Monthly archives "December 2008"

Last chance

For Cape Town customers, it’s the very last ordering cycle before we close for the holidays. So if you plan to go ballistic on the bulgar, or manic on the millet this festive season, make sure you order enough to last until next year. We will start taking Cape Town orders again on the 8th of January, with the first delivery being the 15th January.

Greener toys

The greenest of toys, and in my experience the most fun, would be a branch and some leaves from the garden, or the cardboard box we deliver your veggies in. Is it a boat? A treasure chest? A stage for a puppet show? But, if you’re not sure of the reception this sort of gift would get, there are some options that are slightly greener than the norm. We’re offering a range of Green Shop goodies, including various toys using solar and windup technology, a windup shaver, a solar charger, solar floodlights and a recycling aid for crushing cans and plastic. And don’t forget the windup torches and lanterns, as well as the incense, lurking down in the ‘other’ section.

Summer heat

On the food side, we’ve unfortunately had to remove some of the more perishable items from the site. Although those who picked up foods such as strawberries and apricots on Wednesday tended to be very happy, they weren’t looking so good after sitting in a collection point or delivery vehicle much of Thursday. It’s a combination of the summer heat, and the accident to our truck, meaning that goods were getting hotter en route in the alternative transport, and not lasting as long.

Our apologies to everyone affected. We’re trying our best to improve the quality, but our truck will only be back in action next year. As always, if anything is not up to scratch, please let us know, and we’ll credit you.

Tension, and a thank you

Although it should be a time of rest and relaxation, there’s usually more tension to be felt this time of the year. Roads and shops are crowded (someone once told us this was the one time of the year she really would like to order from us, and we’re closed!), expectations become a burden, and the shadow side of the material is strong. Spend and be happy is the mantra more so now than at any other time of the year.

We hope that you resist the lure, and wish everyone an enlightening festive season.

A big thank you to everyone sharing this journey with us, and helping to make a positive contribution to yourselves, those around you, and the planet itself.

The Co-op team.

To order, visit www.ethical.org.za.

Apricots, plums and backyard gardens

Apricots

Summer is well and truly here, and that means it’s apricot season. Tierhoek farm, enclosed by the Langeberg mountains to the north and its foothills to the south, is certified organic by SGS, and is supplying us with apricots.

They started by certifying 15 hectares of the youngest orchards, and in 2006 the remainder of the farm gained organic in-conversion status, after being farmed according to organic principles for 18 months before that.

Plums

It’s also the beginning of the plum season. Over 2000 plum varieties exist, coming in a panorama of colours, and the Pioneer, a red variety, heralds the start of the season. They’re picked green, but very quickly turn red, and then dark red, and are best eaten when there’s no green showing. This applies to almost all fruit – the riper the fruit, even to the point of spoilage, the higher the antioxidant levels.

Plums have a similar nutritional profile to apricots. They’re very high in Vitamin C, and help increase the body’s absorption of iron. They’re also a good source of potassium, vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, and vitamin B2.

This week we’re offering Pioneer plums from Esperance, a farm certified by BCS and found in the Riversonderend mountains.

Mixed Boxes

All going according to plan, the mixed boxes will have both apricots and plums this week. Remember that you can always see a forecast for what will appear in the week’s boxes by clicking on it to get more information.

Video – An experiment in backyard sustainability

This week’s video features American Scott Maguire, looking at suburban gardening, with a particular focus on what can be done quickly, for the benefit of those renting as well as those who own their own homes. View it here.

Site closing over December and January

As always, we’ll be closing over the festive season for a well-earned rest. Our last delivery of the year will be on December 18, and our first delivery of the new year will be on January 15th. So this is the 2nd last ordering cycle of the year – don’t forget to stock up on those non-perishables!

Head on over to www.ethical.org.za to order.

Have a great week,
the Co-op team

Video: An Experiment in Back Yard Sustainability

In this video, American Scott Maguire looks at using his suburban garden to grow food to sustain himself. Although a fan of permaculture, his focus here is on growing food quickly, so that even people renting their homes can benefit.