Answering your Questions About COVID-19 and the Co-op

Please check back for regular updates on this page.

Here for You

We understand that our shoppers and owners are rightly concerned about the Novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, and have asked how the virus is affecting the Co-op. We wanted to share how we are responding to the COVID-19. 

4/27/20

Following Yolo County guidelines, all shoppers must be wearing a facial covering in the store. We have a staff member at the front entrance to ensure this is followed. The staff member also sanitizes all carts and baskets as they are returned.

Thank you for you cooperation

4/20/20

Measures Your Co-op is Taking to Keep the Community Safe:

  • Frequent sanitizing of all touch surfaces (doors, card scanners, etc.) and restrooms with a medical-grade virucide.
  • Hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes and gloves available to all shoppers upon request.
  • Staff member assistance in bulk.
  • We are supplying and requiring all staff members to wear masks or facial coverings. 
  • Prohibiting outside containers and bags in the store.
  • Adhering to social distancing guidelines and signage in-store. We are here to help you, please be mindful of employee’s space.
  • Store Signage reminding shoppers to only touch what you intend to buy.
  • Plexiglass shields and bright yellow social distancing reminders at registers.

4/16/20

Hello Co-op Shoppers!

We are now requiring staff members to wear masks. We hope that you will do the same!

4/13/20

We are currently not allowing reusable bags in the store. If you like to use your own bags please leave them in your car or at the exit, when you have paid for your groceries, refill your cart and transfer your groceries to your bags at your car or on our brown bench.

Bulk Mochii has been moved to aisle 2, where a staff member can assist you!

Thank you for your understanding!

4/9/20

Co-op Shoppers and Owners,

For a few weeks, we have not been collecting bottles but due to a request from Straus, we are changing our policy. The folks at Straus creamery have asked us to keep collecting bottles for them. We will be giving bottle returns to you when you check out and all you have to do is place your bottles in the crates by the exit. This way the people in our store do not come into contact with any outside containers and we can help Strauss keep their milk moving.

Thank you!

4/7/20

Our meat department is fully stocked in the grab and go prepackaged section, but we have closed our meat counter.

In our bulk department, we currently have plastic bags and small paper bags for your items. We are working on getting larger paper bags for our shoppers who wish to limit their plastic waste! Than you for your patience!

4/6/20

Dear Owners and Shoppers,

In order to keep our high-contact surfaces sanitized for you, we are changing the operations of our Bulk Department. Starting this Monday, we will not be permitting the use of outside containers in our Bulk section. There will now also be staff members present in each of the bulk aisles to help you with your shopping. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding. 

3/27/20

Hello Co-op Owners and Shoppers!

We are not currently accepting returns, refunds or exchanges.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

3/25/20

Our Valued Owners and Shoppers,

With the retail environment shifting rapidly, we are continuing to balance how we serve the community while taking care of the staff. The changing nature of this virus is making it difficult to balance both. Our goal is to continue to nourish our shoppers, support both our staff and shoppers at this time of need and provide calmness in the face of uncertainty. You might have noticed that supply levels in certain areas such as dry grocery and bulk are still bare and it will take some time to level out the supply chain. We are working closely with all of our partners along the supply chain and are confident that there is a sufficient level of product available to meet the needs of consumers over the next few months.

Staff Appreciation 
We shared with all staff that effective immediately, every single employee will receive an additional $2 per hour to recognize their hard work, positivity and courage as we work to meet the needs of the community.

Stocking the Store
We currently are unable to take bulk or special orders with the exception of our Wellness department. Our Co-op, similar to other stores, are getting a limit placed on what we are able to purchase due to the warehouse experiencing an unprecedented amount of pressure put into their system. We realized that the distribution system is not prepared for the extreme demand that stores are experiencing at the moment. Therefore we ask that you kindly purchase only what you need to get by. When all of us work together, we will have enough items for everyone to purchase.

Store Hours
Starting yesterday, we changed our store hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. We designated the first two hours for our most vulnerable members of our community, which include seniors that are 65 and older, pregnant or otherwise at high risk of infection. We ask that you allow our older and immunocompromised community members the time and space they need to do their shopping as safely as possible. If you do not fall into these categories, we invite you to shop with us from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day.  The change in hours provides us the opportunity to serve both our community and the staff. Many of our staff are seeing the fear first hand in our customers and experiencing fear themselves due to the uncertain state of this pandemic. We are supporting our staff in all ways possible, while we maintain a limited crew of staff who share these concerns but are willing and able to put themselves at risk to serve our community.

Store Sanitation
These additional hours also give us the opportunity to clean more frequently, and to adhere to social distancing when we are stocking products in the store. The Co-op has also hired maintenance personnel who are ‘patrol sanitizing’ the entire store, including the carts, hand baskets, fridges doors, tongs and scoops, and other highly touched surfaces. We are currently unable to supply wipes at the entrance or hand sanitizer throughout the store due to limited supply. We have placed orders for these items, but again we are being limited by our suppliers on quantity as well as shipping delays.

We have made a number of operational changes in the last few weeks, which you may have seen throughout the store and social media: 

  • Installed Plexi Shield at the front lanes to provide an additional barrier to staff and to shoppers.
  • Put up signage in the store to remind shoppers to self distance and to only touch products they intend to purchase.
  • Made single-use gloves available for our shoppers, by the deli area when you enter the store.

Continued Communication
We will continue to share any other store updates via social media and through email. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve the community when we need it the most. We appreciate the overwhelming love and support we have received for coming to the front line when we are called to do so.

At the store level, we continue to shift and prioritize on a daily basis. Everyone has been so appreciative and have been amazing letting us know how valued we are in the community. Our store team has been working tirelessly to ensure that we have products on the shelves. It has been so amazing to see the camaraderie that everyone has shared and how the entire staff has stepped up to take care of the community in the time of need. Heros come in all forms and they have truly represented themselves in that capacity during this time.

In cooperation,

Prasanna Regmi, General Manager

3/23/20

Effective March 23, 2020 the Davis Food Co-op will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. We have reserved 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for those most at risk. 

In order to remain available to the most vulnerable members of our community we are reserving these first two hours for those who are 65 and older, pregnant or otherwise at high risk of infection. If you do not fall into these categories, we invite you to shop with us from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

These new store hours will be in effect until further notice. Thank you for your cooperation as we continue to make our store safe and accessible to everyone.

In Cooperation, The Davis Food Co-op

3/20/20

We are currently working on systems to keep our community healthy and safe, along with keeping our shelves stocked. We will have more update soon! Please stay up to date on Yolo County COVID-19 updates: https://www.yolocounty.org/health-human-services/adults/communicable-disease-investigation-and-control/novel-coronavirus-2019/shelter-in-place

Thank you for you patience!

3/17/20

Dear Davis Community,

Effective March 18, 2020, we are limiting our store hours from 8am to 8pm. This will allow us to focus on stocking our shelves so that we can serve our community and give us the extra time to focus on more cleaning. With this change, we also wanted to provide our senior shoppers with an exclusive shopping hour from 8am to 9am. This first hour would allow them to shop with minimal foot traffic in the store.  At this time, we will not be asking for IDs to validate age, but will remind people to come back during the 9am shopping hour if they are not a senior. 

We are reminding our staff and asking our shoppers to practice the following: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (sleeve if necessary), then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands
  • Practice social distancing when in public. 

Prasanna Regmi, General Manager

3/17/20

We appreciate the tremendous trust our community has given us over the years and this past week. We appreciate your kindness, your patience and you just “checking-in” in with us and thanking us for keeping our doors open.  We take the role that we have given very seriously and continue to evaluate operations to keep up with the ever-changing situation we are facing with the COVID-19. 

As we continue to stay close to Yolo County COVID-19 Guidance for Food Facilities we are staying in line with following their advice on how to keep our member-owners, shoppers, and staff safe. The county has advised that Buffet, Serving Lines and Self-Service food formats discontinue whenever possible. So, out of an abundance of caution, we have voluntarily closed self serve prepared foods areas including our Hot Bar, Salad Bar and Soup Bar. We will revisit these areas and re-open when it feels responsible to do so. We will keep our Grab N’ Go area along with the bakery area still open, since each item is wrapped individually. We truly apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our shoppers.

We appreciate the community being nimble with this situation and being flexible with the changes that are facing together. 

Davis Food Cooperative

3/16/20

Dear shoppers, 

Due to high demand for products, like other retailers, we are starting to experience a shortage in our store. While we are tirelessly working to find different sources to meet the demand, this shortage is affecting different areas such as bulk, grocery and produce. 

In our produce department,  we are starting to see a shortage in organic offerings. As we have shifted, over the last two years, to prioritize local and organic, our farmers and partners are feeling the stress of fulfilling customer requests. Farmers and distributors can not keep up with the demand and recent wet weather has inhibited harvesting of items like berries and bunched greens. While we prioritize local, organic and transitional offerings in produce, we are currently exploring conventional items to replace produce that we might have a hard time sourcing.

Keeping everyone updated with new changes is critical to everyone’s success and we are sharing this information so that our community can plan accordingly. 

Davis Food Cooperative

3/14/20

About the Virus

We realize the information related to the COVID-19 virus is changing rapidly. For most up to date and accurate information we are following information from our partners at UC Davis and Sutter Health. We are also following guidelines given by Yolo County Health Department to guide store operations.

You Tube video:

The Co-op’s Response & Sanitation

We have many procedures already in place to help protect the safety of our employees, members, and shoppers—procedures we rely on to reduce the spread of foodborne illness and seasonal colds and flu every year. With the rapidly changing COVID-19 virus, we are focused on increasing the frequency of our cleaning regiment, throughout the store. With this, we are sanitizing our frequently touched hard surfaces every two hours with a medical grade virucide. Provided that we have enough supplies on hand, we will continue to have wipes available for carts at the customer service counter. Should we run short on disinfectant wipes, we will provide virucide spray (with disposable paper towels) to wipe down carts.  You will also see hand sanitizer stations in different areas of the store. Since handwashing is the best way to combat any virus, including the COVID-19, we have set up a portable sink for your convenience to use at the front entrance.

For our Team

Over the last three days, we have spent a lot of time talking and being available for our staff. Because we truly care about our community, our practice has always been for staff to remain at home when they are sick.  All of our full-time and part-time staff accumulate paid time off to cover sick time. During this time, we are instructing employees to take any needed time off for themselves or their families either due to illness or due to other circumstances such as school closure. We are reminding our staff to follow good hygiene during this time and sharing information from both Yolo County and Center for Disease Control (CDC). 

For our Shoppers

As a community grocery store, we have always been the trusted source for your grocery needs. Our goal is to continue to provide the same service as we have in the past to serve our community. Please know that we are doing our best to keep up with high-demand items, such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and cleaning supplies.  We will continue to work tirelessly and to the best of our ability, to keep our shelves stocked and be present for our community. 

Working together

We acknowledge that this is a trying time and value your kindness and patience as we are learning to navigate through this ever-changing situation together.  The outpouring love and support of our community does not go unnoticed.  We appreciate each and every one of you helping us get through this together.

Serving you since 1972

Davis Food Cooperative

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Plant-Based Taco Tuesday

Looking for a way to switch up your Taco Tuesday? We have a recipe that is plant-based, protein-packed, and perfect for a laid-back weeknight meal. Watch the video below for an explanation of what ingredients we chose and a walkthrough of the steps. The ingredients and instructions are listed below.

Ingredients

1 to 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

Olive oil

Apple cider vinegar

10-12 corn tortillas (use GF if desired)

Tofu “cheese” crumbles (1 C crumbled extra firm tofu, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast)

Garnishes: 1/2 cup salsa, avocado, fresh cilantro, lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. 
  2. Coat the sweet potatoes in about 2 tbsp of oil, salt, chili powder, and cumin. Then put on a baking sheet in the oven for about 15 minutes. Stir and flip, then roast another 15 minutes. 
  3. While this is roasting, saute the onions in about a tbsp of oil. Just before they are soft, add the garlic and jalapeño, saute for another minute. Then add the drained and rinsed black beans and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Cook until hot.
  4. Crumble extra firm tofu into a bowl, add salt and nutritional yeast. Mix well. This is your cheese!
  5.  Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet or in the microwave. 
  6. Let everyone fill their tacos with sweet potatoes, beans, avocado, salsa, cilantro, and cheese! Yum!

This recipe was developed by our Education and Outreach Specialist, Madison Suoja, and the demonstration was done by our staff member Rheanna Smith. Rheanna has a background in nutrition and food science, and along with working in many departments here at the Davis Food Co-op, she actively runs a food blog containing healthy recipes and nutrition tips. Keep an eye on our Co-op blog to see some of her recipes and give her Instagram account a follow for additional health tips and ideas, @rheannnabanana.

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Layered Peanut Butter Freezer Fudge

Stuck at home and looking for a fun and delicious recipe that the whole family will love? We have just what you need, easy layered peanut butter freezer fudge! This simple yet hands-on recipe makes for the perfect sweet treat while also being dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan!

This recipe is also an opportunity to try out some of the Fair Trade products that we have in our store! Coconut Oil and Chocolate are products that traditionally have not always fairly compensated the farmers that produce them. Buying Fair Trade versions of these products makes a positive impact on the lives of these farmers and makes the cultivation of these products more sustainable as well. For this recipe, we suggest using Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil and Equal Exchange chocolate chips, but we have many more Fair Trade options in our store for you to choose from! You can find some of our staff’s favorite Fair Trade items in another of our blog posts.

What You’ll Need:
  • 8×8 inch Baking Dish
  • Parchment Paper
  • Small Saucepan
  • Small Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Spoons/Cups
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Baking Sheet
  • Ziplock Bag (optional)

Ingredients:
  • 1 + ½ cup Peanut Butter
  • 6-8 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 ½ cup Oat Flour (Divided)
  • ¼ cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk (Divided)
  • 2-3 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 cups Chocolate Chips

Makes 12+ servings!

Instructions:
  1. Begin by heating the small saucepan over low heat and adding in 1 cup of the peanut butter and all of the maple syrup.
  2. Mix together the peanut butter and maple syrup, stirring constantly for about one minute or until smooth.
  3. Remove the peanut butter mixture from the heat and evenly divide into two mixing bowls.
  4. To one of the mixing bowls add in half of the oat flour (¾ cup), half of the coconut milk (½ cup), and all of the cocoa powder. Mix until smooth and thick to form the chocolate layer.
  5. To the other mixing bowl add in the remaining oat flour (¾ cup), remaining coconut milk (½ cup), and remaining peanut butter (½ cup). Mix until smooth and creamy to form the peanut butter layer.
  6. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and using clean hands or a rubber spatula press the chocolate mixture into the bottom of the pan to form an even layer.
  7. Scoop the peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate layer and press into an even layer on top.
  8.  Place in the freezer overnight or for at least 3 hours to set.
  9. Once fully set remove the layered freezer fudge from the parchment and cut into 2-inch cubes.
  10.  Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a small saucepan or double boiler over medium-low heat until smooth and creamy, being careful to not burn the chocolate by stirring constantly. 
  11.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  12.  Using a fork or slotted spoon, dip each fudge chunk into the melted chocolate sauce, drain off extra chocolate by gently tapping the side of the bowl and then set on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  13.  Place into the freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes to allow the chocolate sauce to harden.
  14.  *Optional – For an extra touch scoop a tablespoon or two of peanut butter into a small ziplock bag. Using scissors cut off the tip of one of the bottom corners of the bag and use it as a frosting piper to drizzle peanut butter on top of each fudge chunk!

Store in the fridge for up to a week or the freezer for up to a month.

*Recipe Adjustments:
  • Peanut butter can be substituted with almond or cashew butter.
  • Coconut milk can be substituted with any plant-based milk.

Tips:
  • If your peanut butter is extra thick add a splash of extra coconut milk to help with mixing and if your peanut butter is thin and drippy add an extra ½ tbsp of oat flour to thicken it up.
  • To make your own oat flour simply pour whole rolled oats into a food processor, high-powered blender, or clean coffee grinder.

Recipe developed by our staff member, Rheanna Smith. Rheanna has a background in nutrition and food science, and along with working in many departments here at the Davis Food Co-op she actively runs a food blog containing healthy recipes and nutrition tips. Keep an eye on our Co-op blog to see some of her recipes and give her Instagram account a follow for additional health tips and ideas, @rheannnabanana.

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Staff Fair Trade Picks

Throughout the month of May, we celebrate Fair Trade products and the partnerships that produce them. In-store we will have signage for our staff’s favorite Fair Trade Certified items, and we will update this list throughout May with any new favorites that we find!

What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is both a philosophy and a business model. It keeps small farmers and artisans an active part of the marketplace by fairly compensating them for their work, and through various labeling systems allows consumers to shop in a way that aligns with their values.

It also:

Raises the incomes of small-scale farmers, farmworkers, and artisans

Equitably distributes the economic gains, opportunities, and risks associated with the production and sale of these goods

Supports democratically owned and controlled organizations

Promotes labor rights and the right of workers to organize

Promotes safe and sustainable farming methods and working conditions

“Matr Boomie makes such cute accessories that you can feel good about buying because you know that you are supporting a good cause. They pay the artisans that they work with very well and reinvest a portion of the profits back into their communities.”

Karla, Wellness and General Merchandise Supervisor

“I love the rich flavor of this tea, it has notes of bergamot just like a proper earl grey should!”

Derlina, Front-end Supervisor

“Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil is an amazing product because of how versatile it is! I use it in baking, to make my own toothpaste, and as a lotion during Spring and Summer to help keep mosquitoes away!⁠”

Madison, Education and Outreach Coordinator

“Divine uses only Fair Trade Certified chocolate from farms owned by their farmers, so you can feel good about indulging in these bars. The white chocolate strawberry and milk chocolate toffee are my favorites.”

Matt, Bulk Department

 

“Coffee is what keeps me going and I love that I can support the farmers that produce it by buying from conscious companies such as Equal Exchange and Pachamama.”

Rocio, Store Supervisor

“A high-quality olive oil is great for entertaining or using in special meals, I like this one for its flavors of almond and spices. La Riojana is an Argentinian farmer-owned co-op that is the biggest exporter of Fair Trade wine in the world.”

Roberto, Front-end Supervisor

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LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT OF DAVIS FOOD COOPERATIVE

Dear Davis Food Co-op Members,

I hope this letter finds you and your household well.

“Stay at Home” orders keep us safe, but for some it can be isolating. At times like this, it can help to recognize the many community connections we have, and one of those is your membership with the Davis Food Co-op. Membership is more than being a shopper, it means that you share store ownership with other members of the store.

Davis Food Co-op elections open on May 7, 2020. This year we have three candidates running to serve on the board. The Board of Directors oversees the Co-op, and implements policies on your behalf. Board members are democratically elected by Davis Food Co-op member-owners.

This year, all elections will be online (you can also do this in the store if you prefer). The Co-op has contracted with a reputable company to manage voting and to tabulate the results. This method of voting is kind to the environment, economically efficient, and secure.

I understand that there are many distractions at this time so I want to reach out and ask—will you please take the time to vote by May 21, 2020?

In Cooperation,

Sharon Tobar President

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Making Your Own Sourdough Starter

The shelter in place order has led many to take up their whisks and spatulas and bake their hearts out. However, this has also led to may supplies that we are used to having available, yeast we’re looking at you, become near impossible to find.

Don’t despair, your dreams of turning your kitchen into your own personal bakery need not be lost, a sourdough starter is surprisingly easy to make. This is why we would like to show you how to make a sourdough starter with nothing but whole wheat flour and water. 

What Is A Sourdough Starter?

A sourdough starter is a concoction of flour and water that captures the wild yeast and bacteria that are present both in the ingredients and the air. This is so convenient because instead of having to buy yeast from the store, you allow the natural fermentation process to take place. Once your starter is ready to use it becomes akin to a low-maintenance pet that you keep in your kitchen and have to feed in order to keep it alive. 

Why You Should Make One

Well before all else, sourdough bread rests at the pinnacle of deliciousness. Once you have one you can add it to just about any recipe to pack in extra flavor. One of our favorite things to make with our starters is pancakes!

But research also suggests that the cultures in sourdough break down gluten, making it easier to digest.

Getting Started

The process of getting your sourdough starter thriving can take about five days.

What You’ll Need

If you have a kitchen scale that is ideal for measuring out ingredients, but if you don’t have a scale measuring cups work just fine.

  • 1 cup(113g) rye or whole wheat flour(additional flour needed for feedings)
  • ½ cup(113 g) cool water(filtered water preferably)

Feeding Your Starter

Ideas on what and when to feed your starter differ. For this guide, we will be recommending that you feed your starter twice a day after the first day that you put it together.

Day 1

Combine the flour and water in a non-reactive container. Clear glass is best as it lets you see the progress of your starter most easily. If you have a Mason or Weck jar on hand this is a great time to use it! In any case, you want to pick a container that will be large enough to accommodate the growth of your starter.

Once you have ensured that all of the flour has been incorporated into the mixture you want to cover it loosely and let it rest at room temperature for 24 hours.

Day 2

You may or may not have seen any changes after the first 24 hours. Bubbles or not just trust the process and continue on! In the morning and at night you must discard anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your starter, depending on how much it has grown. Then add 1/2 cup rye or whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup water to the remaining starter. Mix well, cover, and let rest at room temperature.

Day 3

By this point, you should be noticing changes with your starter. An aroma, bubbles, and expansion all mean that you are on the right track. In the morning and at night discard anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your starter, depending on how much it has grown. Then add 1/2 cup rye or whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup water to the remaining starter. Mix well, cover, and let rest at room temperature.

Day 4

In the morning and at night discard anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your starter, depending on how much it has grown. Then add 1/2 cup rye or whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup water to the remaining starter. Mix well, cover, and let rest at room temperature.

Day 5

On day five you should expect your starter to have doubled in volume and have a multitude of bubbles. It is also normal for it to be giving off a tangy aroma at this stage so do not be concerned. In the morning and at night discard anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your starter, depending on how much it has grown. Then add 1/2 cup rye or whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup water to the remaining starter. Mix well, cover, and let rest at room temperature.

If it is not at this stage yet continue feeding and discarding in the morning and at night until it reaches this point before moving on to the steps outlined for Day 6.

Day 6

 Discard all but 1/2 cup of your starter and feed it as usual. Let your starter rest at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours; by now it should be fully active, with bubbles breaking the surface. 

How To Tell If Your Starter Is Ready

One of the most common ways to tell if your starter is ready to use in recipes is to do what is referred to as the Float Test! All that you need to do is place a tablespoon of your starter in water and if it floats its ready to go!

Using Your Starter

When following a recipe simply remove as much of your starter as is called for! If you do not have enough at the time simply continue feedings until you do.

We can’t wait to see all of the wonderful things that you make with your starters! Feel free to tag us with your creations or documentation of your growing process on social media. We have started a starter on the day of this blog and will be updating you with its own progress!

Maintaining Your Starter

You’ll want to store your starter in the refrigerator and feed it regularly. Give it 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water once a week. Make sure to mix well and time and now cover it. The container should not be airtight.

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Zero Waste Vegan: Cashew Yogurt

Ingredients:
  • 2 Cup Raw Cashews
  • 1Tbsp Sweetener (Agave, Maple Syrup, Honey, Unrefined Sugar)
  • ~60 Billion CFU Probiotic (DFC Brand is Vegetarian or use any vegan probiotic, use as many capsules as needed)
  • Water

  1. Soak your Cashews in warm water for 6+ hours, I typically do it overnight. 
  2. Separate the cashews from the water.
  3. Put the cashew in a blender or food processor. Add about 1 cup of water, sweetener, and probiotics. 
  4. Blend until smooth, you may need to add more water to get the consistency you want. 
  5. Set yogurt in a bowl, cover with a towel (it needs to be something breathable), and store in a warm place (on your countertop is probably fine).
  6. Let the yogurt sit for at least 6 hours. Then put it in the fridge! 
  7. Eat it with the dried blueberries from our bulk fridge or fresh strawberries. YUM!

Tips: 
  • At first, the texture will be similar to ricotta. Blend for longer to make it smoother. (I love ricotta! So I don’t blend it for too long)
  • I like to add vanilla to give a little extra flavor!
  • You must add some kind of sweetener, even if you don’t want it sweet! Probiotics need something to eat in order to grow!

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Zero Waste Vegan: Oat Milk

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cups of Rolled Oats
  • 4 Cups of Cold Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Add Unrefined Sugar to Taste if you want it sweeter. (or use pitted dates, agave, or honey)

Materials:
  • Blender
  • Ultra Fine Cloth

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend for a minute.
  2. Use a cloth to strain and put it in a container.
  3. Put in the fridge.
  4. Done!

Tips: 
  • Use cold water. When you cook oats they form a goop. If you use warm water, your milk will be goopy.
  • If you don’t have an ultra-fine cheesecloth or nut milk specific cloth, you can use a piece of cotton. It will take longer for the milk to drain and you will need to squeeze it out.

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Staff Sustainability Picks

In celebration of Earth day we thought we would share some of our staff sustainability picks with you!

Ryan from our Deli department loves our selection of glass jars! They’re a great storage option that look pleasing in your pantry and help you buy in bulk. These jars in particular have a vacuum seal that keeps out bacteria.

Rheanna from our Produce team loves using beeswax wraps instead of traditional cling film. Beeswax wraps are washable and are a great way to keep foods fresh and covered. They’re also a great choice for carrying snacks! We carry a variety of wraps with eye catching prints in our store.

Madison from our Marketing team is a big fan of this Booda Butter deodorant that comes in a glass jar. This deodorant is made with pure, organic ingredients and the sustainable packaging that it comes in makes it a part of your self-care routine that you can feel great about!

Aster from our Deli team is a fan of the Stasher bags that we carry. These bags aren’t only great for storage but a perfect choice for marinades and sous vide cooking as well!

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Saving Your Bulbs for Next Spring

Every Year at the Co-op we have Beautiful Tulips, Daffodils, Dahlias, Ranunculus, etc. All these flowers have an expiration date in early spring and won’t grow any other time. These flowers grow from bulbs, which can be saved and used again next year! Over the course of them blooming they also multiply so each year you save them, the following year you will have even more flowers!

Cut the flower down to 1.5-2 inches. Cut the flower stem and all the leaves.
Three different kinds of bulbs!

1. To harvest the bulbs first, you need to let the flower go through their cycle. Once the flower is beginning to shrivel up and die with no more blooms sprouting, you will cut back the flower. Cut the flower back so only 1.5 to 2 inches is remaining of the stem. 

2. Then you will let the stems sit in the pot until they have completely dried out.

This bulb is starting to split into three. They are still very stuff together so I will leave them together for now.
All the remaining stems have dried out completely. It it time to harvest!

3. Then you will separate the bulbs from the soil. They are in clusters in the soil, and we want to keep the clusters together. The bulbs will multiply, but you don’t want to separate them until they just fall apart. You can remove some of the dried skin around the bulbs, but don’t remove it all. Only remove the skin that is loose and easily removed.

4. Store the bulbs in a cool, dark, and dry place. Keep them there until it is time to repot them! For Spring blooming flowers, daffodils and tulips, plant the bulb in September or October. For summer blooming bulbs, ranunculus and dahlias, plant in spring after the danger of frost has passed. 

5. Different flowers will have different bulbs. They come in all shapes and sizes! Be sure to keep them separate and labeled when storing, unless you want to be surprised!

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Zero-waste Home Cleaning Tips

There are many things that we could all do in our homes to be a little more environmentally friendly. Ditching products that come in single-use plastic or contain harmful chemicals is a great first step. A total rehaul of your cleaning supplies and routine is not only overwhelming but unnecessary. After all, it would be wasteful to throw out functional cleaning supplies only to replace them with better versions. This guide is meant to help those who are interested in transitioning to more natural products and less wasteful solutions for taking care of their homes. We hope that you find some of these tips helpful!

There are a lot of simple swaps that many of us can make:

  • Use what you have. It can be very tempting to buy new eco-friendly cleaning products. But if what you currently have is still functional, we urge you to use it until it no longer works in order to stem waste.
  • Avoid single-use materials. Instead of buying paper towels, use reusable cleaning cloths. You might not even need to buy cloths as you likely have old clothes or towels lying around that you can cut up and use as rags instead of throwing out. 
  • Repurpose whatever you can think of. Instead of tossing out an old toothbrush, keep it for cleaning nooks and crannies. 

Conventional cleaning products can contain a myriad of ingredients that are irritating to the skin, eyes, and throat. Unfortunately right now, irritating products such as bleach are the most reliable at keeping you safe from bacteria that can get you sick. It is important to be adequately sanitizing surfaces that things from outside your home have come in contact with to prevent the spread of disease. But for everyday cleaning in many parts of your home using such strong products is unnecessary. Gentler solutions are suitable for areas where there isn’t a  concern about outside contaminants.

Below we have outlined two cleaning products that are two simple to assemble yourself and will hopefully bring extra joy to your cleaning routine!

Simple All-purpose Cleaning Spray

We promise that this cleaning spray will have you saying goodbye to the mists that you usually purchase to clean surfaces in your home. This recipe will keep your surfaces clear of toxic compounds and save you the guilt of buying single-use plastics. 

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • The essential oil of your choice(optional- we love using lemon, lavender, or eucalyptus)
  • Spray bottle(preferably glass, but if you have an empty plastic one lying around you can repurpose it for this spray)

Assembly:

  1. Fill a spray bottle halfway with water
  2. Fill the remaining half of the bottle with distilled white vinegar
  3. Add in about 20 drops of essential oil of your choice to give the solution a pleasing scent
  4. Shake well to combine ingredients

Instructions on how to use:

  • Shake and spray on any surface of your choice!(You do not want to use this on granite or marble as vinegar can damage these surfaces)

Toilet Cleaning Fizzers

Unlike conventional toilet bowl cleaners, these fizzy toilet bowl cleaners are made with non-toxic ingredients and easy for you to assemble yourself. While these little fizzers are doing their thing in the bowl they are releasing their active ingredients, which work to neutralize odors, disinfect, and remove stains. 

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup citric acid 
  • 25 drops essential oil of your choice(we love using lemon, orange, or eucalyptus)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 orange or lemon zested (optional- will make these look more appealing and won’t clog your toilet*)
  • You will need a silicone mold of some sort to press the mixture into to give these fizzers shape

*It’s a good idea to always zest fruit before juicing it even if you don’t need a zest for the recipe you are following. If you save zest in the freezer then you will always have it on hand when you do need it and you will waste fewer parts of the fruit!

Assembly:

  1. Combine citric acid, baking soda and orange/lemon zest in a large bowl, mixing them well.
  2. Add the oil you have chosen to the dry ingredients. Stir well to combine, adding more if you’d like a stronger scent.
  3. Add water a little bit at a time, mixing with your fingers until it holds together when squeezed but isn’t soaked. You want it to be just damp. Don’t add the water all at once, this will cause your mixture to fizz right away and make a mess. 
  4. Press the mixture into the mold of your choice firmly*. Make sure to press out all the air and compact it together nicely. It might bubble up a bit – if this is the case, consider adding it back to the bowl and putting in more dry ingredients. If it’s too dry, add a bit more water to it.
  5. Place your mold into the freezer and let the toilet fizzers harden, this part only takes about two hours but you can leave them longer if you want to be sure that they’ve set. Store them in an airtight container such as a mason jar.

*If you do not have, or do not want to use, a mold you can keep this mixture as a powder in an airtight container and use it that way. 

Instructions on how to use:

  • Drop a fizzer into your toilet bowl and let sit for five minutes. Once enough time has passed scrub and flush the bowl. 

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