As summer rolls in, we are thinking about our favorite ways to welcome the warmer, longer days. These are a few highlights!
1. Friends! Getting out the patio furniture and lounging with loved ones is quite possibly the best part of summer.
2. Fruit! The scents of summer are wafting through our stores. And we cannot resist all the natural sweetness.
3. (No cooking) Simple meals – salads, crudite, and cold cuts. Warm nights invite fresh, (no cooking) dinners. That means, more time to spend with friends and family. 🙂
We hope you are as excited as we are about this season!
Save the date for our bi-annual Grand Wine Tasting on May 20th from 2 pm to 5 pm!
Join us to taste dozens of wines from local and international producers.
All wines are produced without harsh chemicals or pesticides!
Tickets: $15 | Refunded if you purchase a case of wine (at 20% off) that day (Sunday, May 20) only!
Thank you for all you do….
Growing Your Own Food to supplement our 100% organic produce.
Buying in Bulk with your own containers to reduce packaging
Reducing Waste when buying smaller quantities to avoid throwing food in the trash.
Composting the biodegradable parts of your meal production and household living.
Supporting Organic Growers, Fair-Trade and non-GMO food producers by
purchasing items with those seals.
Upcycling! Whether with us in the flower department (upcycled vases!) or elsewhere, you are helping keep products out of landfills and oceans.
And using our Water Filter Stations with your own jugs to avoid buying bottled water, thus reducing the amount of plastic consumption.
These ACTIONS MATTER! And they matter more today than ever.
As some of you may know, store manager Rick Dailey retired in December, 2017 after 36 years. Michael Chung, assistant store manager, retired recently after 32 years.
The East Bay Express wrote a nice article about the familiar feeling brought about by Rick, Michael and others in Berkeley who created a sense of community.
Here it is. We hope you enjoy.
We also hope you will come get to know Jon, our new Berkeley store manager and continue to foster your relationships with our team on Gilman street. We love seeing regular faces and meeting new people!
We are seeing a lot of people in the cold and flu sections of our stores right now. In addition to the wonderful syrups, sprays, and lozenges made by companies we love and trust, here are a few homemade remedies I use when my throat is scratchy and my nose is running.
- Lemon, Ginger, Honey and Hot Water. This mixture is simple and soothing. Simply peel one generous nub of ginger (removing the outer skin). Slice the ginger into dime size pieces, add the fresh juice of one or two lemons to taste. Add more for more tartness and less if you are sensitive to sour. Simmer the ginger, lemon and 12 ounces of water until it is warm enough to melt honey. Add honey to taste.
- Turmeric, Ginger, Water and Apple Cider Vinegar: I love this blend for a little shot of repair after a long night of coughing. The repeated hacking sometimes gives me a headache. When that happens, a shot of this drink seems to wipe away the pain. Perhaps it’s the anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric. Or maybe it’s the zing of the cider vinegar and heat of the ginger. Whatever, the case, I highly recommend this mixture. Simply peel and slice approximately one cup of each root, add it to water and boil. Once the liquid has cooled, transfer it to a glass bottle (I re-use the Straus gallon size milk containers) and add one cup of apple cider vinegar. Gently shake the mixture and store it in a cool, dark place. I put ours in the fridge to avoid oxidation. When I need a shot, I simply pour a glass over a strainer (to keep out the roots) and add a little hot water to warm it up.
- Broth. If you don’t have time to make your own, try one of the long-simmered broths we sell in the frozen section or in our refrigerated area near the deli meats. A little broth with some cooked rice can make for a wonderfully soothing and light meal. Add tofu or cooked chicken (perhaps our rotisserie chicken?), scallions and cabbage if you’d like to bulk up the contents.
- Soak in an Epsom salt bath. The wonders of Epsom salt have been touted for hundreds of years. It is said to hold beneficial properties that can soothe the body, mind, and soul. The brand of Epsom salt we sell in our stores is from Salt Works and is known for its exceptional purity and therapeutic value. Ultra (a word used on their packaging) Epsom is high-quality pharmaceutical-grade Epsom salt. It dissolves easily, perfect for soothing sore muscles, relaxing soaks, and calming foot baths. The molecular structure of Magnesium (one of the minerals found in Epsom salt) is easily absorbed into the body through the skin. Thus, a bath is a wonderful way to incorporate this mineral into your life. It can be incredibly relaxing and invigorating. The magnesium may also help with the body aches associated with colds and cases of flu. Magnesium is a central building block for life on earth. It’s the organizing atom in chlorophyll, converting sunlight to energy in plants. In the human body, magnesium is present in over 300 enzyme systems, regulating blood pressure, synthesizing proteins, and monitoring muscle and nerve functions. By incorporating Magnesium into your wellness routine you may experience alleviation of all kinds of ailments including muscle pain, chronic pain, insomnia, and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
- Elderberry Lozenges or Syrup: Elderberry is said to alleviate allergies, boost the immune system, protect against bacteria and infection, lower blood sugar, aid the digestive process, and generally boost wellbeing. What’s more, it tastes great so it’s easy to enjoy. We have lozenges and syrups. Come have a look at our selection to find the best selection for your needs.
Winter fruit may be less varied and outwardly fragrant than summer fruits but it’s packed with amazing nutrients and delicious flavor! Oranges are one of the most prolific fruits of this season, with many varietals appearing in our produce department throughout the months of December, January, February and March!
Oranges are a known source for their vitamin c content. Here are some other fun facts about one of winter’s favorite fruits:
- Oranges originated around 4000 B.C. in Southeast Asia
- The fruit came before the color. The word “orange” derives from the Arabic “naranj” and arrived in English as “narange” in the 14th century, gradually losing the initial “n.”
- The name “navel orange” comes from the belly-button formation opposite the fruit’s stem end. It is said that the bigger the navel, the sweeter the orange.
- Oranges can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. They will generally last about two weeks, with either method.
- The best way to store oranges is loose rather than wrapped in a plastic bag, to avoid trapping in mold causing moisture.
- About 85 percent of all oranges produced are used for juice.
- There are over 600 varieties of oranges worldwide.
- A typical orange has 10 segments.
- Orange peel sprinkled over a vegetable garden is an effective slug repellent.
We hope you enjoy citrus season!
Satsumas have a sweet/tart flavor and suprememely refreshing juice. With its smooth, thin, lightly attached skin, satsumas are wildly popular at this time of year.
History: Satsumas may have originated in China but they were first reported in Japan more than 700 years ago.
The ‘Owari’ Satsuma arrived to the United States from Japan, first in 1876 and next in 1878. During the period 1908-1911, nearly a million budded trees from 1908 to 1911 for planting in the Gulf States. The first recorded introduction into the United States was in Florida by George R. Hall in 1876. The name “satsuma” is credited to the wife of a United States minister to Japan, who sent trees home in 1878 from a place that was then called, Satsuma, on the southern tip of Kyushu Island, where it is believed to have originated.
For the next couple months we will be introducing seasonal citrus varieties to our stores on a regular basis. Please swing by our Produce Department, enjoy a tasty sample and experience how amazing California citrus can be when grown organically and harvested at perfect ripeness!
Love Bottle Water Bottle – 25% off through the end of December
Made from recycled glass (and absolutely no plastic), these BPA-free water bottles from Love Bottle are designed by glass experts and feature uplifting messages and fun artwork. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but 5 percent of each purchase goes towards Global Water to help deliver clean water to those in need.
All bottles are made in the USA, supporting small family businesses, and the company works with design artists from around the country.
Ghana Bolgatanga Baskets – 15% off through the end of December
For the women of Bolgatanga, basket-weaving groups have become a way to earn money in community with others. Local women supplement the family income by hand-weaving baskets using locally-grown straw, known as “elephant grass.”
The importer of these baskets follows the fair trade standards and the company gives back. Founder and CEO, Steve Karowe formed Every Basket Helps™, a non-profit organization created to help manage humanitarian
projects in the villages of Ghana. In addition to paying fair prices to the weavers, 10% of the proceeds from each basket sale goes back to the villagers.
The funds support these projects:
• Providing basic school supplies for the weavers’ children annually
• Organizing and funding health care for the weavers and their families annually
• Funding and building a community weaving center that serves two villages and over 400 weavers (2009)
Maggie’s Socks – 15% off all crew socks through the end of December
Maggie’s receives an A+, the highest rating of 300 apparel brands, in an independent study funded by the Department of State which ranks labor
Here is a list of what Maggie’s does to achieve Fair Trade.
• Dedication to the supply chains developed over many years.
• Working with suppliers to constantly improve quality without raising prices.
• Listening and learning from suppliers as well as customers.
• Seeking out producers as close to home as possible, and working with them to develop lower impact input processes.
• Responding to what farmers say they need, instead of purchasing what will look good in PR photos.
• Working with supply chains on continuous improvement in quality, environmental improvement, and living conditions.
As first world consumers living in a global economy, our choices impact people living in developing countries. Much of the apparel industry is fueled by labor in third world countries, resulting in clothing produced with very high human costs to health, and economic security. Many pieces of clothing are still made in sweatshops with dangerous conditions and a pay scale that resembles indentured servitude.
Andes Gifts items are hand-crafted year round in the highlands of both Peru and Bolivia. The artists are then paid a fair price for their products. Through their efforts, Andes Gifts enables a growing number of third world artisans to knit, stitch, and weave their way to a better quality of life for themselves and their families. Thanks to the loyal support of our customers, our knitters have projects year round.
“My 5 kids and I live in the altiplano of southern Peru. Women have very few work opportunities here. Knitting is one of our best options to improve our quality of life. The 35 women in our knitting cooperative work for Andes Gifts because they pay us well and we have work year round.”
“Knitting is one of our best options quality of life”
Join us for our fourth annual champagne and sparkling wine tasting and sale!
HOLIDAY BUBBLE BASH
One Day Sale and Tasting!
Sunday, December 17
Tasting: 1-3 PM ($5 per person)
Sale: 10% off any bottle of bubbly
20% off mixed cases, one-day only!