Archive for the ‘Shop Local’ Category

Montana Co-op seeking new member-owners

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, August 10, 2012

ESP’s July gathering was a presentation by Jason Moore about the Montana Co-op – A Virtual Farmers Market that promotes buying local food and Montana-made products through online access. While the Co-op is not yet ready for business, they are presently working on their on-line store/website and raising capital through new memberships and grants.  They hope to be up and running before the end of the year.

The Co-op’s intent is to provide access to fresh, local, affordable food – and Montana made products – to everyone in western Montana. Eventually they hope to encompass the entire state. But they cannot do this without member-owners who join now.

This project is about:

  • Montana people/businesses working with each other to improve the local economy and bring Montana products to Montana people;
  • Building a strong local and Montana community;
  • Creating Montana jobs; and
  • Feeding people and ensuring a sustainable food supply for all Montanans.

All of these points are consistent with ESP’s mission of building community and living sustainably. Read on for information on how to join, if this interests you. (more…)

Montana Coop: the Regional Food Hub Distribution Plan

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, August 4, 2012

At our July gathering on the Montana Coop, presented by Jason Moore, we learned they are investigating a new type of food distribution system, different from that used by Azure Standard and other online coops such as Oklahoma and Boise.

I’m currently working on the event summary, and hope to have it finished for the next newsletter, Meanwhile, read on for lots of good information and links on:

  • This food distribution system project,
  • Upcoming community meetings regarding the food hubs
  • Supporting local producers,
  • Making it work (education, cooperation, coaching),
  • Promoting wellness (food as medicine), and
  • Creating local jobs. (more…)

Swallow Crest Farms CSA will prorate for new members

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

by Catherine Haug, June 22, 2012

Julian Cunningham of Swallow Crest Farms still has a few shares available in his popular CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). These can be full or half shares. Because we are partway into the CSA year, he will prorate the amount you pay up-front for the remaining weeks in the year.

This CSA provides fresh produce – mostly vegetables with some fruits – from Julian’s farm, as well as special offers for local Organic cherries and other locally-raised produce from other farms/orchards, when available. Additionally, as the fall season approaches, he has special offers for bulk purchase of produce items that can be stored into the cold weather season.

If this interests you, call Julian at 756-0462.

For more information

And my earlier posts for more.:

Montana Co-op: Open to new Memberships

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, June 20, 2012

The Montana Co-op is an online farmers market, for locally grown/produced food in Western Montana. In its last stage of development, the Co-op hopes to be operating by October 2012. I’ve added a link to their home page in the links column of our home page – scroll down to Food: Local/Organic Links and look for ‘Montana Co-Op‘.

We hope to have their steering committee make a presentation at one of our gatherings, soon, so stay tuned.

For more information about the co-op, see the Montana Co-Op Info files section, below. Or see Contact Info, below. For more information about organizational progress, read on.


Why ‘Pasture-Raised’ trumps ‘Organic’

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, June 12, 2012 and David Brown, November 2011

Most of us believe that Organic is the best you can buy, to feed your family. And it certainly is better than commercially-produced fresh and processed foods. But is it really the ‘best’ available?

I’ve posted on this topic before (see Related Posts, below). David Brown (avid gardener, compostor, and health researcher from Kalispell) writes about the advantage of ‘pasture-raised’ over ‘Organic’ when it comes to animal foods like meat, dairy and eggs. (more…)

Organics: Who’s Watching your Back?

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, May 24, 2012

Most people assume if it says “Organic” on the package, it contains no harmful additives and is a healthful food. But this is true only for single-ingredient foods (fresh produce, meat, dairy, eggs); it is not necessarily the case when it comes to processed Organic foods (canned, bottled, boxed, packaged or frozen).

For starters, there are three different Organic labels used on processed foods (foods with more than one ingredient; see The EssentiaList: Natural vs Organic Labeling for more detail):

  • “100% Organic”
  • “Organic” (95% of ingredients by weight are Organic)
  • “Made with Organic” (less than 95% of ingredients by weight are Organic)

And then there are the standards that govern what can and cannot be termed ‘Organic.’ These standards are determined and enforced by:

  • National Organic Program (NOP)
  • National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)
  • Organic Trade Association (OTA)

These organizations are supposed to be keeping the Organic labels true to the name, but recent history reveals that is not the case. (more…)