<h2>Thinking Locally</h2> <p>Its nearly the middle of August already! Holy smokes. The summer can sure fly by, and we tend to feel that the Edmonton Folk Fest signals the midpoint of the summer and the beginning of ourfall mindset. For us in the agriculture world, mid August means shifting focus from planting and tending to harvest, harvest, harvest. This is good news for you! This is our fourth year running our program in Edmonton and when I reflect on the variety of choices available now from Alberta producers compared to 2010 the change is amazing. Our ability to grow organic food in Alberta has grown leaps and bounds. When Miranda and I first started The Organic Box we knew that if we created the market thenthe growers (including us) would expand to meet it, and we would also welcome many new growers intothe market. Here is a little info on each grower in your box this week:</p> <p><strong>Sunrise Gardens:</strong> Located in Onoway, Sunrise Gardens focuses on greenhouse microgreens and we believe they grow the best sprouts and shoots in Western Canada. Over the past 3 years Dawn and her team have expanded production, refined processes and improved quality substantially. Fantastic. You can find them at the Old Strathcona Market on Saturdays.</p> <p><strong>Peas on Earth:</strong> Eric and Ruby Chen helped to write the book on Organic Farming in Edmonton were one of our first two local producers when we first opened. They took a chance on us and we are grateful. I had a field tour with Eric this past week and their farming techniques and experience are so sophisticated and his knowledge so deep is it fills me with awe. You can find them at the Old Strathcona and St Albert marketson Saturdays and Callingwood on Sundays.</p> <p><strong>Sundog Organic Farm:</strong> James and Jenny were the other growers who took a chance on us back in 2010. James is the son of the legendary Dennis Vriend, the other organic gardener in Alberta who broke through barriers and created an industry. Three years ago they moved to their own virgin land near Gibbons and started some 21st century homesteading. You can find them at the Downtown Market in Edmonton on Saturdays.</p> <p><strong>Mans Organics:</strong> Originally called Noble Spuds - this is a family farm near Coaldale in southern Alberta. Our original onion and shallot farmers, last year they embarked on a greehouse project and now bring us cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and many other products we used to exclusively import into Alberta. </p> <p><strong>Sand Springs Ranch:</strong> This is the first year of our partnership with Sand Springs - this is another small family farm located in Lac La Biche. Experts in row cropping these exceptional farmers have lots of beans, peas and corn for us. This is also their first year as certified organic farmers and we are gratified by how the family has thrust itself into our industry with everything they&apos;ve got.</p> <p><strong>Shady Lane Farm:</strong> Our berry growers - Lorne and Iva Moen are retired teachers who have a fantastic strawberry patch for us near Lac La Biche. Long time organic growers, Lorne brings his berries to us every Wednesday morning. He also has peas too. Delicious.</p> <p><strong>Halwa Farms:</strong> Vincen Halwa is our potato farmer. Vincen comes from a longhistory of farming andwas the third farmer who joined our program.He knows how to grow a delicious potato on his huge farm near Thorsby. Vince also grows avegetable garden and lots and lots of grain.You canfind him and his stuffat the PangaeaMarket Storeon 104 Street near Jasper (he owns that store too!)</p> <p><strong>Meadowcreek Farms:</strong> Mandy Melnik grows potatoes, field tomatoes andfield cucumbers for us. Mandy inherited this farm from her grandparents and is carrying on the tradition while transitioning to certified organic. You can find Mandy at the 124 Street Grand Market on Thursdays.</p> <p><strong>Just-A-Mere Organic Farm:</strong> My wife Miranda and I own this farm in Creston, BC. It is the primary source of BC Fruit for The Organic Box - we grow three varieties of cherries, lots of apples, plus 4 acres of field crops like squash and melons. It is 9 hours from Edmonton and I put lots of miles on each summer driving the trucks back and forth with the harvest. Enjoy our cherries, this is likely the last week we&apos;ll have them this summer. (Don&apos;t worry, the best apples you&apos;ve ever had are coming soon!)</p> <p>By supporting us and getting a box, you are making a real difference to all these families. Every farm we support is owned by a family and farmed by real people. You make it happen and we are so grateful for your support. It is the mission of my family to bring the best local organic food to your family and every year we expand our market, expand our growers and bring real change to our local food economy.</p> <h2>For Members: More Choices for You - Box A and B</h2> <p>This week we are splitting our standard family box into two varieties. When you log into your account and you are a standard The Organic Box member, you will see either a box &apos;A&apos; or a box &apos;B&apos; in your order. Members with The Singles Box or The Office Box are not impacted by this change.</p> <p>As our membership continues to grow, and the number of growers we have also continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly challenging for one grower to fill an entire order for the box each week. For example, last week Sundog was unable to fill the entire broccoli order and we had to import some to fill the gap. This puts too much pressure on growers to increase volume while letting down members who want to enjoy local food in their box. By splitting the box into two varieties we have accomplished the following for our growers:</p> <p>1. For local items that have a limited quantity we are able to better balance orders and give everyone what they ordered.<br />2. For smaller growers we can add items into boxes that they would otherwise not be able to supply in large volume.</p> <p><strong>What does this mean for you?</strong></p> <p>1. Whether your default box is &apos;A&apos; or &apos;B&apos;, you still have access to choose any of the items on our list through substitutions, and now that we can take smaller volumes you will have more choice than ever before!<br />2. If you do no substitutions and take the suggested box you will still get a fantastic mix of local fruits and vegetables each week.<br />3. If you would prefer to get the other box variant in your order you can easily switch by selecting the &apos;Add Extra Boxes&apos; category on the order page and choosing the box you want. To see the contents just add it to your order and you can always remove it later.</p> <p>As always, if you have any questions or experience troubles navigating the order page you can always get in touch with our team in the office who will gladly help out. Email us at <a href=&quot;mailto:info@theorganicbox.ca&quot;>info@theorganicbox.ca</a>.</p> <div><div><div><p>Havea Great Week!</p> <p>Danny.<br />Founder, The Organic Box.</p> <h2>FeaturedProducts and 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;><img title=&quot;Sumatra&quot; alt=&quot;Sumatra&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/sumatramandheling.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>NXT Roasters - Sumatra Mandheling</h2> <p>Edmontons own NXT Roasters has a new single origin roast ready to go. It is a Sumatra Mandheling bean which NXT roasts for optimum taste to bring out the characteristics that the coffee is so highly prized for. It has a low-toned acidity, with a rich earthy flavour that has a rich velvety finish. These tasting notes are best represented by roasting the coffee a little longer, thiscomplements the richness of the taste with a darker roast. </p> <p>It truly is an amazing fresh roasted coffee. Try it out! And don&apos;t forget about NXT&apos;s Con Amore blend... a smooth and refreshing blend of organic, Fair Trade beans that provides an excellent lift to start your day. </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;OMYGranola&quot; alt=&quot;OMYGranola&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/MmmmmGranola.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>O&apos;My Goodness Granola</h2> <p>Amazing new granola snacks from Invermere, BC. You can enjoy this just like breakfast granola, but it also makes a fantastic snack in hand, a great alternative to crackers or chips. They are raw, organic, as local as possible, and gluten-free!!! Try all 4 flavours:</p> <p><strong>The Big Oh</strong> - Orange, Chocolate and Date<br /><strong>Mmmmmmm</strong> - Apples, Cinnamon, Hazelnuts, and Maple Syrup<br /><strong>Honey Dripper</strong> - Pear, Vanilla, and Honey<br /><strong>Flirty Figures</strong> - Lemon, Pecans, and Figs</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;LJChips&quot; alt=&quot;LJChips&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/LJCollage.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>New Products!</h2> <p>Even through the crazy local summer food wave, we are bringing in some fantastic new products for you to try. I don&apos;t about you, but summer is a favourite time for chips and dip... and in particular tortillas and salsa! <strong>Late July </strong>has just brought out some new varieties to add to their outstanding catalogue of tortilla chips. </p> <p>Try the <strong>&apos;Sub-Lime&apos;</strong>:organic corn tortilla witha splash of lime juice<br />And the <strong>&apos;Red Hot Mojo&apos;</strong>: tortilla chips infused with ground jalapeno and chilies</p> <p>Certified organic, and very wholesome (you actually know what every ingredient is = food), these will be fantastic additions to your backyard gathering, or Sunday night movie experience. </p> <p>Also try the new <strong>Runa Guayusa Teas </strong>(<a href=&quot;http://www.runa.org/&quot;>http://www.runa.org/</a>)! 100% organic and Fair Trade, Runa makes these amazing tea leaf bags which are very easy to make into a hot (or cold) brew tea! The taste is fantastic and guayusa is an Amazonian tree leaf that provides consistent focused energy which is much different than a black tea or coffee. And they have a huge amount of antioxidants to boot!! Makes some seriously great iced tea! </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div></div></div>