<h2>Fair Trade and the Start of Local Veg Season</h2> <p>This past week was our first in the newly expanded warehouse, offices and delivery areas.&#160; We had a few bumps along the way but I am super proud of our team that managed to get us moved, organized and still pack and deliver a record number of orders for the week.&#160; Fantastic.&#160; A few items &apos;vanished&apos; in transport so our apologies if you missed out on something that we couldn&apos;t find when unpacking.&#160; There is still a whole pile of boxes to unpack so I&apos;m sure everything will turn up and over the next few weeks we will return to full service and product availability.</p> <p>Week&#160;two of &apos;Fair Trade Fortnight&apos; is here.&#160;&#160;Most people think of coffee when they think of fair trade, but the program is actively expanding to include a whole variety of&#160;fruits - look for bananas&#160;(our regular item), grapefruit, avocados, mangos, pears, and more from us this week.&#160; Our participation in this particular fair trade program ensures that the premiums you pay go directly back to the producer communities for projects.&#160; No money is held&#160;for administration or processing fees.&#160; Every penny in premiums goes to the growers.&#160; Guaranteed.&#160;&#160;These fair trade programs build schools, water sources, medical clinics, housing, disaster relief, and elderly care for the communities that work to bring you&#160;your&#160;food.&#160; Often these communities&#160;have a single crop economy, which means that the entire village works to grow and harvest fruit such as avocados and our support of their product means they can make the money they need to support the entire population.</p> <p>Spring&#160;vegetables are nearly&#160;ready - we&#160;have seen some micro greens and baby salad mix from&#160;Dawn at Sunrise Gardens in Onoway for the past few weeks, and soon we will have local lettuce&#160;and green onions from the greenhouse at Peas On Earth in St. Albert.&#160; When we started The Organic Box two years ago we weren&apos;t able to keep local veg 52 weeks a&#160;year, but in such a short time we&apos;ve been able to advance our production and storage techniques here in Edmonton and we&#160;still have many&#160;stored items from last year - garlic, onions, shallots, carrots and a few potatoes.&#160; All&#160;of these items are starting to emerge from&#160;dormancy and they&#160;know its spring so don&apos;t fret if you see a little sprouting - this food is alive and wants to grow!&#160; You can trim off the&#160;sprouts and enjoy.&#160; Many people&#160;also believe the sprouts are just as delicious and nutritious as the&#160;root of these&#160;crops so I encourage everyone to stock&#160;up on the last of this local stored food, once the onions and carrots are gone we won&apos;t see them again until fall!</p> <p>Out at the orchards, our fruit trees are blooming.&#160; There is nothing more stunning than 3000 cherry trees in full bloom.&#160; Gorgeous.&#160; I&apos;ll be out there next week and hopefully post some more pictures on our Facebook page.&#160; There is some whispering this year among the orchardists that the bloom seems to be coming earlier and earlier every year, in 2012 it was 6 days earlier than 2011.&#160; We don&apos;t know what this means, but the generally accepted conclusion is that the trees are responding to the seasonal changes we are seeing as a result of climate change.&#160; Many of us have our fingers crossed that these changes don&apos;t make our fruit growing regions unviable in the future.&#160; It is more important than ever that we react to the evidence being presented by Mother Nature and support efforts to stabilize climate change before we find ourselves in a drastically changed agriculture world.</p> <p>Have&#160;a Great Week!</p> <p>Danny.<br />Founder, The Organic Box.</p> <h2>Featured Producers</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;><a href=&quot;#&quot; onclick=&quot;try{window.open(&apos;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Kootenay%20Cheese.jpg&apos;, &apos;MyImage&apos;, &apos;resizable=yes, scrollbars=yes, width=790, height=580&apos;)}catch(e){};return false;&quot; onkeypress=&quot;this.onclick();&quot; title=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Kootenay Cheese.jpg&quot;><img src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/thumb_Kootenay Cheese.jpg&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; alt=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Kootenay Cheese.jpg&quot; title=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Kootenay Cheese.jpg&quot; /></a></td> <td><h2>&#160;Kootenay Alpine Cheese Company:</h2> <p>&#160;Alpindon and Nostrala are two very unique and amazingly tasty types of cheese produced from Kootenay Alpine Cheese Company just outside of Creston, BC. Mountain air, and glacier streams provide an excellent setting for the farm that is home to a very well looked after herd of dairy cows that supply the milk used to make this certified organic milk. Perfect for a dinner party, afternoon snack with an apple, or used in gourmet macaroni and cheese!&#160; Wayne the&#160;dairyman who makes the cheese&#160;was in our warehouse this week to see our new digs and talk about&#160;his new certified organic fluid milk plant.&#160; Support their efforts to produce local organic milk and artisan cheese.&#160; These are award winning recipes.&#160; </p> <p><a href=&quot;http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/cheese-review-nostrala/article1503025/&quot;>http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/cheese-review-nostrala/article1503025/</a></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;Hippie Chips&quot; alt=&quot;Hippie Chips&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/hc4.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>&#160;Hippie Chips - a healthy whole food snack:</h2> <p>Hippie Chips have&#160;put a unique spin on plain ole tortilla chips by adding simple whole food ingredients, and that&#8217;s it. No processed seasonings, flakes, fibers or flours, just the real stuff the way nature intended. Hippie Chips is a Canadian company based in Vancouver, and they offer four different kinds of chips:</p> <p><strong>Ancient Grains </strong>- Red Quinoa, Amaranth, Millet</p> <p><strong>Tuscan Tomato</strong> - Roma Tomatoes, Red Lentils, Brown Rice, Basil</p> <p><strong>Three Bean</strong> - Black Bean, Kidney Bean, Garbanzo Bean</p> <p><strong>Multi Seed</strong> - Pumpkin, Sunflower, Sesame, Flax and Hemp Seeds</p> <p>These are certified organic and gluten-free tortilla chips. The absolute perfect snack to treat yourself with after a long day. Try them with <strong>Neal Brothers Organic Salsas</strong>!!! </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><p><img title=&quot;FTGF&quot; alt=&quot;FTGF&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/FTgrapefuit.jpg&quot; /></p> <p><img title=&quot;FTMango&quot; alt=&quot;FTMango&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/FTmango.jpg&quot; /></p> </td> <td><h2>Fair Trade Fortnight Continues:</h2> <p>Fair Trade Fortnight is a promotion run by Fair Trade Canada to help increase the awareness of the Fair Trade market throughout the country. This year their goal is to get consumers to<em> <strong>Take A Step for Fair Trade </strong></em>and make an effor to switch something in their life to support Fair Trade products... whether it be changing the type of coffee you buy, or telling friends about Fair Trade foods. It&apos;s fun, it&apos;s easy, and it helps gaurantee thousands of workers in foreign countries earn the living wages they deserve. The Organic Box is a proud Fair Trade supporter, and during Fair Trade Fortnight we will be featuring many of our representative products, such as these delicious fruits from <strong>Planeta Verde in Mexico</strong>:</p> <p><strong>Ruby Red Grapefruits</strong></p> <p><strong>Hass Avocados</strong></p> <p><strong>Tommy Atkins Mangos</strong></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>