28 March 2010

29th March at the co-op

This week at the co-op we have lots of lovely local produce and the food boxes are scheduled to contain:

  • zucchinis (2 types to choose from)
  • tomatoes
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • Swiss brown mushrooms OR yellow squash
  • Cabbage OR brussel sprouts OR rocket
  • capsicums OR Lebanese cucumbers
  • passionfruit
  • watermelon
  • bananas
  • Valencia oranges
  • pumpkin (2-3 types)
  • Lettuce (2 types)
  • carrots
  • beans

The list changes weekly depending on what's available from the farmers (hope we haven't forgotten anything in the list above), and fairly often there can be last minute changes, depending on the weather, the rabbits or the wallabies, and so forth. If there are any late changes we order and substitute another vegetable.

On the extras table we will have some gramma (for yummy gramma pie), bunches of rocket and silverbeet, purple radishes, beetroot and coriander, bok choy, and good ol' Aussie garlic and ginger.

We're crossing our fingers that Antje is back with her hand made bread, and we hear that some members are turning up tomorrow with home grown (and chemical free of course) beans, lemon cucumbers, bunches of basil and local bananas.

Thank you to those FIGGERs who arrive from time to time with produce to give away. This is generally herbs and bay leaves, and the dried chilli a while back was extremely popular! Last week we had a huge range of herbs and edibles brought in. Thank you very much, to everyone for your generosity in sharing with others.

Don't forget to provide feedback on a FIG seed swap as some members have expressed interest in this.

Don't forget FIG can order in organic local goats milk, too. Order at the desk.

See you at the co-op...!

21 March 2010

Harvesting the olives and Easter trading

FIG co-op members would know by now we have been invited to participate in olive harvesting next weekend.

Chris and Gloria from Peacock Grove, FIG's Biodynamic olive and oil supplier, have invited interested FIG members to participate in olive picking at the farm over either day of the last weekend in March - Saturday 27th or Sunday 28th. It's an early start (8.30am in the Hunter, 12 minutes from Maitland) and a full day, and lunch will be provided. If you are keen on knowing more about olives and spending some time in the fresh air, what better way than to spend a few hours with the farmers, amongst the olive trees!

Those interested must RSVP asap to FIG at fig.centralcoast @ gmail.com (minus the spaces!).

Easter is fast approaching. FIG will NOT be open on Easter Monday and will be operating at the normal times on TUESDAY, 6th April, instead.

See you on Monday at the coop!

07 March 2010

Where we're at, March 2010

Well, well, it's been quite a year. So much to catch up on and to tell - but we'll stick to the basics!

FIG has just celebrated it's FIRST BIRTHDAY, Woohoo!!
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We began operating on 23rd February, 2009, and the first co-op day was held at the Cedar Valley Centre Hall at Jilliby. This was a bit too far for our delivery guy and many of our local families to drive however a venue was urgently needed and we're very grateful the hall was available. We were able to quickly organise another venue at Ourimbah, where we remain today, and began operating in our current format, dealing directly with local organic farmers and suppliers, at the beginning of June, 2009.

It's been an exciting time in which we've been involved with the Central Coast branch of the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance and the subseqent Food Forum in Wyong; were announced as the Community Environment Network's Environment Group of the Month; witnessed our local avocado supplier newly being certified for mushrooms as well (and they're beautiful!); commenced bulk ordering of organic meats and bulk fruit as an additional service; welcomed Antje turning up weekly with her yummy home made, hand-kneaded, bread; organised a community harvest event on a local kiwi fruit farm and subsequently included the produce in the weekly FIG boxes and a jam making session; held some workshops and information sessions, and steadily increased our numbers. The feedback from our members after using the produce from the FIG boxes in meals for their families has been positive and wonderful to hear. Some of our aims were to give local farmers a fair price for their produce and to also make it affordable to local families and we think we're doing that. Thank you, everyone, for your comments.

Special thanks must go to Michael Champion, local organic farmer, for not only supporting FIG but co-ordinating several farming families here on the Central Coast and Kirkconnell (west of Sydney and just within a radius of 160 kms from here) to bring a larger range of local, seasonal, fresh produce to us weekly.

Thanks also to the key management group for getting us this far so successfully and with very few glitches; to Andrew who continues to advise on all matters co-op, and to Lani who hosted us all in her loungeroom when we were getting together and chatting about how we could go about all this. And where would we be without our members who support the co-op week in, week out, supply us with their surplus herbs and eggs and vegetables, and regular volunteers who help set up, pack up, bag vegies, wipe benches, vacuum the floor, etc?!


Now to some details for anyone new reading this or wanting a refresher: FIG operates weekly from 3-5.30pm each Monday - except for when Monday is a public holiday and we move to Tuesday. Address, phone number and email address are to be found in the bar on the right.

Our first priority is to order from what is available locally and then, depending on the weather, rabbits, varieties and quantities planted and so forth, we have to supplement our order with produce from an organic supplier in Sydney. As our members also like to have carrots, potatoes and some fruits such as bananas in their boxes, we generally order these weekly from Sydney as well. One day more of these items may be grown organically on the coast, in which case most of our FIG boxes would be sourced locally.

More information to come shortly.

Bye for now from all of us at FIG!