2019 Farm Tour Recap
Another successful farm tour is in the books! With 30 farms this year, visitors could see how bigger farms work, like Herb Pharm, Fry Family Farm, and Rogue Creamery, while also experiencing the joys of smaller farms, such as Turning Point Farm, Fox Run Farm, and Daily Blessing Farm.
Visitors of all ages enjoying Goodwin Creek Gardens
Every farm did a wonderful job hosting farm activities. It’s no surprise that attendees were drawn out to farms for the activities alone, like carriage rides, hay rides, photo booths, animal petting areas, prizes for children, live music, tastings and goods for sale. Some visitors made it a point to purchase goods from the farm at each stop they made - the lavender cookies and popsicles at Goodwin Creek Gardens were definitely a hit.
Vinfarm cheese and wine
We know this is a great event for the Rogue Valley community because there was an uptick in attendance from last year’s Farm Tour - about 1,500 folks made it out to local farms this year. That’s a great affirmation that Rogue Valley residents and visitors appreciate our strong local food system, and that they enjoy the opportunity to connect with our farmers. (A lot of feedback asked for longer hours or an additional day to tour farms in the future.)
Horse-drawn carriage rides were one of many activities for visitors
For 2020, here are some possible changes:
- A wrap-up party after the event! It was fun swapping stories after the tour about each farm, so it would be great to have everyone come together for a Farm Tour party with music and food at the end of the day.
- More and earlier bus and carpool options - though we got a lot of feedback asking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of attending multiple farms, the tour buses sponsored by Rogue Retreat and Set-Free Ministries did not fill up. We will focus on filling buses with environmentally-conscious folks next year.
- The more volunteers, the easier it is on farms. We will be looking for more folks to help next year!
- Make the Farm Tour a little longer - Farms are spread out, so it's hard to get to more than three. Extending hours would allow attendees time to visit another farm, or just enjoy a nice moment.
- We will schedule the 2020 Farm Tour to avoid double-booking with the Jackson County Fair free day and the Oregon Country Fair.
- We will add a spot to the maps so you know where you can grab food.
More Co-op News
It's a month of giveaways from Taste for Life!
The first giveaway runs 1/16-1/22, so sign up below.
As part of the Rogue Co-ops, a group of Rogue Valley cooperative businesses that includes Ashland Food Co-op, Grange Co-op, Medford Food Co-op, and Rogue Credit Union, we're excited to offer a scholarship opportunity to local high school students planning on attending college.
The Rogue Co-ops have collectively funded a $2,000 scholarship (and Grange Co-op offers an additional eight $1,500 scholarships) for students (in public, private or home school settings) who meet the following requirements:
The AFC Board of Directors is looking for owner-volunteers for three board committees: the Owner Engagement Committee (OEC), Board Development Committee (BDC), and AFC Gives Committee.
Our team has been working on many different projects throughout the year, taking great steps to fulfill our four sustainability goals. Our four goals to achieve by 2030 are: carbon neutrality, zero waste, eliminating toxic chemicals, and being a leader in our sustainable community. We look forward to our sustainable success in the upcoming decade!
As the 2010s come to a close, the “20/20” eyesight analogy couldn’t be more appropriate for the new decade. With our eye on the future, there’s clearly a sense of urgency and awareness of the unique times we’re living in: a changing climate, increases in costs of living, and the shared pressures of a globalized world.
It's fun trying new things! Here are five items you can find at the Co-op with a distinctly international flavor. Whether you're spreading them on some bread or naan, mixing up a salad dressing, or just want something salty and crunchy to snack on, try these out next time you want to elevate your dishes.
Sometimes you might come across a product at the Co-op and ask, "That looks good, but how in the heck can I use it in my cooking?" To answer that question, we picked this Ginger Spread made by The Ginger People (famous for their Gin-Gin candies). Grab a jar and try some of these unique applications in your own kitchen - or get inspired to utilize it in another way.
Hello, Co-op members! My name is Melina Barker, and I joined the AFC Board of Directors this July. Since then, I have been busy learning about all the work the previous members have done to craft strategic goals to support the success of the AFC.
During the month of November, Co-op shoppers can nourish their own families and help fight hunger in the Rogue Valley.
Over the years, Smart Chicken® and Ashland Food Co-op have teamed up to donate thousands of pounds of chicken to ACCESS. Smart Chicken® will once again donate Smart Chicken® products based on the total volume that shoppers purchase at Ashland Food Co-op to ACCESS.
The bane of all gardeners is powdery mildew - that white substance that collects both on the tops and bottoms of the leaves of your healthiest vegetable plants. Cucumbers and zucchini seem to be more easily affected by this scourge than many others.
It’s the season of gratitude and reflection on the year that has passed, and there is so much to be thankful for as a Co-op owner.
2019 started off with the news that over $13,000 in emergency donations had been raised from Co-op owners and shoppers for support and relief efforts after Paradise, CA was leveled by a wildfire. This outpouring of our support was critical in the months after the fire, after the news trucks had left and the work of rebuilding began. I know how grateful we all are for the much calmer smoke season that our region experienced this summer.
Part of what makes co-ops unique are the guiding 7 Principles of Cooperation. One of the seven that is felt strongly in Ashland is "Concern for the community" - and that's why the Co-op is offering a new way to give back to our community for the month of October. When you pay at the register, you can round up your total to the nearest dollar. For example, $11.68 becomes $12, and $0.32 is donated.
Donations in October will go to the Ashland Food Co-op Community Fund, which funds the Community Grant program (over $29,000 was provided last year to local non-profits).
Find out how fun and educational Co-op cooking classes are! Sign up below for the chance to win two free seats (for you and a friend or loved one) at the next class, "Chicken Done Simply" with the Co-op's own Michelle Guerrie.
Thanks to alpine trails and shaded valley creeks, outdoor recreation is year-round in the Rogue Valley. But fall usually makes for more frisky feet, so we asked Co-op employees for their favorite fall activities and recommendations for what they grab before they head out.
Just in time for the school year, Applegate products are being added to the Co-op Basics program! The Co-op carries a variety of Applegate products, like sliced deli meat, cheeses, bacon, and sausages. Now as part of the Co-op Basics program, you’ll be saving up to $2 on Applegate products across the store, every day.