The FireStarter ~ Winter 2016

Volume 32, Issue 1

New and Noteworthy at the Co-op

The New Year started out with our annual year-end inventory, thanks to staff and volunteers it was handled with efficiency and diligence. Our appreciation goes out to the following volunteers who showed up to help: Scott Dennis, Diane MacFarland, Catherine Miller, Sean Maher, Patti Maher, Bruce Jones, Ron Jones-Edwards, Aaron Kester, Barb Milner, Austin Laurent, Ethan Laurent, Andrew Norris and Nathan Reece. We could not have done it without you!

The Co-op continues to strive to provide our customers with a large selection of alternative food choices. Gluten-free foods have rapidly become a desirable commodity for health-conscious individuals and our store stocks a plethora of alternatives. From baking mixes to many varieties of individual flours, we can furnish shoppers with tasty ingredients for their gluten-free needs. Namaste Foods has a delightful selection of sweet baking mixes, Bob’s Red Mill, a long-time natural foods company, and Pamela’s Bulk Baking Mixes both offer sweet and savory mixes and flours.

For those who want the convenience of prepared products, Pamela’s and Nana’s Cookies are sure to please, and Mary’s Crackers are delicious while also being gluten-free. The Co-op also stocks a selection of Nature’s Path gluten-free cereals and in the bulk section, shoppers can find Golden Temple Granola, which has always been gluten-free. Keep checking our shelves as we continue to bring in more products for our healthful choices.

In other news, we would like to introduce our newest staff member, Aurora Jones. Dividing her time between the cash register and other places in the store, Aurora brings with her excellent people-skills and a working knowledge of natural foods. Welcome, Aurora!

Finally, Heart of the Highlands seeds will again be available at the Co-op; look for the seed rack towards the end of February. This year some items will be in short supply or unavailable due to the recent wildfires, but proprietor Mariah Cornwoman assures us that she will have a reasonably full rack available. Shop here for your local seeds first, not only are we supporting a hometown enterprise, these seeds are heirloom as opposed to hybrid varieties. For more information on Heart of the Highlands seeds visit their website at: heartofthehighlands.net

Look for the SALES throughout the Co-op, displayed with white shelf tags below the items. Current Tonasket Co-op Members receive special discounts on these products.

Some are one-time deals, some are monthly sales, and others are introductory promotions. Price tags show member prices and non-member prices, with the sales being for our Co-op Members only.

Shovel-Ready Solution

from Organic Consumers.org

France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the U.K., Germany and Mexico are among the more than two dozen countries that have so far signed on to what one day will likely be recognized as the most significant climate initiative in history.

France’s 4/1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate puts regenerative food and farming front and center in the climate solutions conversation. This is why the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), our Mexico affiliate, Via Organica, IFOAM Organics International and more than 50 of our other activist allies across the globe have signed on in support of the Initiative.

Unfortunately, the U.S. government is not yet on board with the plan—even though our country’s toxic, fossil-fuel-based, heavily subsidized (with taxpayer money), degenerative industrial agriculture system is a primary driver of global warming.

The French Initiative is the most direct, most practical, and only shovel-ready plan for reversing climate change. Here’s hoping the U.S. gets on board!

Simple Chicken Soup Recipe


Put the chicken, carrots, celery and onion in a large soup pot and cover with cold water. Heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken meat falls off of the bones (skim off foam every so often).

Take everything out of the pot. Strain the broth. Pick the meat off of the bones and chop the carrots, celery and onion.

Season the broth with salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken, carrots, celery and onion to the pot, add rice or noodles, if desired, stir together, and serve.

Um... It’s the Sugar!

from Organic Consumers.org

Sugar makes us (and our kids) fat. But even when it doesn’t, it still makes us sick. So says a study in the journal Obesity. According to the study, children didn’t used to commonly suffer from chronic diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes. Nor did they exhibit risk factors for cardiovascular disease. But these diseases and risk factors are now prevalent in children.

Some of the kids who suffer from these diseases and risk factors are overweight or obese. But some of them aren’t. For those who aren’t overweight, sugar may still be to blame for their poor health. Because as it turns out, sugar causes health problems, even when it doesn’t lead to weight gain.

So when Kellogg’s defends its Frosted Flakes because one serving “with skim milk has just 150 calories” but fails to tell you that the second ingredient in its “Tony the Tiger” cereal is sugar, the cereal company is missing (obscuring?) the point. It’s the sugar itself, not just the calories, we should be concerned about.

"We can make a commitment to promote vegetables and fruits and whole grains on every part of every menu. We can make portion sizes smaller and emphasize quality over quantity. And we can help create a culture - imagine this - where our kids ask for healthy options instead of resisting them.” – Michelle Obama

Strengthen Your Immune System for Optimal Health!

Cold and flu season is upon us! Nobody wants to get ill and unless we want to isolate ourselves all winter, we need to feed and nurture our immune systems. There are many popular ways to do this, and although the FDA has not endorsed what are typically known as “historical” products, many Co-op members have found great results with herbal remedies.

One such popular herb, Echinacea Purpurea, can be grown locally and is used widely by natural health practitioners. Echinacea Purpurea seems to increase the "non-specific" activity of the immune system. In other words, unlike a vaccine, which is active only against a specific disease, this herb stimulates the overall activity of the cells responsible for fighting all kinds of infection. Unlike antibiotics, which are directly lethal to bacteria, Echinacea Purpurea makes our own immune cells more efficient in attacking bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells, including cancer cells.

Echinacea Purpurea facilitates wound healing, lessens symptoms of and speeds recovery from viruses. Anti-inflammatory effects make it useful externally against inflammatory skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema. It may also increase resis-tance to Candida, bron-chitis, herpes, and other infectious conditions.

With long-term use, this herb appears to lose effectiveness. The recommended maximum period of continuous use is 6 - 8 weeks. Echinacea Purpurea is not a substitute for other medical interventions in rapidly accelerating infections. If the condition persists or worsens, seek medical advice. Many serious medical conditions are not appropriate for self-diagnosis or self-medication and require the supervision of qualified health care providers. Use caution when practicing self-care.

Using Echinacea Purpurea
Echinacea Purpurea root is the part of the plant that has been used historically in European and American herbalism. Today nearly all parts of the plant are used, including the root, leaves, flowers, and seeds. Echinacea is available at the Co-op in a number of forms - dried root or herb, liquid extract, powder, capsules and tablets, creams and gels. Echinacea preparations are approved drugs in many European countries. The officially recommended usage levels, and those used in research studies are:


(Sources: Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs, by Rosemary Gladstar; Natural Antibiotics: 20 Valuable Tips On How to Use Echinacea As an Alternative Medicine for Natural Healing, by Sun Price.)

“Echinacea facilitates wound healing, lessens symptoms of and speeds recovery from viruses.”

Member Appreciation Day is the 3rd Tuesday of each month.
Members may bulk-order from the UNFI Catalog at 15% above wholesale.
Stock up now!

Grow Healthy Plants From Seedlings Every Time

Sara West’s How-to Guide Breaks It Down Into 10 Easy Steps from Cornucopia.org

1. Shop, Prop & Prep:
To get started, you’ll need seeds and some gear. Prop up your seed-starting shelf in a dry location that stays between 50 and 75 degrees. (Air hotter than that along with a heat mat can damage seeds.) The shelf doesn’t have to be near a window, though some sunlight helps.

2. Prepare a schedule:
Consult an online planting chart to find out when to plant each variety outdoors in your area. Work backward from that date using the days-to-maturity information on the seed packet or catalog to determine when to start each variety indoors. This way, your seedlings will be the proper size at transplanting time.

3. Premoisten The Soil Mix
Fill a plastic tub half full with seed-starting medium and wet the top of the soil with a shower-spray watering can. Use both hands to mix the planting medium by scooping the top of it toward the bottom and back up again in a circular, fluffing motion. Keep spraying and mixing until a handful of soil oozes just a drop or two of water when squeezed. Then mound the dampened soil into the cell flats and spread it evenly across the top of the tray.

4. Level The Soil
Swipe the soil to level it. Lift the tray and drop it to compress the soil. Then top off and level any sunken areas. You want soil tight enough to transfer water between particles but loose enough to let roots move.

5. Make A Divot
Make a divot in the center of each cell using a chopstick. Check the packet to determine how deep to plant your seeds. Always start more seeds than you’ll use, so you can transplant only the healthiest seedlings. Drop one seed in each divot. Pinch divots closed and press each gently. This establishes soil contact so the seed stays moist until sprouting.

6. Label Varieties
Label varieties with tongue depressors to keep track of what you’ve planted. Plug in the heat mats and place your cell flats, fitted with leak proof bottom trays, on top.

7. Mist The Flats
Mist the flats and cover them with a humidity dome. Check the soil a few times a day: It should be dark and moist, not soggy. Once most seeds sprout, remove the dome and heat mat. Fill bottom trays with ½ inch of water. Let the soil dry out slightly between waterings. Refill as needed.

8. Set Your Grow Lights
Set your grow lights 6 inches above the flat and keep them on for 14 to 16 hours a day. Turn them off at night; rest in darkness is important for proper growth. As the seedlings get taller, raise the lights, keeping them 3 to 6 inches above the tallest seedlings. Brown or crispy leaf tips mean the lights are too close. Stretched-out, spindly stems signal that lights are too weak or far away.

9. Remove Plants
Remove plants from cells once they have two or three sets of true leaves. Hardy plants, such as lettuce and onions, can go right into the garden. Warm-weather ones like tomatoes do better in a larger pot indoors under lights until well after the last frost. A balanced organic fertilizer in the transplant soil mix keeps seedlings healthy and vigorous.

10. Harden Off Plants
Set plants outside in dappled sunlight, sheltered from wind for 1 to 2 hours on the first day, and then increase outdoor time by 1 hour each day. Acclimate plants to sunlight by gradually moving them into a sunnier spot after a few days. Transplant starts after about a week of hardening.

Co-op Board of Directors meets on the THIRD MONDAY of each month, at 6:00 pm . in the North Valley Hospital Board Room in Tonasket, at 126 S Whitcomb, in the Administration Building. (subject to change)

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This edition of the Co-op News was edited by River Jones,
and published as a service to the members of the Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op.

Letters and articles are welcome from members.
Please email your submission for consideration to us at .

Newsletter editor and store management will review all submitted articles to determine suitability for publication.


Co-op Board of Directors:
Sunny Lanigan, Chair
Cassandra Schuler, Vice Chair
Ron Jones-Edwards, Secretary
Aaron Kester
Szarka Carter
Your Name Here???(There is an opening)