The Co-op's "Secret Garden"

Did you know the Co-op employees have a small garden on our campus? Planning and management falls on our fantastic Co-op volunteer: Henry Herting.

Below, Henry shares some background on the garden, what it’s used for, and some additional tales from over the years.


Originally, the need for a kitchen garden arose from having a kitchen classroom in which culinary classes were being held. Visiting chefs have always been invited to use the garden for any ingredients they may have forgotten or items they could use as garnish for their dishes.

 

Garden

 

Over the years as the garden has improved in amendments, it has taken on its primary purpose as a refuge for AFC employees trying to enjoy a quiet lunch away from the busy activity of the store or as a private place to make a telephone call.

We had to enclose the area with a deer fence as the local deer were gorging themselves on our offerings. There was also a beautiful cat that thought the four raised beds should be used for his purposes only. He has, happily, been chased away by an occasional handful of critter-ridder.

 

Garden 3

 

We’ve added seating in the form of cedar rails at the tops of the raised beds and two benches: a rocking bench that we covered with a trellis, and a larger oak bench modeled after the one at the old Eagle Point Grist Mill (which burned to the ground one Christmas morning, taking the bench with it).

We’ve always been charged by the originators of the garden to do everything organically. If we use seeds, they have to be organically raised seed (in our case, from Siskiyou Seeds or Territorial Seeds). If we plant starts, they will be organically grown in organic soil mediums. Even the green paint we’ve added to the big trellis this year is old-time milk paint, appropriate for growing vegetables.

 

Garden 2

 

The garden isn’t a smoke break spot either. Plants are living organisms and it has been repeatedly proven do not do well with second hand smoke. They breathe in and out as we do.

 

Garden 1

 

Our big charge in the summer months has always been the Kids’ Camps, happening in late June this year. Currently, we are adding a lot of plants to draw in the pollinators in our quest to become a Certified Pollinator Garden. We hope also to have some ladybugs for the kids to release - it’s an experience that enraptures kids and connects them to the soil food web around them.

 

More Co-op News

Smart Chicken® Holiday Giving in 2019

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.

Henry in the Garden: Already Preparing for the Spring

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.

GM Report: Gratitude for a Great 2019 at the Co-op

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. 

Rounding Up in October

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).

Win a gift basket featuring products made by co-ops

We're celebrating Co-op Month in October by highlighting products at the Ashland Food Co-op that are made by other co-ops.

That's one of the seven cooperative principles - Cooperation among Cooperatives - that you'll find being practiced at the Co-op everyday. 

You can win a selection of those co-op products by entering your name and email below.

Entries will close on October 24, and a winner will be contacted on October 25 via the email address provided.

Fall Staff Picks

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. 

 

Applegate products joining Co-op Basics

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. 

Applegate sandiwhc

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
Visitors of all ages enjoying Goodwin Creek Gardens

Top 15 Things to Do in Ashland (When It's Smoky)

Ashland is a paradise for the outdoors - but sometimes Mother Nature has different plans for us.

When smoke from wildfires becomes an issue, there are still plenty of great activities to enjoy around our wonderful town. Check out this list for some inspiration!

AFC Celebrates 20 Years with Magnolia Farms

This year, the Ashland Food Co-op proudly celebrates their 20 year partnership with Magnolia Farms. Their pasture raised, no antibiotics, no hormones lamb is a staple in the Co-op Meat Department. Magnolia Farms is graciously donating the lamb for our August First Friday in celebration of our long standing partnership.

Compostable Bags

The Co-op has been asked if compostable plastic bags are a viable alternative to the standard plastic bags offered in the produce and meat departments. 

For several reasons, compostable bags are not in line with the Co-op’s goals and standards. 

Not compostable at home

Sustainability Update: Energy efficiency and zero waste

Energy Efficiency
We are happy to announce that we are a member of the Energy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management program. This is a free program available to customers of Avista and Pacific Power, which offers awesome incentives including a paid internship!

Community Grant Recipients 2019

The Ashland Food Co-op donated over $29,000 to 28 local nonprofit organizations through their Community Grant Program.

The Community Grant program is the focus of one of the fundamental Cooperative Principles, which all cooperative enterprises follow. Our Community Grant Program supports Principle 7, Concern for Community.

Meet the 2019 Board of Directors

Congratulations to Annie Hoy, Melina Barker, Lisa Beam, and Steve Bowman for their election to the Board of Directors! We were delighted to have such a strong slate of candidates to fill our four vacancies. You can read more about each new director here.