Fare trade

Monthly Archives: March 2019

Fare trade
27th March, 2019

How does the Co-op stack up against its competitors price-wise?

Most certified organic fruit and vegetables are cheaper at the Co-op than local supermarkets.

With three major supermarkets, a new bulk food store and the Co-op in town, Katoomba shoppers are spoilt for choice. So we’re making it a little easier to compare apples with apples and find the best deal on fresh produce, bulk goods and staples with this price comparison table.

Download this table as a pdf

When assessing the table important factors to consider include the Co-op’s pricing on fresh fruit and veg. We keep our mark-up to a minimum to make produce more affordable for members. And we prioritise local and bulk products which ensures provenance and reduced or nil packaging.

There’s no denying organic food can be expensive, but if you buy what’s in season and local you can save.

You will note our organic cold pressed extra virgin olive oil is more expensive than the two major supermarkets. This is due to the high quality of our product and suppliers. Rosnay olive oil is produced in Canowindra, 200 kilometres west of Katoomba, by the Statham family. The Stathams grow olives, grapes and figs using biodynamic principles. They also developed a community of certified organic farms in Canowindra to regenerate degraded land and assist the sustainability and harmony of a number of small growers.

Our other organic cold pressed extra virgin olive oil is from Toscana in the Grampians region of Victoria. Established in 1943, this award-winning family owned business values quality over quantity and is one of Australia’s oldest olive groves.

These oils are also sold in bulk, something the supermarkets don’t do.

Prices are current as at Wednesday March 27.

Community small grants
27th March, 2019

It may not be a well-known fact but Katoomba’s original bulk wholefoods and organic grocery store, Blue Mountains Food Co-op, donates 10% of its annual surplus to local social justice, environmental and food-related organisations every year.

The quiet achiever, established in 1981 as a not-for-profit member owned and managed co-operative, is now over 2,500 members strong, and provides regular support to community groups via food vouchers, cash donations and philanthropic programs.

Recent beneficiaries include Earth Recovery Food Rescue, Aboriginal Culture and Resource Centre, Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group (BMRSG), Women’s Health and Resource Centre, local public schools, neighbourhood centres, land care groups and community gardens.

George Winston, Fundraising Coordinator at BMRSG, says donations received from the Co-op help his group provide asylum seeker families with food, school supplies, medical and rent assistance. “We are hugely grateful to the Co-op for the cash injections which enable us to continue our vital work,” said Mr Winston.

Other projects supported by the Co-op include Toolo’s Repair Cafe, the hugely successful Edible Garden Trail, and a pilot outreach program, Nourishing Families, developed to inspire healthy eating habits. “Nourishing Families, now in its second year at North Katoomba Community Hub, has been a great success and we have plans to roll it out for other community groups,” said Jacqueline Forster, Co-op Marketing and Community Education Officer. “It has always been the Co-op’s remit to give back to community and this year we are pleased to announce a new Small Grants program.”

Co-op Manager, Halin Nieuwenhuyse, said the Board was delighted to be able to offer up to $10,000 worth of community grants in 2019. “Thanks to the support and patronage of our loyal members and shoppers the Co-op experienced unprecedented sales last financial year,” Ms Nieuwenhuyse explained. “This has enabled us to offer grants for specific community projects in need of financial assistance to set up, maintain or progress initiatives.”

Applications for the Co-op grants open Monday April 1 and close Thursday May 30, and will be judged by the Co-op’s Donations Committee. Beneficiaries will be announced in late June 2019.

Eligibility

Only Blue Mountains-based, not-for-profit, non-government organisations will be eligible to apply for the Blue Mountains Food Co-op Community Small Grants Program. Organisations must be working in social justice, environmental and food-related fields. Individuals may not apply.

To apply please complete the form and address the criteria below in a separate word document.

Criteria

  • Describe the main activities of your organisation.
  • Detail the specific project for which funds are required.
  • Identify and demonstrate the specific needs of your target group.
  • Present a costing/budget for the implementation of your project.
  • Describe the implementation of your project and how services will be delivered.
  • Outline expected outcomes of your project for which funds are required.
  • Provide evidence of administration of similar projects, or describe relevant experience, skills or qualifications within the organisation for implementing the project.
  • Detail reporting methods and evaluation of project outcomes.
  • Discuss plans for ongoing delivery of services post funding.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FORM

Please email or mail completed applications to:

manager@bmfoodcoop.org.au

or

BM Food Co-op Community Small Grants Program

c/- The Manager

Blue Mountains Food Co-op

PO Box 305

Katoomba NSW 2780

The bones of it
26th March, 2019

Since the announcement late last year that the board was open to the idea of selling meat, we have received a significant amount of communication from members. This is one of the biggest decisions that the Co-op has made and the board recognises and respects that it is a decision that can only be made by our membership.

We understand that deciding what, and what not to eat can be complex, and can involve a number of often conflicting factors… even more so when considering eating animal products. We want to open up the discussion and provide members with the opportunity to learn about and consider multiple perspectives before putting this decision to a member vote.

The board is preparing to hold a panel-style event that will bring together eminent environmentalists, regenerative agriculturists, animal rights advocates, and ethics and health professionals to discuss the science, fact, fiction and emotion surrounding this issue before we put the matter to a member vote. This panel will comprise a balanced and broad range of perspectives. Like the ABC’s Q&A program, members will be invited to send in questions in advance of the event to be addressed by the speakers. We hope to stage this event in Sept 2019 but speaker availability will determine the specific date.

We look forward to engaging in a lively conversation with our members that teases out some of the myriad factors at play in this decision. We hope that this will help our members make a more informed choice about what they eat, and help build respect for how others choose to nourish themselves and their families.

Get involved!
26th March, 2019

Here are some FAQs about volunteering at the Co-op.

Q: Who can volunteer at the Co-op?

A: If you are a member of the Co-op you can volunteer for a maximum of four hours per month.

Q: What are the benefits of volunteering at the Co-op?

A: Volunteering at the Co-op has many benefits including:

· For 4 hours work you receive 20% discount off the member price of $250 worth of shopping*

· Gain valuable work experience & training

· Be active in the community & learn more about the Co-op

· Learn about new foods & nutrition

· Share your skills & make new friends

*You can spend this all at once or over a period of time. Your volunteer points do not expire and you start earning them after the first two hours worked.

Q: What tasks will I be asked to perform?

A: Volunteers generally help with cleaning, filling, labelling and keeping the store tidy. Occasionally, other one-off tasks arise for which particular skills may come in handy eg: office duties, minor repairs and maintenance, gardening, cooking, graphic design etc. so please let us know what you’re good at! You can also volunteer at monthly cleaning bees held after hours.

Q: Is training provided?

A: Yes, the Co-op runs regular evening training sessions for new volunteers.

For more information click here or to register for volunteer training email: hello@bmfoodcoop.org.au

Organic pest control
26th March, 2019

ABC Organic Gardener Magazine’s Horticultural Editor, Penny Woodward, shares her tips for creating a healthy ecosystem and natural homemade spray recipes for common pest problems.

Creating a healthy ecosystem helps with natural pest control.

The ultimate aim for your garden is to create a healthy ecosystem in which your plants, pests and predators live in balance. In such an ecosystem, a pest problem can sometimes be solved by a predator, without the gardener doing anything. To help create a balanced ecosystem follow these steps.

Do

  • Plant strongly scented plants to confuse and repel pests.
  • Plant flowers and herbs that will attract, and be food sources for, beneficial insects, birds and small mammals.
  • Provide ponds for frogs, reptiles and insects, such as dragonflies, that also feed

Don’t

  • Use broad-spectrum insecticides.
  • Kill all your spiders and ants, as these are important general predators in the garden.

Home-made sprays

What’s bean eating these lovelies?

If a pest gets out of hand you may need to act. The following simple homemade recipes are effective organic pest control sprays.

Allocasuarina

Boil 100g of casuarina needles with 1 litre of water in a covered pan for about 20 minutes. Cool and strain. Use within a few days for fungal diseases and bacterial infections.

Coffee

Save your coffee grounds and liquid dregs and, after you have accumulated at least half a litre, filter it for use as a spray. Completely cover the grounds with water and leave in a sunny spot for a few days, then filter through paper towel and use within a week on aphids, scale, mealy bug, snails and slugs.

Garlic

Roughly chop 200g of garlic – don’t bother to peel it. Add 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil, cover and soak for 24 hours. Dissolve 20g of pure soap in 1 litre of water, then add this to the garlic and mix well. Filter through fine gauze, store in a container in a cool, dark place. This spray will keep for several months. Use at a dilution rate of 1-part concentrate to 10 parts water against a wide range of sucking and chewing pests.

Milk

Combine 1-part milk with 9 parts water and use immediately against fungal diseases like powdery mildew.

Molasses

Molasses acts as a deterrent for caterpillars and other leaf-eating pests. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of molasses in a little hot water and then make this up to 1 litre by adding more hot water. Add 1 teaspoon of liquid soap. Spray over the leaves of any plant being attacked by caterpillars. Use within a week.

Pest oil

Combine 2 cups of vegetable oil to half a cup of dishwashing detergent. When ready to spray, shake well to emulsify then mix one teaspoon of concentrate to one litre of water. Store the concentrate in a glass jar in a cool place for up to a few months.

Soap

Add 1 teaspoon of soap flakes or ecologically friendly laundry or dishwashing detergent to 1 litre of water and mix well. Be careful not to use too much or too often – no more than once a week for a few weeks – or you may damage your plants and leave residue in the soil that will kill beneficial soil creatures. Use against aphids, beetles, bugs, mites, scale and whitefly.

Wormwood (Artemisia arborescens)

Pour 1 litre of boiling water over 3 firmly packed cupfuls of roughly chopped wormwood leaves. Cover and leave to stand until cold. Strain and dilute with 1 litre of water. Use within a few days to control aphids, bean fly, whitefly, caterpillars and stink and horned bugs.

©Penny Woodward pennywoodward.com.au

Illustration by Ruby Jones @rubyalicerose

You may have noticed our donations box just inside the front door of the Co-op at checkout 1. Every few months we choose a new group or humanitarian agency to assist. Thanks to your generous support we recently raised $525 for the Indonesian earthquake/tsunami relief fund which has been donated to Oxfam to distribute.

Donations received in the three months prior to that assisted the Close the Gap program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

And now our new goal is to raise funds for the Muslim community in Christchurch. We thank you in advance for any spare change you can donate to this worthy cause.

Edible weeds workshop II
26th March, 2019

Back by popular demand Diego Bonetto’s Edible Weeds Workshop returns to the Blue Mountains Organic Community Garden Katoomba.

Photo by Aimee Crouch

You will never look at weeds in the same way again after taking part in this workshop. Diego Bonetto is a weed forager, artist, storyteller and an expert on identifying the nutritious plants that grow under our feet that most people call ‘weeds’.

Take a walk on the wild side and discover the edible and medicinal plants that grow around us. Learn about the role weeds play in repairing and building soil. Find out how they have been used for food, craft and natural remedies. Discover ways to safely harvest from the wild and enrich your diet with vitamins and minerals.

Each participant will receive a booklet detailing 16 of the most common wild edibles of the greater Sydney region.

To purchase tickets click here.

A great sum of small things
26th March, 2019

Amy Tyson reviews this practical and inspirational guide to reducing waste.

A Family Guide to Waste-Free Living plants seeds in your mind and encourages you to plant seeds in your life. Lauren and Oberon Carter’s minimalist approach to providing a waste-free family framework is deceptively abundant. All of the necessary ingredients, both practical and thought provoking, are provided. Their basic principles are presented in a supportive and non-judgemental fashion and are applicable to the suburban environment. This book will do more than get you started. It will become a household tome of comfort and inspiration.

What even is waste-free living? You might think you know something about it. You might think the benefits are glaringly obvious. As you flip through each intricately crafted page, you will witness the waste-free life experiences of this family. With exquisitely captured scenes, you are invited to peer through gorgeously framed windows. You will read their constructively framed words-from-the-heart and realise the far-reaching power of your own decisions. Even the small ones.

No corner of your life is left unexamined. Their principles can be retrofitted to any decision that needs to be made regarding waste. Issues such as the broader impact of waste and invisible waste are touched upon with just the right amount of information to encourage thought. The theme of this book is personal, though, focusing on how to bring about change in your home and life.

As you immerse yourself in the wholesome life of the Carter family, you will find more than enough carefully instructed yet malleable methods to start making waste-free decisions. You will find no strict recipes here. No rules. Except for the rules you make for yourself. And even then, you’ll find kind and understanding advice on how to find your own balance.

A contagious sense of calm comes from observing the Carters’ simple way of life. Instead of overwhelmed at the enormity of the subject, you will feel capable of revolution in your own life and of taking responsibility for your own waste, one decision at a time.

A Family Guide to Waste-Free Living by Lauren and Oberon Carter is published by Pan MacMillan RRP $34.95.

To help Blue Mountains Food Co-op members achieve their waste-free living goals, our neighbour in Ha’penny Lane, The Little Lost Bookshop is offering a 20% discount on this title for Co-op members. Just pop into the bookstore with your Co-op member card and place your order.

Browse Categories

Browse Newsletters

address

Ha'Penny Lane, Katoomba View Map

opening hours

  • day
  • open
  • close
  • Monday
  • 9am
  • 6pm
  • Tuesday
  • 9am
  • 6pm
  • Wednesday
  • 9am
  • 6pm
  • Thursday
  • 9am
  • 6pm
  • Friday
  • 9am
  • 6pm
  • Saturday
  • 8.30am
  • 5pm
  • Sunday
  • 10am
  • 4.30pm

Stock deliveries

  • day
  • Delivery
  • Monday
  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Tuesday
  • Bread
  • Wednesday
  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Thursday
  • Fridge Goods, Sol Bread
  • Friday
  • Fruit & Vegetables

Become a member

subscribe to
newsletter

Facebook

Browse Archive