SalvagED #3 Pop Up Lunch at Organic Café August 25th, 2015

Organic Café is looking forward to hosting  SalvagED once again at our café for the third time.  Check out the event on Facebook.

 

The goal of these SalvagEd events is to not only offer excellent vegan food but to demonstrate that not all great food need to be made from food that is in perfect condition. It is estimated that 40% of all food grown, processed and bought in Canada is discarded without being eaten. SalvagEd is here to show that delicious and healthy food can be made from items that were destined to the waste stream.

Come and enjoy some great food and support the Alder Food Security Society.

All the people working the kitchen are volunteers and all money raised goes to the Alder Food Society. Organic Café and Earth’s General Store/Organic café donates the space and our staff time to make this happen.

Al Fresco Block Party Update

Al Fresco will bring 104th Street to vibrant life this coming Saturday (August 22nd, 2015) with a pancake breakfast, Farmer’s Market, Food Trucks, extended patios, a beer garden, fundraising and MUSIC

Earth’s General Store will be vegan/vegetarian central being the only spot on the street to offer only vegan food. You can grab a vegan float, fruit kebab, our famous Spouted Green Lentil Hummus with veggies, and/or a couple of hot corn on the cob (Earth Balance butter). We will be extending our out door seating area/patio.

Earth’s General Store has arranged for extra bicycle racks to be installed in the area (thanks to the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ for the use of some of their racks). The racks are not being supervised and not overly secure so I suggest you don’t leave your bicycles in the racks over night.  (Check out this short video on how to use the bicycle rack by hanging your bicycle from your seat/saddle). Please consider walking or bicycling to Al Fresco and enjoy the summer weather – Food, bicycles, people/community, music and drinks. Fun times!

Employment Opportunity – One Kitchen Prepper

We are an independent and locally owned community grocery store with a wide selection of Fair Trade Certified and Certified Organic choices. We offer the community information and products that support good health and reduce our individual and collective ecological impact on the planet. At our downtown store location we have a café that produces prepared food from scratch.

Our café specializes in vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. We do not serve any meat. You should have a knowledge and understanding of these foods and preparations OR at least a willingness and openness to learn about these foods.

We are currently looking for ONE part-Time Kitchen Preppers

Previous Kitchen experience is required

Our kitchen is open to the public so good communication skills, pleasant attitude, customer and quality focused are essential to these positions.

Responsibilities

Al Fresco, City Market, 104th Street and Earth’s General Store Support the Edmonton Food Bank

On Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 104th street will be turning it up several notches by launching their popular block party – “Al Fresco”. Besides it being a fun time it is also a fundraiser for the Edmonton Food Bank.

Many of our neighbours will be offering extended patios (Kelly’s pub, The Burg, Blue Plate Dinner, Black Pearl), deals, collection spots for food bank donations, and an online auction arranged by de Vine Wines and Spirits.  

You can find more details about the Al Fresco Block party at the 4th Street Promenade website or Facebook page. If you would like to participate in the on-line auction check it out at this website. Earth’s General Store will have something interesting on the auction site soon.

The Edmonton Food Bank has a nice page about the event as well. You can donate money directly to the Food Bank on their website.

Organic Cafe at Earth's General Store Downtown

At our downtown store we have an Organic Cafe where we offer a great selection of soups (two daily selections), salads (100-Mile Barley, Kale Pear Hand massaged Kale), sandwiches/wraps (two daily selections with usually a gluten-free option), and our famous Sprouted Green Lentil Hummus.

We make all of items fresh from scratch. If an ingredient is available as organic we use organic ingredient even though the cost might be 4-5 times as much as in organic canola.

All of the fresh food we produce in our kitchen is plant based (Vegan and Vegetarian) as the default. We sometimes have vegetarian options (dairy cheese is sometimes an option). We offer excellent healthy food options for the downtown food community – lunches, snacks and evening meals) from our café.

I believe we are the only food outlet that is using certified organic Non-GMO tortilla wraps. Most outlets use industry standard wraps which quite often has canola oil in them and that ingredient is normally derived from GMO Canola. Our sandwich breads are made by Breadland - a local bakery in Oliver Square.

Several times a week we bake vegan muffins (Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday) which have been thoroughly enjoyed by people (vegans and non-vegans alike) because they are so good.

How to save money on groceries?

Here are a list of some of the strategies that can provide significant food savings to the household:

·         Reduce or eliminate food waste. Shop smarter, smaller and more often. The 2kg bag of cherries you bought from Costco is not a great buy if 20% go bad. It is estimated that the average Canadian household wastes 30-40% of the groceries they purchase. There are Big savings in reducing or eliminating waste. You are the generator and you have control over this.

Comments on Alberta Minimum Wage

This blog post is in response to an article in the Edmonton Journal on June 29th, 2015 (Impact of unprecedented Alberta minimum wage increase disputed). I was not able to post there since my response was too long.

Being a small business owner since 1991 and a business that I believe is more socially based than most I would like to offer my perspective on the Alberta minimum wage.

Over the past ten years I have paid myself an average of about 36-48K a year. It was much less the years before. I also work about 5 thousand hours a year for this salary. I love doing what I do and know I could be making 2 to three times more money working in my trade (which I also love doing) but that would not provide me with the fulfillment that owning my business provides to me, my community/customers and the planet.

30 for 30 Ice Cream EVENT

It is predicted that on Saturday the temperature will reach 30C the first time this year. That is quite hot for around here.

 

When the temperature reached 20C earlier this year Earth’s General Store marked the occasion by putting our ice cream on sale for 20% off for the whole day.

Well guess what we are going to do on Saturday?

That’s right – Ice Cream will 30% off.

So if you are looking to stock up on ice cream for a few days or just want to indulge in one of the single servings then open up our ice cream freezer and be faced with the task of deciding between Almond and chocolate covered plain ice cream, strawberry, cookie dough, salted chocolate caramel, Neapolitan, banana sandwiches… and the list goes on. The choice is yours and so is the savings.

I use the term ice cream to describe our frozen coconut, soy, and/or cashew products. Most people won’t notice the difference.

Dandelion Season is Here!

Dandelions can evoke quite passion in people.

Some people love seeing the bright yellow flower heads, especially children, and who hasn’t picked a fragile dandelion seed head and blown on it and watch the seeds float away on the breeze.

Some people hate them and see them as a blot on the landscape – something that needs to be destroyed and controlled.

I am somewhere in the middle. I don’t need to eradicate them but I like to reduce their numbers so that other vegetation and plants I do want to have growing are not competing against the dandelions for nutrients.

Dandelions are in many ways the perfect plant. They are asexual and therefore produce clones of themselves. They arrive early in the spring providing food for bees. They have tap roots that break up the soil and bring nutrients up to the surface from lower soil levels. The roots can be dried and roasted into a coffee substitute. The leaves can be used in salads (use young leaves) or steamed (significant levels of Vitamin A and K, and sources of Vitamin C and calcium).

In the pioneer days early settlers would welcome the dandelions since they would be one of the first edible plants in the spring. They knew that they were healthy for them – possibly for the Vitamin C source since most diets from the winter would be low in this vitamin.

Growing Organically

Organic cultivation is about doing no harm and feeding the soil so the plants that grow are healthier and will resist disease and insects.

It is the same with our bodies. A healthy robust body can more withstand exposure to viruses, bacteria, illnesses, etc than a body that has a weaker or compromised immune system. When we feed our bodies healthy organic whole foods, have adequate sleep, get the right nutrients, have enough water, exercise our bodies (walking, bicycling, etc), receive and give love, feel content, feel valued, etc we will create the best conditions in our bodies to fend off environmental, diet and societal attacks on our immune system.

The same is true for the plants we grow. Growing organically is about reducing the exposure to insects, paying attention to the plants that you want to grow, reduce competition from unwanted plants, and feeding the soil.

The way I do all this is to insert certain plants throughout the garden that confuses insects or attracts beneficial (predatory) insects, have a walk through the garden twice a day (there is nothing like checking on their progress, snipping this plant, pulling a few weeds, etc first thing in the morning or in the evening), and providing a healthy bed for the plant to set its roots in.