong></a>'s <strong>Fair Trade </strong>and <strong>Certified Organic Coconut Water</strong>. This drink is like no other. Collected from fresh <strong>coconuts</strong>, this <strong>100%</strong> coconut water is only&#160;<strong>70 calories </strong>per can, contains natural <strong>electrolytes</strong> and <strong>isotonic</strong>, plenty of <strong>potassium</strong>, no artificial preservatives or flavoring, and is packaged in a <strong>BPA-free </strong>can. Can it get any better than that? Enjoy it <strong>chilled</strong>, use it to make <strong>popsicles</strong> for a hot summer day, or even freeze in an ice cube tray and add to your favorite drink. It's versatile, delicious, and healthy!</td> </tr> <tr> <td> <h2>All the Buns You Can Eat!</h2> We are always extra excited to carry <strong>Silver Hills Bakery </strong>products because of their uniqueness and commitment to health. Their <strong>sprouting</strong> process helps retain all the life-giving nutrition and fiber in each kernel. The end product is a nutrient-packed bread that you can feel good eating. We hope you had a chance to try these amazing <a title="Silver Hills Bakery " href="http://www.everlandnaturalfoods.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Silver Hills Bakery </strong></a><strong>Buns</strong> from last week. We discovered a few new things about them. Not only are they delicious, nutritious and perfect for your classic burgers and hot dogs, but they make great cold or pressed <strong>sandwich</strong> breads, and the best <strong>Sloppy Joe </strong>buns your kids could ask for! After all, it is the season for camps&#160;and Sloppy Joes!</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>