<h2>Spring in the Central Valley</h2> <p>Our local produce cycle is finishing up here in Edmonton - the stored greens like Kale arenearly goneand we are into the last of the potatoes, beets and carrots. Still enough to last us about a month so take advantage! Onions, shallots and garlic should be available until later in the spring. Non-produce items are available year round so take the time to look in our catalogue to see what we have. Last week some organic pasta sauces from Prairie Harvest were added to the list. Most pastasauce is made in NewJersey. This stuffis 100% Canadian from right here in Edmonton.</p> <p>Thinkingof spring, it is springtime in the central valley of California. Most western Canadians don&apos;t realize how much we depend on the growers in California to feed us during the winter months. At The Organic Box, our core values focus on local organic food, but it is a fact of life that we must import most of ourproduce duringthe four coldest months of the year. We work to find the balance between local food and food produced locally. To us, food trucked a long distance can still be local - if the land is owned by an independant farmer and the money we pay to purchase the produce goes into the local economy and not to the shareholders of thelarge industrial food corporations in New Yorkand Toronto. For those producers, they act locally in their community, creating jobs, supporting other local businesses and building the local economies, wherever that may be.</p> <p>In practice, this means fair trade produce, independant growers in California, and an independantly owned and operated distribution channel between there and here. Your contribution to the sustainability fund also ensures that the emissions attributed to the food we importare offset by our reduction strategies and purchased carbon credits. </p> <p>It is cauliflower and broccoli season. Prices don&apos;t get any lower than this, so pull out your recipes and strap on the feedbags.Its also the high time for citrus, and we have navels, grapefruits and tangelos. These awesome little oranges have a zippy flavour that you will either love or hate. We love them and hope you will too. They are thin-skinnedso don&apos;t wait to eat them,get peeling as soon as they land in your house. You won&apos;t regret it. </p> <p>Finally, bell peppers. It is bell pepper season so prices are good, but like Forrest Gump says &apos;you never know what you&apos;re going to get.&apos; We&apos;ve tried to predict what bell peppers are going to show up andkeep getting it wrong, sowe&apos;re giving up. Its the bell pepper lottery this week. We&apos;ll send you what shows up here. Eduardo Martinez in California just wants to send his best stuff, and big or small, we&apos;ll take it.</p> <p>Have a great week!</p> <p>Danny.</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;><p><a title=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Vital Greens(1).jpg&quot; onkeypress=&quot;this.onclick();&quot; onclick=&quot;try{window.open(&apos;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Vital%20Greens(1).jpg&apos;, &apos;MyImage&apos;, &apos;resizable=yes, scrollbars=yes, width=790, height=580&apos;)}catch(e){};return false;&quot; href=&quot;#&quot;><img title=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Vital Greens(1).jpg&quot; alt=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Vital Greens(1).jpg&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/thumb_Vital Greens(1).jpg&quot; /></a></p> <p></p> <p><br /></p> </td> <td><h2>Vital Green Farms Dairy</h2> <p><a title=&quot;https://membership.theorganicbox.ca/hdmi.asp?Order1=75055&amp;amp;HDMISearch0=vital+green&amp;amp;HDMISearchProductNameOnly0=y&amp;amp;idCustomerTemplateTemplates=18&quot; href=&quot;https://membership.theorganicbox.ca/hdmi.asp?Order1=75055&amp;HDMISearch0=vital+green&amp;HDMISearchProductNameOnly0=y&amp;idCustomerTemplateTemplates=18&quot; target=&quot;_top&quot;>Click here to see our entire line of Vital Green Farms dairy products! (login required)</a></p> <p>We have a new local organic dairy supplier!</p> <p>Vital Green Farms is now the only independent organic dairy processor left in Alberta, and they produce some wonderful dairy. We&apos;ve been carrying their yogurts for a while now and have now expanded our catalogue to include certified organic milk, cheeses, and buttermilk. The Vital Green Farm is a haven for milk cows! Joe and Caroline Mans absolutely love their cows and give them plenty of room to roam. With an average of 1 cow/acre, the cows love them too, and they produce amazing <strong>non-homogenized milk.</strong></p> <p><strong>Non-homogenized vs. Homogenized Milk</strong></p> <p>We are used to seeing homogenized milk in the grocery store, which basically means that the milk has been shaken up to break down the fat globules and prevent the formation of cream. Non-homogenized milk is left alone, and therefore the cream separates from the milk and rises to the top of the containers. This is perfectly normal, and you can either skim some of the cream off the top of the milk (perfect for the morning coffee), or you can shake/stir the milk before serving and have normal &apos;homogenized&apos; milk to drink. </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><p><img style=&quot;WIDTH: 156px; HEIGHT: 123px&quot; title=&quot;valentines01&quot; alt=&quot;valentines01&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Valentines(1).bmp&quot; width=&quot;156&quot; height=&quot;123&quot; /></p> <p></p> <p align=&quot;center&quot;><img style=&quot;WIDTH: 162px; HEIGHT: 129px&quot; title=&quot;camino01&quot; alt=&quot;camino01&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/camino chocolates(1).jpg&quot; width=&quot;162&quot; height=&quot;129&quot; /></p> <p></p> <p><img title=&quot;Choc Docs(1)&quot; alt=&quot;Choc Docs(1)&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Chocolate Ambrosia.1.jpg&quot; /></p> </td> <td><h2>Valentine&apos;s Day Chocolate!</h2> <p><a title=&quot;https://membership.theorganicbox.ca/hdmi.asp?Order1=75055&amp;amp;HDMISearch0=chocolate&amp;amp;HDMISearchProductNameOnly0=y&amp;amp;idCustomerTemplateTemplates=18&quot; href=&quot;https://membership.theorganicbox.ca/hdmi.asp?Order1=75055&amp;HDMISearch0=chocolate&amp;HDMISearchProductNameOnly0=y&amp;idCustomerTemplateTemplates=18&quot; target=&quot;_top&quot;>Click here for our entire line of organic chocolate Products! (login required)</a></p> <p>Valentine&apos;s Day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate then with some wonderful organic fair trade chocolates from The Organic Box. We have several varieties of chocolates that will be sure to warm the hearts of your special loved one. </p> <p><strong>Camino Chocolates</strong></p> <p>All Camino products are made from quality organic ingredients proudly grown by fair trade certified co-operatives of family farmers. This ensures great tasting, high quality products for you and greater health and prosperity for the communities they work with. The Organic Box carries the Dark Chocolate and Dark Chocolate w/ Almond bars, as well as chocolate chip varieties that are perfect for warm and chewy cookies. </p> <p><strong>Organic Fair</strong></p> <p>Produced on Vancouver Island, Organic Fair chocolates are made from high quality fair trade, and organic ingredients that have been specially sourced by the husband/wife team of Kent and Marisa Goodwin. We carry their flavoured dark chocolate bars such as the Canadiana (w/ maple syrup, apples, and salt) and the Westerner (w/ hazelnuts and wild blueberries). </p> <p><strong>The Chocolate Doctors</strong></p> <p>Made right here in Edmonton! The Chocolate Doctors are absolutely wonderful and make some amazing raw chocolate syrups which are fantastic for making homemade hot chocolates, and for dipping with fruit. LOADED with nutrients and neuropeptides similar to the ones our bodies create when we are in <strong>love!</strong> This product is raw, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, low glycemic, refined sugar free, and made with fair trade ingredients.Yum Yum!</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><p></p> <p><a title=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Dark Delight.jpg&quot; onkeypress=&quot;this.onclick();&quot; onclick=&quot;try{window.open(&apos;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Dark%20Delight.jpg&apos;, &apos;MyImage&apos;, &apos;resizable=yes, scrollbars=yes, width=790, height=580&apos;)}catch(e){};return false;&quot; href=&quot;#&quot;><img title=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Dark Delight.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Dark Delight.jpg&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/thumb_Dark Delight.jpg&quot; /></a></p> </td> <td><h2>Over the Hill Orchards</h2> <p><a title=&quot;https://membership.theorganicbox.ca/hdmi.asp?Order1=75055&amp;amp;HDMISearch0=over+the+hill&amp;amp;idCustomerTemplateTemplates=18&quot; href=&quot;https://membership.theorganicbox.ca/hdmi.asp?Order1=75055&amp;HDMISearch0=over+the+hill&amp;idCustomerTemplateTemplates=18&quot; target=&quot;_top&quot;>Click here to see our whole range of Over the Hill products! (login required)</a></p> <p>Last week we introduced you to Over the Hill Orchards, and we started with their Prairie Cherry and Saskatoon spreads, and toppings. Now we&apos;re expanding our catalogue to include their <strong>chocolate barks</strong>, and <strong>chocolate delights</strong>! Having just tried some of the chocolate delights this week we can vouch that they are absolutely &apos;delightful&apos;, and would be perfect gifts for you special <strong>Valentine </strong>this year! </p> <p>Dean and Sylvia Kreutzer operate Over the Hill Orchards in Lumsden, Saskatchewan. Having always been fruit lovers, theystartedtheir own orchard in Lumsden, Saskatchwan, and now providewonderful fruit spreads, toppings, and fruit barks made from the produce in their own backyard.</p> <p><strong>Prairie Cherry Splash</strong> - is a dark coloured, deliciously tart cherry juice, that is very high in anti-oxidants. </p> <p><strong>Toppings</strong> - the toppings are a great &apos;not-too-sweet&apos;, &apos;not-too-tart&apos; addition that can be served warm or chilled over iced cream, cheesecake, pancakes... anything! Available in Cherry, Saskatoon, Raspberryand Blueberry. </p> <p><strong>Spreads</strong> - make your toast sing with lip smacking zing! These organic spreads are low in sugar and gluten free. Available in Cherry, Saskatoon, Raspberry and Blueberry. </p> <p><strong>Bark</strong> - dried Prairie Cherries covered in Fair Trade organic Costa Rican milk chocolate! Yum! </p> <p><strong>Delights</strong> - handmade Prairie Cherry chocolates using only the perfectly ripened cherries. </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>