April 2009

Volume 25, Issue 3
The FireStarter

From the Board Chair

We, the board, have been made increasingly aware of fiscal difficulties that will require significant resources in moving forward. Our dilemma is: how can the resources of the membership and their support translate into growth for this co-op?

We recognize that support currently comes from our membership in the form of volunteer hours, membership dues, contributions, input that finds its way to the board, and of course, shopping at the Co-op. We also recognize that this kind of support is not possible from many in our community for a myriad of reasons. There are currently no means by which our members can directly invest in the Co-op, providing capital and a modest return on such capital.

I will be researching various forms of shared programs currently being used by other co-ops and groups of co-ops. Input from members with knowledge of such programs would be most welcome, particularly the administration of the same. We have recently decided to borrow money and therefore incur interest charges. It seems wiser to pay dividends for investment capital to members rather than interest to a lending institution.

It has been said that a company/business either grows or dies. I’m not sure I believe that entirely. However, if growth is being able to pay better wages/salaries, replace used equipment with new and better equipment in a timely manner, then that growth is a desired end.

We will keep you posted in our efforts to achieve balance in any proposed plan. Thank you for listening.

Respectfully submitted,

Jere Shaub, Board Chair 

Back To The Garden Documentary Film Showing Well Received

Many of you were at the CCC March 13th for the premier showing of Back to the Garden, the just-released documentary film about the back-to-the-land movement.

This showing was a benefit to support our own Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op, and raised nearly $600. A hearty thanks is due to all who attended! The back room of the CCC was packed, and the audience was quite enthusiastic.

“Back to the Garden” takes the audience back twenty years, to a Healing Gathering in rural Washington State, and introduces a group of back-to-the-land hippies who dropped out of society to live off the grid, grow their own, and raise non-traditional families… It then zooms ahead to the present to discover what’s become of their dreams of environmental utopia and their alternative families while revealing the personal sacrifices made to realize those dreams.

Most of the filming was done in Okanogan County in 1988 and 2007-2008. The show centers on interviews with six people. Five of them are Okanogan county residents: Maeyowa, One-Pine, Skeeter, Deb Vester, and Jerry Bartels. The sixth person is Jeffrey Stonehill from Lopez Island. The film contains footage from the 1988 Spring Healing Gathering held at Tirth, as well as footage from the Cape LaBelle area, the Aeneas Valley in the north Okanogan, the 2007 Fairy & Human Relations Congress near Carlton in the Methow Valley, and the Okanogan Family Faire (Tonasket Barter Fair).

Many other long-time Tonasket residents (other than the above) were sighted in the film, and recognized by the audience, often with great mirth. DVDs of Back to the Garden were for sale at the showing, and attendees bought out the available supply completely. More copies have been ordered, and the Co-op expects these to be available in the near future, at a discounted price.

Member Notes....


Deli window open 11-2 Monday through Saturday
For fast service, call between 9-1 to have your lunch ready for pick-up anytime after 11

*** NEW MENU items ***
Sandwiches made to order or grab & go from the refrigerated case. Panini Sandwiches, Specialty Sandwiches on Dave’s Killer Organic Bread, Salads, Garlic Cheese Bread, and more…

Hot Entrees Mon-Fri Hot Soup Mon-Sat Homemade baked goods daily We use all natural ingredients – organic when possible – to create delicious and good-for-you food!

Auction and Dinner A Terrific Success!

~by Loreen Felstet

The 'Think Spring' Auction and Dinner on Saturday March 7th succeeded in raising much-needed funds for our Co-op, and was a delightful evening for all. Thank you to everyone who attended this dinner with live music, which included an evening filled with silent and live auction activity. We appreciate everyone’s generosity!

We thank those whose donations created such a showing of the diversity of products, services, and individuals in our community with whom we can shop locally. We actually are kind of spoiled here in the north county; with all that we have readily available to us in our wonderful community we have it easy being locavores! (You are working on being a locavore, right!?! Find out in the related article below ironically titled, "What’s a Locavore?")

As reported earlier, auction proceeds will go towards upgrades, repairs, new equipment, and remodeling at the Co-op, so thanks to all of you who attended and enjoyed this evening with us. Your participation and generosity will help the Co-op continue to be a community resource toward promoting healthy living.

Yes, the beautiful, new, 3-door, glass-display, merchandising freezer is paid for! Auction proceeds totaled over $6,000. So, besides the freezer being paid for, we will be able to continue chipping away at our long list of equipment needs and store improvements, such as:

We thank all of you for making this auction a big success and, above all, so much fun!

The Auction Committee: Janet Culp, Alice Simon, Sandra Gleason, Peter James, Barb Millner, Marion Shaub, and Loreen M. Felstet.

The Helpers and Volunteers: Patrice, Trygve Culp, Judy Linetty and her personal kitchen staff who fed us well, Jere Shaub, Spurlin Soya, Terry Ward, Melanie Thornton, Mary Vaughn, Jeremy at Signs4You, Becca Shaub, Amanda Shaub, Matt Bradbury, Sheila Ellington, Susan Coates, Mikkel, Liz Nelson, Pam Leslie, Julie Greenwood, Sandy Vaughn, Echo from Tonasket AmeriCorps, Jonathan, and Ossitta.

The Music for the evening was arranged by Sandy Vaughn. Guests for the evening began arriving at 4:30, when the doors opened, and were greeted by the pleasant voice of Sunny, who was followed by Evan Scott and Gary Eagle. Then Reed Engle and Sandy Vaughn treated us to a few tunes, with Steve Shur joining Sandy to conclude the dinner music line up. At the close of the evening, Happy Dog, from Chesaw provided the lively finale. This entertainment group comprised of Charlie Peck, Evan Scott, Miguel Guizar and Gary Eagle made it difficult for some of us to want to leave. A huge thanks to Sandy for arranging such a wonderful evening of music--this part of the event alone was a treat by itself!

A special thanks to Rich Fewkes for professional auctioneer services rendered. Thanks to Barb, Sandy, and Loreen for their time and materials sending out individual thank you notes.

Our humblest apology to anyone whom we may have missed specifically naming in our thanks in this FireStarter. The full list of contributors is being compiled, and is around six pages long--a reflection of the immense time and energy our community has contribute. Due to its size this will be posted at the store and on the online edition of this FireStarter under the title Think Spring Name Dropper.

We hope you enjoyed your locally-sponsored Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op benefit, which helped advertise your food co-op – “The Other Grocery Store, where you can get the Best Lunch in Town!” It looks like you can look forward to the Think Spring Auction as an annual event for the Co-op. We will keep you posted on our progress as we cross items off of the aforementioned needs list in future issues of the FireStarter.

View the FireStarter Online; Get Email Updates

~by web'trice

Those with computers should point their browsers to www.TonasketCoop.com (it's dial-up friendly :-) where you'll see the FireStarter newsletter, the deli menu, and Co-op and event and meeting announcements.

There will soon be bulletin boards for posting notices of local gatherings, foodstuffs and other items for sale or trade, rideshares, etc--the online version of the cork boards at the store--so stayed tuned.

Don't check websites every day? Sign up for email notification. We never want to "spam" you, so email updates@tonasketcoop.com and request only the list(s) you wish to receive in your inbox.

Our privacy policy: your email address will never be sold, given, or otherwise shared with any other group or individual, and your information will never be visible to other recipients in the email itself.

Upcoming Earth Day Alternative Fair- 2nd Annual Green Okanogan

~by Loreen (The Recycling Chick) and Greg

Mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Green Okanogan Conference on the weekend of April 18th and 19th at the CCC. See you there!

The doors open Saturday April 18th at 9:30 AM with presentations, demonstrations, and discussions of native plants, soil analysis, local food production, permaculture, and recycling. The first fifty people will receive a free CFL. There is also an e-waste collection (for electronic waste such as old TVs and computer components) to keep these out of the regular waste stream where they are harmful to the environment.

On Sunday April 19th there will be an EcoHousing Tour of local sites using innovative and environmentally friendly materials and methods. Meet at 10:00 AM at the CCC, and bring a sack lunch.

Call GO Recycle at 846-5800 or see www.GreenOkanogan.Org for further information.

What’s a Locavore ?

~by Loreen Felstet

If you are thinking about the global warming and that maybe you should work toward being more carbon-neutral, the New Oxford American Dictionary can help you out since making its biggest announcement of the year. The 2007 Word of the Year was (drum-roll please)--locavore.

“The word ‘locavore’ shows how food-lovers can enjoy what they eat while still appreciating the impact they have on the environment,” said Ben Zimmer, editor for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press. “It’s significant in that it brings together eating and ecology in a new way.”

The word was coined by a group of four women in San Francisco, who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius. Other regional movements have emerged since then, though some groups refer to themselves as “localvores” rather than “locavores.” However it’s spelled, it’s a word to watch.

Are you a locavore? You are if you either grow your own or consume from what has been grown or produced within 100 miles of your home. With all the bounty produced in the Okanogan, it is not too difficult to do this. For a good internet resource, log onto www.sharedharvest.net/okanogan_county (or google "SharedHarvest Okanogan County") and check out some of our locally grown and harvested offerings. The service is free and could also be a great way for you to get the word out about your own locally offered foodstuffs.

Spend Locally--The LOVE Tonasket Campaign

A dollar spent locally generates $5-14 in the local economy.
Every purchase triggers purchases by others within a community.
For instance, a dollar spent on rent might be spent again by the property owners at the local grocery, who in turn pays an employee, who then buys dinner at a local restaurant.

This phenomenon is what economists call “the multiplier.” The more times a dollar circulates within a defined geographic area and the faster it circulates without leaving that area, the more income, wealth, and jobs it creates. This basic concept in community economics highlights the importance of maximizing the numbers of dollars being spent locally.

(Estimate based on numbers from Civic Economics that .68 of every dollar spent at a locally owned business stays in the community, while only .43 stays when spent at a chain.) This information is reprinted from a notice which is part of the Tonasket Chamber of Commerce’s Shop Local Campaign.

Current Goings-On at the Co-op

~by Greg McGriff

Sponsoring Co-op Advertising--A Double Win for The Co-op and Your Business or Org

~by Loreen Felstet

While planning the first annual spring auction, we became aware of how we really needed to be able to put more ads out there for the Co-op--and how we had no money to do it. We were already struggling to place ads for our Deli here and there, and this special event pushed us to think more creatively.

The Co-op didn't have the funds to pay for an ad in the Gazette, so another local business came through and paid it for us. How could we thank them? How about giving them a line (and a website link) in our newsletter? A 'you get us an ad there, and we give you one here' deal.

It's that time of year when people think about taxes; maybe your business could use another legitimate deduction--like advertising. Current media utilized include: the Omak Chronicle, Oroville Gazette-Tribune, CCC Newsletter, and Open Line on KOMW.

Print and radio aren't the only promotion avenues, though. As a retail grocery store we are required to have an alternative to paper and plastic bags available, which would be a cloth bag. We worked with a local screen printer to create special bags for the Co-op, and they put their design on some of them to offset the cost of their services. Still more bags (material and printing) were paid for by other businesses and non-profit groups; they now have their info on a fabric carryall *and* they get a mention (and a link if they have a website) in the FireStarter. (Be sure to check out these totes in the store--buy several and collect all the designs!)

(a note from web'trice: Did you realize that your 'google rating' goes up the more you are linked to in other people's webpages? Search engines on the internet look through the content of all our sites and when they see your link pop up again and again they figure 'hey, this kid is popular' and they put you closer to the top of the search list the next time someone looks for your keywords. A link on our website lasts a looong time, since our newsletter archive is searchable.)

These are a few things we've done recently. Various individuals from our community have created a Marketing and Promotion Committee which reports to the Board, pooling their marketing experience and expertise to help come up with more ways to get the word out about us. To join this committee, to sponsor a Co-op ad somewhere, to get more info, or to give us more ideas, talk to either Loreen or Alice .

Advertising Sponsors
for the Months of February and March

Rooster N Chick

The Recycling Chick for Green Okanogan Recycling (GO ReCycle) in Tonasket

Okanogan Family Faire

Sunstar Computer Services, 416 S. Whitcomb, Tonasket tel:(509) 846-5800


the Solar Shop

Heads Up- Upcoming Co-op and Community News

~ by Greg McGriff


The Co-op News is published as a service to the members of the Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op.
Typesetting and layout by Greg McGriff; Online version layout by web'trice

Letters and articles are welcome from members. Deadline for articles is the 24th of each month. To ensure consideration of submission, please email to .

Views expressed in The FireStarter are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the co-op management, directors, or membership. Acceptance of advertising does not indicate endorsement by the Co-op of the product or service offered.