<h2>Where does my food come from?</h2> <p>Brrrrr! Winter arrived with a smash this year, sending our team into slight chaos as we tried to cope with 40cm of snow in 24 hours, focussed mostly around St Albert. Miranda and I are proud of how we pulled together and got 95% of our boxes delivered with 36 hours of the usual time. Your flexibility is appreciated and your support is gratifying.</p> <p>The arrival of winter also means we start to make ourannualtransition from local organic food to non-local organic. At The Organic Box, we work very hard with our producers and partners to extend the season in Edmonton as much as possible. We have three 53&apos; refeer trailers out at Peas on Earth farm in St Albert filled with potatoes, beets, carrots and kale to take us through the winter. We also have 5000lbs of russet potatoes in our cooler in Edmonton ready to ship this winter. There are lots of BC Apples and Pears packed into controlled atmosphere warehouses in Cawston ready to crack open in February and March to give us good BC Apples so we don&apos;t need to look to New Zealand.</p> <p>All this said, there is also the reality that in Northern Alberta, in winter, we still want to eat salad and fresh fruits and vegetables. The Organic Box has built a very efficient and excellent supply chain that allows us to get your winter produce here quickly and efficiently from the same types of producers that we support in BC and Alberta. For us, local means more than the 100-mile diet. It means that the producers own their own land, keep the proceeds from the sale of their crop in their community, and don&apos;t let agribusiness or shareholders in New York or Toronto profit from their hard work. We carefully vet our producers in the winter to ensure they meet the following standards:</p> <p><strong>United States:</strong> Family owned and operated. Minimal use of migrant labour. Adhere to the COR (Canadian Organic Regime) organic standard. CFIA inspected or approved upon arrival in Canada. Reputationfor quality product and good relationship with our importer in Vancouver.</p> <p><strong>Mexico:</strong> Fair Trade Certified (if registered). Otherwise, same as United States except we only work with co-operatives that grow collectively and keep the proceeds in the community. Next week we will be offering the very first Fair Trade certified cucumbers ever sold in Canada. Fantastic.</p> <p><strong>South America:</strong> Fair Trade Certified (this is mandatory). We believe very strongly that organic food grown in countries like Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, and Peru be third-party verified for Organic Production Compliance and Community Supportand we find that Fair Trade International (FLO) is the best method for us to get this verification. Plus, we also visit these producers ourselves. This fall, Abbie from our office spent a week in Peru touring and meeting the grower&apos;s collectives for bananas, avocados and mangos that we support each year.</p> <p><strong>China:</strong> China can be a very controversial organic producing country. We believe that everyone should have access to organic food, both as a consumer and as a grower and support any effort to eliminate convential agriculture from the global environment. However, we only source one product from China each year, our mandarin oranges. These are grown and validated using a special Canadian-Chinese program designed specifically for this product and I have confidence based on my personal relationships with everyone involved that these oranges are being grown following the Canadian Organic Regime (COR) and that the proceeds of the sale of these oranges are benefiting the local communities in China.</p> <p>Local can mean many things. Miranda and I are absolutely dedicated to building and supporting our growers in Alberta and we demonstrate that every year through our investment and purchasing in our province. In 2012 we will buy over a million dollars worth of local organic food from right here in Western Canada and we have you to thank for that. And when we can&apos;t find it here, we find it from somewhere else and make sure that those growers are living the values we hold ourselves, and that the environmental impact of the transport involved is accounted for and included in our annual carbon measurement and offset program.</p> <p><strong>(AGAIN!)</strong><strong>Its time for Winter Delivery Instructions</strong> </p> <p>Speaking of crazy snowy nights, we are also in store for some crazy COLD nights. Please remember that our normal delivery hours are noon to 10pm, so if you are expecting your box and it is getting dark, <strong>please turn on your porch light for our drivers to see</strong>. If we can&apos;t see your house number or if your front steps aren&apos;t safe, we will have trouble getting your box of food to you this winter.</p> <p>Its also time to start thinking about <strong>winter delivery instructions</strong>. Your box won&apos;t survive in -10C weather for more than 30 minutes outside, so please start thinking about winter conditions and how you want your box delivered. Some options include:</p> <ol> <li>We can put it in your garage if you have a keypad entry system.</li> <li>We can leave it with a specified neighbour if you aren&apos;t home.</li> <li>If you aren&apos;t home, we can bring it back to the warehouse and you can pick it up from our warehouse on Wednesday to Fridays during business hours and 9-1pm on Saturdays.</li> <li>Something else creative that you can devise!</li> </ol> <p>Boxes without winter delivery instructions will be<strong> left on the front step if you aren&apos;t home</strong>, so please take the time to update your instructions and let us know what you would like us to do for you. Delivery instructions can be updated by clicking the &apos;My Account&apos; button on the right hand side of the Choose Your Box page.</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>Featured LocalProducers</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;Abeego&quot; alt=&quot;Abeego&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Flat01.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>Abeego Food Storage</h2> <p>Abeego is a Victoria, BC based company that sought to create a reuseable, environmentally friendly food storage alternative to plastic film. They created a food wrap made from 100% organic cotton, beeswax, tree resin, and jojoba oil. The versatility of these wraps is astounding, and Abeego has fashioned their material in 4 convenient sizes:</p> <p><strong>Flats</strong> - a package of 3 in various sizes<br /><strong>Giants</strong> - a package of 2 in large rectangle sizes<br /><strong>Wraps</strong> - with convenient ties to stash away a sandwich<br /><strong>Snack</strong>- small cone size with ties to protect your veggies or cookies. <br /><br />Abeego will be slightly adhesive and malleable at room temperature and will stiffen when cool, holding the shape you create. The fluid and air resistant beeswax coating keeps food fresh and is easy to clean... just <strong>hand wash in cold with with eco-friendly dish soap</strong>. The aren&apos;t suitable for the dish washer though so take care of them, and they should last for over a year. Try them out and tell us what you think! </p> <p><a href=&quot;http://www.abeego.ca&quot;>www.abeego.ca</a></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><a href=&quot;#&quot; onclick=&quot;try{window.open(&apos;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Oil-Canola.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/Oil-Canola.jpg&quot;><img src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/thumb_Oil-Canola.jpg&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; alt=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Oil-Canola.jpg&quot; title=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/Oil-Canola.jpg&quot; /></a></td> <td><h2>Mighty Trio Oils</h2> <p>Pressed, and bottled in Redwater, Alberta... Mighty Trio has harnessed the wonderful potential of high quality cooking oils. They specialize in three different types of oil:</p> <p><strong>Canola</strong> - ideal for sauteeing and cooking. It&apos;s very tasty and great poured over popcorn or used in salad dressings. <br /><strong>Hemp</strong> - lovely for salad dressing and goes well with balsamic vinegar for bread dip. Also a wonderful garnish for soups, and it packs a nutritional punch. <br /><strong>Flax</strong> - a &apos;superfood/superoil&apos;! Flax is high in omega-3&apos;s and is a wonderful salad dressing base. </p> <p>If you haven&apos;t tried Mighty Trio oils yet, now is the time! </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>