Meet the Makers: Orchard Farm Soap

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Kate Jaeckel really likes hanging out with her kids. So much so that she started Orchard Farm Soap in 2002 as a way to both fulfill her love of being around her family and her belief in herbal medicine and natural skincare. Her background in massage therapy has given way to a beautiful product line that is free of synthetics and fragrance oils.

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She began selling her soap at the Moscow Farmers Market in 2003 after realizing she needed a product that had a longer shelf-life than the homegrown produce she was already selling. She still sells at the Saturday market in Moscow and says, “The market has always been a cornerstone for my business. It’s our connection to the community.” She had a studio built in 2009 so that she’d have more room to fulfill all the orders she was receiving.
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Since then, her business has picked up and she has several more outlets for selling her line. Other than buying Orchard Farm products at the Co-op, you can also find Kate on Etsy and at Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago. At the Co-op we’re proud to carry Kate’s products because of her dedication and commitment to her product standards. She’s extremely aware of issues with palm oil and deforestation and sources a more sustainable product that is in line with her mission.

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The other aspect of Orchard Farm’s products that we love is that Kate grows many of the botanicals in her soaps, lotions and candles. That’s right she grows her own calendula, rose hips, St. John’s Wort, lavender and more on her farm… and we think that’s pretty cool. For more information on Orchard Farm soap visit www.orchardfarmsoap.com and be sure to stop by the Saturday Farmers Market and say hello to Kate.

Let’s Toast: Fresh Strawberry Sparkler

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This tasty cocktail recipe uses freshly pureed strawberries to bring out the flavors of the season. We’ve had great deals on organic strawberries lately, so be sure to stop in and pick up a container!
To make the cocktail you will need:

2 cups hulled strawberries
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 bottle chilled Prosecco or other dry sparkling wine
1 orange, sliced into rounds
In a blender, puree 2 cups hulled and 2 tablespoons water until smooth. In a pitcher, combine strawberry puree, cup 1 bottle chilled or other dry sparkling wine, and 1 sliced into rounds, and stir gently.

Grow a Garden with Us!

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The sun is shining, the ground is softening and you’re sneezing 100 times a day… must be time to get planting! Our Wellness Department has everything you need to grow whatever you or your family desires.
1. Flexrake garden tools- $8.49. Click here for more information.
2. Garden in. a. bag. by Potting Shed Creations- $9.99. Made in Troy, ID (yea, local!) these cute packages have everything you need to grow a garden. In a bag. To learn more about Potting Shed Creations, visit www.pottingshedcreations.com.
3. The Vegetable Gardener’s Guide to Permaculture by Christopher Shein- $24.95. Once a fringe topic, permaculture is moving to the mainstream as gardeners who are ready to take their organic gardening to the next level are discovering the wisdom of a simple system that emphasizes the idea that by taking care of the earth, the earth takes care of you.
4. Black Owl Organic Biochar- $18.39. Give your soil a boost with this organic biochar. Great for building soil health, retaining nutrients and putting healthy microbes back into soil. For more information click here.
5. Down to Earth Earth Plugs- $10.49. Made from natural plant materials, these 100% biodegradable plugs promote optimum ventilation and hydration for root development.
6. Down to Earth Vegan Mix- $9.99. This all-natural fertilizer is formulated to contain no animal products or by-products.
For these and more, the Moscow Food Co-op has the products you need to grow a healthy garden this year!

Toffee Matzo Brittle

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Today marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday, Passover and whether or not you’re Jewish does not matter when it comes to this recipe for Toffee Matzo Brittle. What may matter, is whether or not you have an addictive personality. We dare you to only eat one of these sweet and salty treats! To make the Matzo Brittle you will need:
4-6 sheets of your favorite matzo
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup packed light brown sugar
a bog pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet  or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted almonds, chopped
extra sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 11×17 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Line the bottom of the baking sheet with matzo, covering all parts. You’ll need to break the matzo to fit the edges of the pan. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once boiling, let it bubble for three minutes, stirring well. It will thicken a bit. Remove from heat and add the salt and vanilla. Pour quickly over the matzo. Bake the covered crackers for 10 minutes, watching it carefully as the edges may begin to burn. Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes then spread them evenly across the caramel using an offset spatula. Sprinkle with nuts and sea salt. Let cool and break into pieces.

Egg Dyeing with Natural Dyes

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Egg dyeing is a ton of fun for the whole family, and now with Natural Egg Dye it’s safe too! Made from veggies, fruits and herbs the package of four dyes costs $9.99 in the Wellness Department at the Co-op.
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Simply mix the powdered dye with a 1/2 cup of hot water, let eggs soak for 10-20 minutes (depending on the intensity you’re after), then let dry, hide, find and enjoy!
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Kids Craft: Felting

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This morning our Co-op Kids group had a great time making their own felt. We are blessed in Moscow to have a great yarn/thread/wool store called Yarn Underground that we purchased dyed wool roving from. This is a great activity for little ones, as it teaches them the process of turning soft wool into a small piece of fabric. It’s a colorful, tactile activity that will hold their attention!
To make felt you will need:
wool roving
liquid dish soap
water
plastic sandwich bags (if containing the mess is a concern)
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First, fill a bowl with very warm water and a squirt of liquid dish soap. To get started, pull small off pieces of roving and separate the fibers into a thin layer. Take another piece, separate it and place it over your first piece, layering the fibers in opposite directions. Make 4-5 layers. Place layers of roving into a sandwich and pour a small amount of soapy water into the bag. (If you are working outside or getting a little wet and soapy doesn’t sound so bad, omit the sandwich bag, dunk roving into soapy water and start agitating it.)
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Make sure all of the air is pressed out of the bag before you seal it up and begin agitating the bag with your hands, pushing the fibers into each other. Once the fibers are integrated and the felt has formed into a stiffer piece of fabric, rinse it with cold, clean water and let dry. You can then cut the piece into any shape you want. This method is also great for making felt beads that kids can turn into earrings and necklaces.
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How-To: Simple Strawberry Jam

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Spring has officially arrived on the Palouse and we’re finally starting to thaw! To celebrate the change in seasons, our Produce manager, Kyle, was able to procure a smokin’ deal on organic strawberries. They are currently on sale for $3.99 per pound and are available until we sell out. Now, we’re all for eating strawberries as they come, cut up in yogurt or layered in shortcake, but we also love a sweet and simple jam layered on freshly baked Co-op bread. To make the jam you will need:

2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
4 cups of sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a large mixing bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berries. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees, about 10-15 minutes.

Test for jelling: Place three small plates in the freezer. After about 10 minutes of boiling, place a teaspoon of the liquid onto the cold plate. If it doesn’t run back together when you draw a line through it with your finger, it’s ready!

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 Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process in a water bath for 15 minutes. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, there’s no need to process it. Simply keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

 

 

Beet Read: Cows Save The Planet

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Can Cows Save the Planet?
By Rachel Caudill, Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator

 Join us in reading the April Co-op Good Food Book Club book, Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth (2013) by Judith D. Schwartz. The Book Club will meet Sunday, April 27, from6:00-7:30 at a member’s private residence to discuss Cows Save the Planet. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

 “You might ask what dirt has to do with global warming. In reading this astounding book we will learn how to unmake deserts, rethink the causes of climate change, bring back biodiversity, and restore nutrients to our food. In other words, how to staunch and heal the great wound we have inflicted on our planet.”  So says renowned ecologist and writer Gretel Ehrlich in the Foreword to this month’s remarkable book, chosen in honor of Earth Day and this month’s theme.

 As we’ve seen with many of the books in our Good Food Book Club, our food choices are now profoundly intertwined with global planetary health. From industrial farming, to GMOs, to soil erosion, to colossal food waste and landfill excesses, to mass extinction and wholesale destruction of fisheries and ocean health, to climate chaos itself, our global human population and the way we eat has impacted every facet of the Earth’s resilience. What if there was a silver bullet… What if there already exists an overall approach with a suite of strategies that could quickly, cheaply, and massively restore Earth’s food systems (and climate!) to a thriving, healthy stable state?  Would you believe such a thing possible? Even better, could it be as simple as grazing happy cows?

 Come find out as we read this month’s ground-breaking book and learn for ourselves the pivotal role that soil health has in supporting not only healthy food for our global population, but also to curbing—and even solving—the climate crisis.  You can get a taste of the astonishing paradigm reported in this book by watching Alan Savory’s pivotal TED talk, “How to Fight Desertification and Reverse Global Warming.” Savory, of course, is featured in Schwartz’s book.

 As Ehrlich writes, “Widen your mind with a holistic approach to the extinction cliff… Judith Schwartz’s book gives us not just hope but also a sense that we humans—serial destroyers that we are—can actually turn the climate crisis around. This amazing book, wide-reaching in its research, offers nothing less than solutions for healing the planet.”

 Please join us to discuss Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth (2013) by Judith D. Schwartz Sunday, April 27 from 6:00-7:30 pm. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Cows Save the Planet by Judith D. Schwartz is available through your local library.  If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the Co-op website at www.moscowfood.coop.