Monthly archives "July 2015"

You are Welcome to Participate in our Ethical Co-op PGS Approved Standard

We want to send out a big fresh and wholesome Thank you to the customers supporting EAT FOR THE EARTH day, Soil for Life. The campaign has run its course but you are still welcome to host your events. The last 5 winners of our R100 give-away vouchers will be announced during this week.

We have some NEW and EXCITING things to report!

NEW collection point in Sea Point at our friend Vondi’s http://www.vondis.co.za

* NEW HARVEST of:

* Non-certified organic garden peas from Beacon Food Garden.
* Eric Swarts is back this week with a limited supply of non-certified organic sugar snap peas and lettuce packs.
* Non-certified organic traditional naartjies, Minneolas (Tangelo), Washing Navel oranges and Cara-Cara oranges from Kleinjongenskraal.
* Non-certified organic large 1kg cauliflower heads (no packaging), broccoli from White Mountain Natural produce.

* NEW STOCK of certified organic products from Good Life: Himalayan salt, Du Puy lentils, coconut chips, fenugreek seeds, Dijon mustard, carob powder, herbs & spices including larger packets of your favourites, sultanas, cocoa, coconut milk, vinegars, tomato concentrate, vegetable stock cubes, Ayurvedic herbal supplements, palm jaggery, arrow root, Dulse and Sea Veg.

We want to keep you warm and nourished this Winter so we’ve taken the best of what our farmers have to offer and put everything you need together in one box, at one cost.

This week we have a delicious household favourite to delight your soul

* BUTTERNUT SOUP!

3 cups Water
1 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
2 tbsp Ghee
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
4 Cups (1 kg) Butternut (peeled, seeded and cubed)
1 tablespoon Almond Flour
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tbsp Coconut Cream
2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 Finally Chopped Onion

Optional:
11/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Melt half the ghee in a 6-liter saucepan over moderate heat.
Add the nutmeg, cayenne pepper, black pepper, onion and butternut cubes.
Saute for 10 minutes.
Add the water and bring to a boil, cooking until the pumpkin is tender.
Empty contents of saucepan into a blender and half the coconut milk. Puree the mixture carefully. remove and set aside. Rinse the saucepan.
Heat remaining butter in the saucepan over moderate heat
Stir flour into ghee. Return Butternut Puree to saucepan along with remaining coconut milk, stirring constantly until the soup is well blended. Bring to a boil, simmer for a few minutes and season to your taste

* ******** *

ORGANIC CERTIFICATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

Next up we would like to invite you to take part in the growth of our homegrown organic industry. We need your help to reach out to small organic farms around the country! You might be wondering sometimes why occasionally we list produce as non-certified organic but still choose to sell it. Well, this might help explain some of the reasons. You may also have heard us talk a little bit about our standards and what we choose to support. Our standards are something we are hoping to refine this year.

Organic certification plays an important role in ensuring the authenticity and quality of organic produce and products for its consumers. Organic certification, as it currently stands in South Africa, is however a process very much geared to large scale farming practices and product manufacturers, who can afford its high costs, and to whom the intensive certification process and record keeping are relevant.

This has however become a entry barrier to many of the small farms and manufacturers in South Africa, who farm and produce by excellent organic principles, but to whom certification is simply not geared, nor viable.

The Ethical Co-op exists largely to support the growth of our organic farming and manufacturing community, by supporting the growth of local farms and product manufacturers. Small organic farms and manufacturers form the very backbone of this. You will see these farmers at local markets, and they carry the real community spirit of organics.

In order to bridge this gap between large organic farms and manufacturers, and the many smaller ones, we have created our own set of in-house standards which are specifically geared to the needs of small scale enterprises. Every farm/manufacturer who completes the standards, is making a detailed public statement of his/her organic practices – which are visible for all to see.

The spirit of the Ethical Co-op PGS Approved standard is to support our farmers and manufacturers, offer resources and guidance and, together, work to improve any areas could better align with organic practices.

We are upgrading our current standard, and replacing it with the Ethical Co-op PGS Approved standard.

“Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) are locally focused quality assurance systems. They certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange.”

Read more here: http://www.ifoam.bio/en/pgs-basics

* SO THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN!

We think that you, our beloved holistic, carrot munching friends are part of this community too and we want you to get involved. We want the source of your nutrition to be transparent and peer reviewed.

If you want to visit our farms, find out more about our PGS system and participate in our PGS certification of our farms then the first farm visit will be Friday July 31, 2015 at White Mountain Natural Produce, Wolseley.

Anyone may attend!

Please RSVP to customer.liaison@ethical.org.za

Francois Malan, from White Mountain, will explain the PGS process on his own farm.

If you can’t join us in person but would like to participate or contribute then feel free to donate to the PGS, as one of the key aims is to keep fees as low as possible. There will be costs attached to running the PGS and the sustainability and success of the PGS may depend on having sufficient funds. We would also like to keep the cost of produce to consumers down, and accommodate producers where a PGS cost may affect his/her participation in this project. Donations will be audited so if you are donating please let us know. Much appreciated!

White Mountain Natural produce is a small family run farm producing organic vegetables. The farm is on the outskirts of Wolseley in the Breede valley of the Western Cape. The farm produces a wide variety of different vegetables using organic methods according to international standards.

White Mountain Natural produce consider their farming technique unique in that they use a wide crop rotation, natural methods to build soil fertility and they use biodynamic preparations. Green manures are sown as an integral part of the rotation and recently they have begun using homeopathic remedies and have found them very effective. One example of this is using Silica which they apply at every moon Saturn’s opposition.

In the last week they have installed a vortex flow form and will begin to energize the irrigation water that is used. The flowform will also be used to prepare compost extracts to be added to the irrigation water.

White Mountain has both greenhouses and open land and are able to produce crops for extended times. In the near future they plan to bring animals onto the farm as this is an important part of a balanced biodynamic farm.

“As organic farmers we have learned that our response cannot be reactive and we spend a lot of time on planning especially with weed management where we use a combination of methods to keep the crops clean and healthy.”