At Earth's General Store we offer visitors information and products that will help them reduce their ecological and social impact on the planet and all inhabitants. We are a distributor of information and knowledge, encouraging people to consume less, consume wisely, consume locally, consume fairly and love lots more! We do this by offering items that have beneficial advantages - local, certified organic, Fair Trade Certified, in bulk (less packaging), water and energy efficiency products, information, and support to act! We are attempting to offer a way of life that is balanced and respectful of the planet and all its creatures. I know this sounds a little wishy washy but I believe that is our ultimate goal in life - do as little harm as possible and leave the world better than when we arrived. One of the intimate ways that we interact with the environment is through the food we eat. We have the power to choose food that has less impact on the environment, society and other beings. We can eat less meat, choose food that is grown locally and organically and to buy in bulk. In February 2010 Earth’s General Store moved and expand our inventory to include food products. We now offer fresh, packaged, chilled and frozen organic products. We are a real Health Food Store - offering healthy food for your body, your spirit and the planet. We continue to carry the products that we have offered the citizens of Edmonton since 1991 like worms for composting, cloth diapers for the green parents, animal free personal care products, and reusable menstrual products. We have the most experience of any store or organization in Edmonton on green lifestyle. If you want to help make the world a better place Earth’s General Store may be of great assistance to help you along the path.

Changes in Earth's General Store Coffee World.

Earth’s General Store tries to offer socially and environmental products at a reasonable and fair price. This is one of the reasons why we started to roast our own Fair Trade Certified and Certified Organic coffee in the store. We could deliver freshly roasted coffee that was ethically/socially superior with minimal environmental impact PLUS being produced by artisans here in Edmonton – adding value to our community.

We find that we need to change the prices for our coffee. Since we started to roast coffee in 2004 we have only raised the prices once - to go from $12.00 per pound to $12.50 per pound. It has been over 4 years since we raised our prices and today I am raising the price to $13.50 per pound ($29.70/kg) for our roasted coffee beans.

Many people are roasting their own at home (either with a small countertop commercial roaster) or in a popcorn maker (yes this is possible). AS far as I know Earth’s General Store is the only place in Edmonton that offers Certified Fair Trade and Certified Organic green coffee beans for retail sale. The new price for green beans are $9.50/pound ($20.90/kg) - regardless of country of origin.

Fermentation Crocks

We have sold Harsch Ceramic Fermentation Crocks for a couple of years and people really liked the old world style, the knowledge that generations of families made great sustaining fermented foods in them, they presented a technology that people could understand (water well along the lip to control air and venting, a good lid and ceramic weights), and knowing that the glaze was lead free. I loved offering these products because they were considered the best in the world.

This fall our supplier informed us that Harsch has shut down production of the crocks. I understand that they closed down the business. This kind of left people in a pickle (a fermented one of course :) ).

They said that another German company is looking at purchasing the design and continuing to offer the Harsch style crocks but that may not happen until next year.

That was not good enough for me so I tracked down another manufacturer of ceramic lead free fermentation crocks from Poland - Zaklady Ceramiczne "BOLESLAWIEC". So today we received our first shipment of their Polish Style Fermentation Crocks.

 

Kefir and Kombucha Kits Available from Earth's General Store

Increasing the quantity, quality and diversity of probiotics into your body is reputed to increase your overall health and bolster your immune system. I do know that people enjoy drinking the bottled kombucha products we carry at the store.

I believe Earth’s General Store is the only store in Edmonton to offers kits to make your own kefir products and kombucha drinks in your own home.

This coming weekend we will also start to carry some milk kefir kits – in the past we have only carried the water kefir kits. Both of these kits are put together by some local people. When we coordinate our fermentation classes our instructor also talks and demonstrates the caring and cultivation of kefir.

The milk kefir grains were brought over from Italy in 1953 by a woman (Yolanda) and the daughter is the one growing it for us. A little bit of history with your grains? 

This evening we hosted a successful kombucha workshop. I love the sharing of knowledge to a wide variety of people. People heard directly from a local kombucha maker and tasted some of his creations.

Update - Ceramic Fermentation Crocks Restocked at Earth's General Store

We have sold Harsch Ceramic Fermentation Crocks for a couple of years and people really liked the old world style, the knowledge that generations of families made great sustaining fermented foods in them, they presented a technology that people could understand (water well along the lip to control air and venting, a good lid and ceramic weights), and knowing that the glaze was lead free. I loved offering these products because they were considered the best in the world.

This fall our supplier informed us that Harsch has shut down production of the crocks. I understand that they closed down the business. This kind of left people in a pickle (a fermented one of course :) ).

They said that another German company is looking at purchasing the design and continuing to offer the Harsch style crocks but that may not happen until next year.

That was not good enough for me so I tracked down another manufacturer of ceramic lead free fermentation crocks from Poland - Zaklady Ceramiczne "BOLESLAWIEC". So today we received our first shipment of their Polish Style Fermentation Crocks.

Genetically Engineered Food - A Cross Canada Speaking Tour

Earth’s General Store has been involved in raising awareness of Genetically Engineered/Genetically Modified (GE/GMO) foods since the 1990s. We are please to announce that we are involved in this latest public information presentation.

On December 10th two of Canada’s foremost knowledgeable people on the subject, Doctors Thierry Vrain and Shiv Chopra will be visiting Edmonton as part of their Cross Canada Tour. This engagement has been made possible by the volunteers with Albertans for Food Safety (most notably Dana Blackwell and Brandie Nadiger-Harrop) and EGS has helped out a little to make this possible.

Check out the event details at their Facebook page (Genetically Engineered Foods and Human Health: A Canadian Speaker’s Tour)

More background information about the tour can be found at the GE FREE BC website.

New Items at Earth's General Store

New products at Earth’s General Store! It has been a while since I have written a list of our new items and wow there are a lot! When I went out onto the floor and started to write down the list it just kept getting longer and longer. I am sure that I have overlooked several items.

You may have noticed my blog posting regarding our diapers – as in we are not selling them any longer. We needed the room for the expanding of the food offering as well as other reasons. If you would like to learn more about this decision you can check out the blog posting.

Books: Lots of new books since the last post. Did you know that Earth’s General Store has the largest selection of books on Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw, Permaculture, Beekeeping, Fermentation, and Organic Gardening in Canada! This is quite something since we are not really a bookstore. We believe that information is important to inspire/create change so books are a tool to provide people with quality information.

2014 Calendars are NOW in Stock at Earth's General Store

Actually these came in the other week but I forgot to let people know that they are now here.

Only a few new titles this year like “Simply Raw”, “City Chickens and their Coops”, “Street Art” and “Farm to Table”.

Calendars

Macadamia Nuts now back in Stock at Earth's General Store - Now RAW!

Over the years we have had a loyal following of our nuts and seed offering. People will spend 5 – 10 minutes in that section of the store refilling the bags, jars, or yogurt containers that they brought from home.

The demand for good quality (raw, fresh, and/or organic) nuts and seeds must be increasing since we are having supply problems. Our suppliers have run out of raw almonds, sunflower seeds and macadamia.

Recently we were able to score some raw almonds (which only lasted a couple of days) and RAW Macadamia nuts. These whole macadamia nuts are expensive (about 20 cents each) but once you try them I am sure you will agree – they are worth it. ($60.00 per kilogram).

These macadamia nuts are from Hawaii and are very ‘fresh’ tasting. They are processed rare (no heat used in the drying process) and are shelled immediately after harvest.  This unique process enhances the nut’s sweetness and ensures a quality product. These nuts are NOT Certified Organic. I am told they are grown without pesticides.

"Certified Organic" and GMOs - an Answer to a Question from a Customer.

A woman was in the store last week and had just come over here from Planet Organic where she had asked the question of two of their staff. Do your products contain GMOs? One person told her that if it contained corn from the USA it had GMO even if it was labelled organic. The other person said that if it were labelled organic or NON-GMO Project Verified it does not have GMO ingredients. She was confused with their answer and came over to ask me. I think she was pleased with the thoroughness of my answer.

I live in an information bubble and assume everyone that comes into the store knows certain things… like what is ‘Certified Organic”.

End of an Era - Cloth Diapers NO Longer Available at Earth's General Store

The other day we packed up the rest of our diaper, wraps, covers, bottles, and nipples and I drove it over to the Edmonton Food Bank and donated it all to them.

Earth’s General Store was the first retail store in modern times to offer cloth reusable diapers. The store was changing and many people are buying their cloth diapers off line. I was told that our prices were better than the online prices but it is so convenient sitting at home and click click click – you have just ordered all the diapers your child will need over their two years of diaper using. Oh well.

I am glad that we had diapers in the store right from the beginning. I really loved it when parents would choose what I considered a vastly superior choice for their child and the planet.

Thank you for all the support over the years.

If you are looking for cloth diapers there are some local stores that still carry them and I ask that you support them with your patronage and purchases: