<h2>Setting our Course for 2013</h2> <p>January is nearly over and we&apos;ve spent this month letting the dust settle from last year, collecting ourselves and taking a deep look at what we did last year - what worked, what didn&apos;t, and what we are going to do differently this season. 2013 is our fourth growing season in Edmonton so we have lots of lessons learned and lots of opportunity to do more.</p> <p>Our team in the office has been busy updating our website, streamlining processes and methods of working, and optimising our delivery routes and schedules to make things as efficient and successful for everyone. This has meant some changes for some people and we appreciate your flexibility. Remember that we service the entire city and surrounding areas with only six vans operating 4 days a week so efficiency is everything for us.</p> <p>The production team in the warehouse has been working on process improvements, communication improvements and planning for the year. Brody is putting together the planting schedule for our growersthis summer andthe list is getting stronger - more varietyand more quantity of many fantastic things for you to enjoy this year. At our own BC Fruit farm in Creston, Just A Mere Organic Farm, Margaret and Leslie have an ambitious planting schedule this year and we should be able to bring more cherries and apples plus more types of melons than 2012. Exciting!</p> <p><strong>IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT BOX SIZE CHANGES</strong></p> <p>As we move into our fourth growing season, we have taken a close look at our <span class=&quot;il&quot;>box</span> prices and the quantity of food in the suggested boxes. We have not adjusted our <span class=&quot;il&quot;>box</span> prices since Fall of 2010. Since then, food prices have increased by as much as 18% in some produce categories. This means there is now less food in the family and singles boxes, and we are hearing from members that it is not enough to last a week.<br /><br />Therefore, we have decided to increase the price of our boxes, which will allow us to put more food inside. Effective <strong>THIS WEEK</strong>, the family-sized <span class=&quot;il&quot;>box</span> will increase from $50.00 to <strong>$55.00</strong>, and the singles <span class=&quot;il&quot;>box</span> will increase from $35.00 to <strong>$38.00</strong>. The new prices are now outlined on our website, and you should have received an email from us with some frequently-asked questions. In 2012, we put almost a million dollars of your money into the pockets of local, independent and organic food producers. Your support means a great deal to us and to the local organic food community.</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;><p><img title=&quot;vdayfood&quot; alt=&quot;vdayfood&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/valentinesfood.jpg&quot; /></p> <p><img title=&quot;chocoheart&quot; alt=&quot;chocoheart&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/chocolateheart.jpg&quot; /></p> </td> <td><h2>ValentinesDay is coming!</h2> <p>We love here at The Organic Box. It really gives us a moment to relect and appreciate our loved ones and consider how lucky we are to have such a great food community here in Edmonton. However, it is mostly a wonderful time to endulge in some of the tastiest (and healthiest) chocolate that we can find. So please join us in the joys of chocolateering! From our local chocolate makers (The Chocolate Doctors), to the hidden gems of Prairie Cherry Chocolate from Over The Hill Orchards in Saskatchewan... all of our chocolate is 100% organic, fair trade, and championed by Canadian companies. </p> <p><strong>The Chocolate Doctors </strong>- right here in Edmonton! This is premier, raw chocolate. Try their truffles or their amazing syrup. </p> <p><strong>Camino</strong> - this organic/fair trade coop from Ottawa really helped redefine the way we look at chocolate in Canada. They&apos;ve been the pioneers of Fair Trade chocolate and produce amazing quality chocolate bars to boot. </p> <p><strong>Organic Fair </strong>- based on the West Coast this small family company makes some amazing specialty chocolate bars with really great combinations. Try salt, rosehip, espresso, blueberries, lemon, or hazelnuts in your chocolate bars... it makes a surprisingly wonderful difference! </p> <p><strong>Over The Hill</strong> - from the prairies of Saskatchewan Dean Kreutzer has produces some of the finest cherries outside of the Okanagan. Tart and sweet, they mix beautifully with the organic, fair trade that he has sourced for amazing, melt in mouth cherry goodness. Try it in bark or bar form. </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;pinto&quot; alt=&quot;pinto&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/pintos.1.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>Beans, beans, beans!! </h2> <p>We have been packaging bulk orders for some time... and now it&apos;s time to expand our catalogue. For those of you that have been waiting to make some chili, bean dips, stews, or bean salads... the wait is over! Starting next week and continuing over the next couple of weeks we will see an expanded catalogue of <strong>dry and canned beans </strong>available to our members. Pinto, soy, navy, red kidney, canneloni, black, garbanzo... all the big players will be showing up just in time for the game! (A little Super Bowl joke there!) </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>