The Vine Newsletter

February/March 2015 Features

seed-mandalaSeed company consolidation threatens organics, diversity, sustainability
by Matthew Dillon
While we may not think about seed when eating breakfast or helping our children into their cotton pajamas at night, seed is the foundational step in feeding and clothing ourselves. Seed is perhaps the most overlooked of the natural resources necessary for food and fiber production — the others being water, soil, and energy. As a natural resource, seed must be stewarded and improved for our own use and benefit, and also for future generations. Read more

Rowen_SierraSeedsPlanting the seeds of a sustainable local food system
If we want a truly sustainable food system, we need to have local seeds,” said Rowen White, explaining the importance of Sierra Seeds, a local seed business based in North San Juan that she co-founded, with Ruby Turple, in 2008. Read more 

Banner GrangeBanner Grange: A year of growth, change, and action
Song Kowbell sang at the Banner Grange screening of the film “Open Sesame” in January, which was attended by over 100 people. In January of 2014, several members of the Banner Grange rang in the new year by going to our state capitol and advocating for the labeling of GMOs in our food supply. This year, almost to the day, many of our members went to yet another rally in Sacramento to champion our right to save seeds and label the food we eat.
Read more

Seed SwapDiscover, mingle, and share at the Community Seed Swap
A collaboration of local agricultural and activist groups are gearing up for the annual Community Seed Swap at the Banner Grange in Grass Valley. Come trade both your knowledge and your seeds! Seeds are the source of life. Nearly every food that we eat is dependent upon seeds. Read more

Cooking ClassesClick here to read our cooking class descriptions, see the schedule for upcoming classes, and reserve your space!

Click here to download the Cooking Class Section from the February/March 2015 Vine (PDF 1.3MB)

David BensonThankful for certified produce from Mexico, S. America
Can you imagine trying to coax every kind of produce out of the ground in winter? In particular, I’m thinking of all those beautiful Mediterranean summer veggies we love to eat, regardless of the season. The fact is, it’s just not possible to pull rabbits out of a hat this far north in winter. Which is why our neighbors to the south step in and do the job for us. Read more

Chris Maher, General ManagerMeeting our goal to be a community gathering place
by Chris Maher, General Manager
In 2010, our Board of Directors approved a set of six ‘Ends Policies’ that define our ideals as a cooperative, above and beyond our success as a business. These policies express the goals toward which we constantly strive, and which guide our operations and our day-to-day decision-making. Read more

Vegetable HeartWays to put your heart first, every day
by James “Slim” Miles. The human heart is the first organ to form as the embryo is developing inside the mother’s womb, and the first heart cell can begin to beat as early as four weeks after conception. Though the heart typically beats approximately 100,000 times a day, it is far more than just a simple pump. It is one of the most important organs in the body, having the capacity to move about 1.5 gallons of blood through itself every minute of every day. In doing so, it actually does more physical work than any other muscle. Read more

alan1_200Planning needs patience, like a working a puzzle
from Alan Weisberg, President
As I write this in the early days of the New Year, I’d like to address two particular themes about the current state of BriarPatch. They represent the questions I hear most often from owners, and the thoughts that I find especially interesting. Read more