<h2>Fair Trade Fruit Week</h2> <p>Even though it feels like springtime in Edmonton this week, it is actually&#160;the middle of winter and that means you&apos;ll find lots of good local storage root crops and winter greens in your box, plus some stored apples and pears&#160;from our BC farms.&#160; However, it is peak growing season in central america and we are excited to offer you an excellent selection of<strong> fair trade certified organic fruits </strong>in your box.&#160; We have a fresh shipment of our very special bananas, plus blueberries, avocados, grapefruit and mango.&#160; As the season progresses you&apos;ll see fair trade&#160;pineapples too!</p> <p><strong>Some Local Farm Updates</strong></p> <p><u>Peas On Earth Organic Garden</u> - Eric and Ruby have finished up for the season, but we still have lots of stored beets, carrots, kale and squash in the reefer trailers parked on their farm.&#160; Visit them at the Old Strathcona Farmer&apos;s Market over the winter months.</p> <p><u>Sundog Organic Farm</u> - James and Jenny welcomed the birth of their third son on January 2nd.&#160; After their first season on the new 10 acre farm near Gibbons they are taking it easy with their new baby and making preparations for another fantastic season in 2012.&#160; They will be at the Edmonton downtown farmer&apos;s market starting in the spring.</p> <p><u>Sunrise Gardens</u> - Dawn has finished&#160;the greenhouse expansion on her farm in Onoway, this means we&apos;ll be able to offer her microgreens through the entire winter, and in March she will have baby green salad mix&#160;for us.&#160; Dawn is at the Old Strathcona Farmer&apos;s Market over the winter months.</p> <p><u>Halwa Farms</u>&#160;- We&apos;ve exhausted Vincen&apos;s potato supply for this year, he is working on his 2012 plans and we look forward to his new crop in the early summer.&#160; Vincen has some of the best farmland in Alberta near Thorsby and it has always been organic - never sprayed in its history.</p> <p><u>Roy&apos;s Raspberries</u> - Harvey and Lorraine are spending a month in the hot sun after finishing their most successful year ever in the Raspberry Business.&#160; We have lots of frozen raspberries available in our freezer, and the bushes are sleeping until the spring blooms.&#160; They&apos;ll be back with us in July 2012.</p> <p><u>Just-A-Mere Organic Farm</u> - Danny and Miranda, in addition to owning The Organic Box, also own and operate Just-A-Mere Organic Farm in Creston, BC.&#160; The 2011 season is over and Margaret our farm manager is busy pruning the cherry and apple trees in preparation for spring blooms.&#160; We are leaving 4 acres fallow this year and will be planting pumpkin, spaghetti squash, acorn squash and cantaloupe on those plots to work the soil and build nutrient and micro-organism health.&#160; </p> <p>You can find out more about our producers, both local and distant, on our <a title=&quot;producers&quot; href=&quot;/featured-producer-profile.aspx&quot;>producers</a> page.&#160; </p> <h2>Looking for More Produce?</h2> <p>If you would like to get more produce than is in your standard box, you can click &apos;Weekly Produce Listing&apos; in the categories and add extra items to your order.&#160; Make sure you are feeding your loved ones food that is healthy, sustainable and brought to you with the love and devotion of our team and the producers in our food family. <br /><br />You can also add on many grocery items by clicking on the categories to the left of your screen as you are choosing your box. We would love it if you did not have to make any rush trips to the grocery store. We are working towards having everything that you need. Including chocolate, snacks for lunches, flours, and grains. </p> <h2>Featured Fair Trade Fruit 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;><p><br /><img title=&quot;BOS Solidares - Peru&quot; alt=&quot;BOS Solidares - Peru&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/BOS Solidares - Peru.png&quot; /><br /><br /><br /><br />&#160;&#160; </p> </td> <td><h2>BOS Solidares - Peru</h2> <p>Founded in 2003, with the goal of promoting the development of small scale organic banana farmers, BOS has grown to 619 growers, over 521 hectares of land (which is equivalent to one city block each). They are committed to Fair Trade and achieving economic, environmental, and social sustainability for their members and employees. Being Fair Trade certified, not only means that the growers get a fair price, but more importantly that they aren&#8217;t at the whim of the fluctuating commodity markets and they have financial security that has allowed them to prosper. Additionally, a Fair Trade social premium of $1 per box, and sales of over 7,000 cases of Fair Trade Bananas a week = BOS is receiving $7,000 dollars per week for community projects. For BOS these include: medical insurance, scholarships, technical training, adult literacy programs, English lessons, women empowerment initiatives, and sponsorhip for local sport and youth programs.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><p><br /><br />&#160;&#160;<img title=&quot;Green Tribe - Chile&quot; alt=&quot;Green Tribe - Chile&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Green Tribe - Chile.png&quot; />&#160;&#160;&#160;</p> </td> <td><h2 id=&quot;fpProducerName&quot;>Green Tribe - Chile</h2> <p>Chile is the third largest blueberry grower in the world, with a growing season from November to March. Green Tribe grows five types of organic blueberries, including high bush and rabbit eye varieties. Chilean blues are sweet, a welcome antioxidant blast in the winter. Green Tribe is a cooperative composed of seven Chilean blueberry producers, all certified organic and certified Fair Trade. The farmers came together in order to share resources including packing and export capacity. Green Tribe is built on a foundation of trust, quality and a profound respect for the environment. They are committed to organic agricultural practices and manage their soil and water resources with great care. After the February 2010 earthquake that ravaged Chile, Canadian sales of the blueberries raised an additional $13,000 in social premiums. These funds were used by Green Tribe to create mediaguas, temporary housing for workers whose homes were destroyed by the earthquake.</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><p align=&quot;center&quot;><br />&#160;&#160;<img title=&quot;Planeta Verde - Mexico&quot; alt=&quot;Planeta Verde - Mexico&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Planeta Verde - Mexico.png&quot; /></p> </td> <td><h2>Planeta Verde - Mexico</h2> <p>Planeta Verde is a cooperative of 40 small-scale Fair Trade and organic avocado, mango and grapefruit farmers in the state of Michoac&#225;n, Mexico. Half of Planeta Verde members inherited their orchards from their families and 95% of producers are planning on passing on their orchards to future generations. The Fair Trade social premium rallies the producers around solving issues facing their association and overall community. In the past social premiums paid to these growers were invested in building a school for handicapped children, fixing impassable roads, outfitting public clinics with medicine and supplies and solving community water problems. </p> <p>&#160;</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>